Short Takes is designed to eavesdrop on readers' experiences of what it's like to be gay and disabled—in 1,000 words or less. This time we asked contributors to tell us about their first sex with another man. Was it a disaster or a little slice of heaven? Funny, fearful or ecstatic? Laughable, forgettable or sublime? Randy Warren writes about how list making paid off..


Number Eight On My List

by Randy Warren


Are you a list maker? After countless attempts to get direction in my life, I was counselled at age twenty to make a list of the ten things I wanted to accomplish before I turned fifty. I made sure my list was a tough one, full of dreams and fantasies; I wanted to make it a list of goals I would always strive for. Naturally, one of my ten points involved sex—I'm gay, after all. Because I am also visibly disabled, some say malformed, I believed that point number eight, the "sex point," was a reach. Little did I know that I would make it happen before I turned thirty-five.

Despite being commitment-phobic (for reasons I won't explain here), I derive the most gratification from gratifying others. I also have a penchant for pretty boys— you know them, the centerfold, the stripper—and I'm a huge risk-taker as well, a guy who likes to roll on the line a lot. Yup, I'm an electric wheelchair user, but when I travel I travel with a manual chair and a personal care attendant. I used to travel a lot, attending too many conferences in too many cities. After a gruelling eight years of playing the perfect conference attendee, I realized that evenings were my own, and began to allow myself to wander off at night.

On one of these trips to the big city I found myself feeling frisky (to say "randy" would be just too easy) and a little antsy. So, after the day's agenda was complete, I was ready to play. Hot Toddy (my attendant, Todd) was gorgeous, a tall raging heterosexual who, like me, had a wild side. We started with drinks at our hotel bar, where we mapped out the night's activities. After years of talking about it, Todd was finally ready to get a tattoo, and the tattoo parlour just happened to be nestled between two strip clubs, one for straight boys, one for the real boys! I'd never had a problem balancing my needs with those of my attendant—and anyhow, I think the best food is served at straight strip clubs—so we did the tattoo parlour thing, then headed into the straight joint. With infallible gaydar the strippers gathered at my table on their breaks, knowing they wouldn't have to work. Always the generous employer, I treated Toddy to a few lap dances. "Just as long as I don't have to see it", I laughed."

With stomach full and Toddy sedated, it was my turn: into the real club! Usually I get settled a couple of tables back from the stage, but not tonight. Maybe it was the double Jack Daniels talking, but I was determined to enjoy the show with a seat right up front.

Now what you need to know is how obvious my disability is, a consequence of the drug thalidomide. I have little feet where people's kneecaps are, and four fingers on each hand. I like to say that while my hands may be slightly bent to the side, I am fully bent! There is just no escaping the fact that I am disabled, and as a wheelchair user to boot, I am often overlooked as far as pickups are concerned. What I do have going for me is a friendly, outgoing personality, a sexy voice, and an irreverent sense of humour, all tools I use to maximum effect. When I am out enjoying myself I can go anywhere alone and end up with a full table. Tonight was no different.

I was laughing at Todd's discomfort at being in a gay strip joint and at his barbed comments, which I knew were attempts to assert his heterosexuality. This drew the attention of some of the strippers, who wandered over after their sets. While working the pole, one of the boys inadvertently landed his own pole on the back of Todd's head. Now although it landed on the back of his head, Todd turned with a wide open mouth, and well, let's just say it was a close call for Toddy, who turned beet red and quickly ordered a double! As more men who joined my table, I made a point of being more and more generous with compliments and drinks.

One of the boys urged me to visit the club's second floor, reached by a long staircase. With help from Super Attendant this would be no obstacle, and when an irresistible blond Adonis seconded the suggestion, I had no choice but to comply. No matter how much I drink, I am always street savvy, so I left my wallet with Todd after he hauled my chair up to the mysterious top floor, where I found a row of bathroom-style stalls, a chair in the middle of each. After Todd transferred me onto one of them I sent him downstairs and enjoyed the dancing of my Adonis, who, it turned out, had been a Playgirl centerfold named Peter. Peter was quite the mover and I was quite the groper.

Gingerly at first, wanting to see how far he'd let things go, I explored his back, buttocks and thighs. When he offered no resistance I accidentally-on-purpose pulled him closer and let my nose graze his balls. He reacted the way I'd hoped he would, moving closer still. Soon I was sucking on eight inches. In time to the music I was taking and releasing, taunting and teasing, while Peter quivered and moaned and gasped. There was no question of who was in control. Control is very important to me because usually life has control of me!

After twenty minutes, Peter's buddy showed up to monitor the action (standard club safety procedure). Gilles was a raven-haired Pierce Brosnan with an inch more equipment than Peter and plenty of foreskin. As Peter nodded that everything was fine, I took the opportunity to share my talents (trying hard not to discriminate!). It was a buffet, my dream come true, and number eight on my list crossed out! Half an hour in, I saw my concerned attendant peering over the wall, just doing what we had prearranged, making sure I was okay. I summarily dismissed a shocked and sheepish Toddy, who promptly went downstairs and ordered a triple. With a little more attention from me, both boys came. Sated and $600 poorer I was carried downstairs in my chair like Cleopatra.

Needless to say, those boys were built for pleasure, not strength, and proceeded to drop me. My hazy afterglow, mixed with alcohol, landed me on my head, so I was just fine. I was even better when two more boys came over to help me back in my chair. Toddy paid the boys, but not before getting a report card on my performance. I left with names and numbers, a witness, an A+ and a gold star. It took a week for my throat to recover, but the memory of that adventure has sustained me on more than one lonely night.

And what of Toddy? In classic Todd style, all he had to say on the subject was that if you have to go "that way," you might as well go all the way!

©2006 Randy Warren

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Randy Warren ( lives in London, Ontario, Canada, and is a long-time advocate for people with disabilities. Born disabled as a consequence of the drug thalidomide, he runs his own Reality Speaking and Consulting Company (




BENT: A Journal of CripGay Voices/January 2006