A couple of months ago, I noticed that one of my new Twitter followers described himself in his profile as a “plaster cast fetishist.”
I didn’t really understand why he was interested in me -- although I’ve spent time in a plaster cast, it had long gone by the time he started following me.
Then I checked his Tweets and I realised that he wasn’t just into plaster casts, but also but into girls on crutches and in wheelchairs. He even said in some, he’d be happy for a girl in a wheelchair to spend the day shopping on his credit card -– as long as he could join her, of course.
Suddenly it all made sense -- however, I didn't see any penis pics on his profile, so I decided not to block him. [Is this always the benchmark for your Twitter followers ]
A few weeks ago, I changed my profile pic, into the one I used for the pride gallery. This evoked a response:
“May I ask what you're in the chair for?” he tweeted. I was a little offended at this -– he’d been following me for a while now, but clearly hadn’t read any of my tweets, or any of my pieces on xoJane. But I didn’t really know how to respond to him, either.
So, I did a shout out on twitter and Facebook -- “What should I say to this fetishist guy?,” which, inevitably, got some pretty funny responses.
Somewhere along the line, Rebecca joined in and mentioned that there had never been a plaster cast fetishist on the site, so we started discussing the possibility of me interviewing him.
I was reluctant to give out my personal details to someone who had a fetish involving my wheelchair; however, I could get around this by setting up a separate email address just for this.
Apart from anything else, I was really curious to what would make someone fetishise wheelchairs and casts (or crutches -- in my years on crutches I have been approached by several disability fetishists as well).
Something really weird must have happened to him to make him like that, right?
And anyway, how would chatting with him really be so different from chatting with any other person that might be in to you?
I was aware that interviewing him would probably mean he was going to incorporate me into his fantasies, but on the other hand, he already had wheelchair pics of me from Twitter, so he had probably already done that.
So, as I reasoned with myself, if he was getting that out of me, I wanted to get something out of him as well -– a good interview, and a better understanding of what makes wheelchair fetishists tick.
We arranged an interview, via MSN messenger (the preferred mode of communication for wheelchair fetishists -– although he did try to lure me into a chat room for a while), and I felt really okay with it. Until the actual day of the interview, then I got really nervous.
However, as soon as we started, I relaxed. I didn’t expect him to seem so normal. In fact, if he hadn't been living in another country, he might have well made it in my circle of acquaintances.
He is about my age, works in a sector where lots of people I know work, and he even got a phone call from his parents during our interview. We had enough in common that we could have been friends -- maybe I would have considered him as a potential boyfriend.
Then the fetish talk started. I wasn't fazed about him renting wheelchairs and going out in them, I wasn't particularly amazed when he said that being interviewed by me aroused him, and when he said he had jerked off on my photo, all I thought was, “Well, at least he isn't lying about it.”
He told me some pretty weird stuff, stuff beyond my imagination (maybe I’m not that imaginative!), but what really got me were his views on disability.
It's not like I cannot imagine people having feelings for wheelchairs, as odd as this may sound. My wheelchair is like a second skin, it fits me so well, it supports me in all the places I need support and it gives me room to move freely both in my chair and wíth my chair.
I also think there is a certain elegance in moving around in a wheelchair, much in the way there is elegance in ice skating, But most importantly, whenever I'm in my chair, it becomes a part of me, like a body part.
Just as I would expect someone who is really into me, to be into all my body parts, I would also expect that person to be into my wheelchair, because it is a part of me.
But this guy gets off on immobility, and this is what he associates a wheelchair, or crutches or braces with.
To me, they're what make me mobile. I feel strong when I'm in a wheelchair, that's why, even though I can walk, I will mostly post pictures of me using my chair.
He said one of his fantasies was spending the day with a woman in a wheelchair, pushing her, “bringing her happiness by letting her feel that someone cares for her, spoils her and finds her super attractive, because she is less mobile.”
He said he knew it was weird that he gets off on something that means misery for the person it’s happening to. He said he could imagine falling in love with someone in a wheelchair, like this makes him special.
That is so not how I see myself, or who I am. I don't need someone to take me on fun days out or bring happiness to my life, I perfectly capable of creating my own happiness. My life, my disability, is not misery, it just is.
He also told me that he was a sensitive guy, who wanted to do some good in the world. Did he tell me this because he suspected it might appeal to me, or because it was true?
I don’t know how much of what he said was just to please me (he certainly had a motive to impress me), or trying to virtually seduce me. Either way, I’ll never know. The very nature of his fetish means that I don't ever want to get in contact with him again and that I now will be blocking him on Twitter.
He gets off on my perceived weakness, and that makes me feel vulnerable.