(This may be an uncomfortable read for some. Adult Advisory. Strong images, no strong language.)
And ick again.
I've read about them on blogs written primarily by women with disabilities. In fact I'd never heard of them until my foray into disability blogdom. Devotees. Men, mostly, who fetishize disability, turning people with difference into fantasy creatures. Popping erections at the idea of a body that moves differently, that has been shaped by disability.
These folks exist in other worlds too. I've twice been very much desired by a 'chubby chaser'. Men who love fat men or women. While it is nice to feel attractive, its odd to the point of disgust, to realize that you, the you that exists within the body, is not necessary, not much even wanted as part of the ritual of seduction.
I was shopping, buying two specialty tee shirts as gifts for friends when I noticed him, he couldn't have been more than 22 or 23 years old. At first I thought he was a handsome young man. Handsome in that casual way that only the young can manage. Fair hair, blue eyes, bursting with youth and sexuality. I saw him, dismissed him and went back to my shopping. But then I notice he kept moving in the store so I was always in his sight.
I'm used to being stared at, but this was somehow different. It was more purposeful, more intense than stares of curiosity or hostility. Now I began to feel uncomfortable. My first thought is about my safety. I am alone here. Joe bores of shopping and often steps outside to people watch. I so wish he was with me. I want his 'ability' to deflect my sense of momentary vulnerability. I quicken my pace. I've chosen one shirt, now I look for the other, quickly checking sizes and styles. Normally I love doing this. I love imagining the gift given and received. I take my time to get what's exactly right. By now though, I'm thinking just about getting a shirt and getting out of there.
He is closer now. I see he's sweating a bit. I see his hand reaching deep into his pocket. Oh, my. I see movement.
I've worked with offenders long enough to know what I'm seeing. I feel slightly sick. Is it my weight? Is it my disability. Is it both? He has fetishized me. I know, just know, by how he is moving, that he is going to try and brush by me. I quickly scan my environment. I am partly blocking the aisle. There is room for most people, certainly someone his size to step by me. In fact it looks like he could vault over me if he chose to. He is closing in. His voice is deeper than I expect from such a young man, he says 'excuse me' and then brushes by, his groin presses against the back of my chair, then moving around the handle, my shoulder.
I'm not going to describe what his body feels like as it slides along my back, my shoulder. I know it all looks innocent. A young man passing an old guy in a wheelchair. I know that, should I protest, I will not be believed. I say nothing.
I have the other shirt. Joe is coming back in through the door. I reach for my gloves which I had set on the counter beside me. They are gone. I need my gloves. I must have my gloves. My gloves give me movement. I know he has them. He is still there. He seems to be feeding off of my upset as we search for my gloves. I panic, knowing he's enjoying it but I can't stop. I am immobilized without my gloves.
The clerk comes to help. We don't find them. She tells me that she has gloves that may work for me and goes in search of them. They are perfect. They fit well. I am so grateful. He stays watching, wandering, until we are nearly ready to leave. he then rushes out to his truck. It's a light blue pick up. By the time I've pushed myself to the car, he has moved his vehicle. I feel his eyes on me as I transfer into the car.
I don't look.
I don't have to.
I know what he's doing.
My disability makes me prone to depersonalization by many. I wasn't prepared for it to make me vulnerable to objectification too.