This posting, entitled “The Disability Fetish” appeared on an internet dating site. It is reproduced here for its relevance and in case the original source is unavailable.
I was talking with some friends who went to a fetish night this weekend in Vancouver. It had a medical-theme, and along with all the stories about sexy nurses, and getting paddled with clipboards, I began to wonder about even stranger fetishes. One of the women I was talking to was using crutches and she said that it was a regular occurrence for men to be erotically turned on by her disability.
Apparently many people are attracted to people who use crutches, braces, or wheelchairs. Sure enough, I looked it up on Wikipedia, and the term for this is abasiophilia. It is classified as a disability fetish, and explains that some people pretend to be disabled, and perhaps even engage is self-harm to become amputees themselves.
There is a wide variety of disabilities that can be attractive to people, from missing fingers to blindness, to being quadriplegic. Depending on the individual, preferences may be firm or flexible. About one tenth of the world’s population is disabled however the question is whether or not a person with abasiophilia would seek a disabled person for a full long-term relationship and not just a sexual one. It is recorded that many who try, while attracted to the other person’s disability, aren’t ready to live with the realities of the other’s needs.
Many abasiophiliacs (also called DPW: devotees, pretenders, wannabes) feel a strong sense of guilt and shame from feeling unusual erotic pleasure from others misfortunes. They don’t want to enter a relationship with a crippled person just to satisfy their sex drive. Second best for them is to enter into relationships with others who share the same fantasies, or willing to role play. Some DPW’s occupy care-taker roles in hospitals, some collect disability-linked objects, and many are attracted to looking at photos of disabled people.
Looking into the subject further, I found that a leading cause of disability among elderly Chinese women is due to a custom practiced in the 10th century called foot binding. In Chinese foot binding, a female child’s foot was tightly wrapped in bandages so the foot could not grow properly. There were a few different theories as to the reasons behind this custom, however scholars have suggested that men were erotically excited about the way the woman walked with short steps and swagger. This practice was stopped by the anti-footbinding movement in the 20th century, as it made women prone to paralysis, muscular atrophy, and infection.
Why the attraction to disability? There are many theories. A widespread view is that the attraction results from a lack of success in attracting able-bodied sexual partners and disabled people are seen as 'soft targets.' Others see the attraction as wanting a unique partner, who captures the attention of onlookers, or they may have the desire to be a caretaker. Whatever the reason, it’s a reality, and could create tension among lovers if they are not communicative and honest about their sexual needs. There are many safe ways to explore fetishes, as long as you don’t feel ashamed and represses your fantasies.