How To Date A Disabled Woman
The beauty you spotted the other day continues to haunt your thoughts. You cannot put her out of your mind. You saw her from across the room. Her countenance is warm, sweet, and inviting. You exchanges glances a few times. She was as interested in you as you were in her. You even got a peak at the rest of her body and liked what you saw.
You next encountered her in the same place. And this time you decided to make your move. The familiar tension, the mild anxiety, the exhilarating thrill of the approach consumed your body as you made your way toward her. Just as you pulled up you noticed something that you hadn’t before.
Perhaps what you thought was a regular chair was actually a wheel chair or maybe she got up and walked and you noticed a slight limp or perhaps she offered sign as a response to your well-delivered line.
Your beauty is disabled in some way, and you don’t know what to do next.
I don’t like to use the word disabled. It is a stigmatism that limits our ability to see the full humanity of a woman who happens to be deaf, paralyzed, blind, or otherwise physically impaired. I am bound nevertheless to use language in a way that communicates ideas clearly, so I stick with the word for my present purpose.
In a way, disabled people demonstrate more truth about being human than non-disabled people. Seeing them in action reminds us of the incredible flexibility and plasticity of our species. As humans, we have the most extraordinary ability to adapt to changed conditions. So much so that not even the deadening of one, two, or even three of our senses or the destruction, paralyzing, or lamming of one of our limbs can stop us from living full and vibrant lives. Helen Keller, the famous social activist and public intellectual who was born blind, deaf, and mute comes to mind, as does the remarkable display of athletic skill and physical prowess that is put on every 4 year during by the Special Olympics teams of each nation.
I say all this to point out the remarkable stores of energy that your girl may possess. She has no doubt adapted to the conditions of her life; just as you have adjusted to yours. Only a minor physical difference lies between you, so there is no reason to freak out and flee.
So she is unable to use all of her sense or limbs, or doesn’t use them the way you do. She is out and about and looking gorgeous. Obviously, she has found a way around the difficulty. She has adjusted to things. If you are really taken with her, why shouldn’t you adjust to them as well?
Speak to her as you would any girl you’re trying to chat up. If she is deaf and you don’t know sign, keep your head turned toward her at all times so that she can read your lips. She may be able to speak or she may want to do a combination of speaking and writing. Go with it until the two of you figure out the best way of communicating.
A woman in a wheel chair will of course require more consideration. But there is no reason you can’t chat, have dinner, and enjoy each other’s company. As you get closer to the point of sexual intimacy, she will in all likelihood tell you what she is and is unable to do. Don’t make assumptions. You might be surprised by the sexual feats she is able to perform, and the great pleasure she is able to give and receive.
The one thing you should not do is to date a disabled woman out of charity. The great Austrian writer Stefan Zweig traced the possible consequences of such an action in his brilliant novel Beware of Pity. His hero, a young Second Lieutenant in the pre-WWI Austro-Hungarian empire, while at a society party asks the wheel-chair bound daughter of its host to dance. Quite taken with the dashing officer, the young girl struggles to stand so as to accept his offer. It is then that LT. Hofmiller realizes his grievous error and leaves the party out of shame and embarrassment. After sending flowers to the young girl, as a gesture of apology for his impertinence, he is invited for tea. He then begins to make regular afternoon calls to the girl as a way of expiating his sense of guilt. What unfolds is an intense psychological drama that shows the terrible danger of affection that is grounded in pity.
If you find yourself attracted to a disabled woman, I highly recommend reading this novel before taking things any further. Be sure of your motives, be clear about your feelings, and only pursue the girl if your desire is genuine and true.
About Christopher Reid Chris was born in Washington, D.C. and lives in Britain. He works as a blogger, essayist, and novelist. His first book, Tea with Maureen, has just been published.