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I think that's great". However, Leah explains that her being empowered and sexy is not in fact what a lot of devotees want to see. They like you to use the words "dead legs", "floppy feet", and "struggling" or any synonym for that. Although she makes videos such as this 'flashing' scene, Leah admits that devotees prefer to see the struggle of disability. Leah receives requests for videos of her doing everyday tasks such as showering, moisturising and getting dressed pictured. Everything's such a drama.

BBC - Ouch! (disability) - Opinion - Hopelessly devotee'd to you

It's not sex they want to see. They want to see disability. Emily is shocked and admits she finds it 'so weird' that the devotees find the disability itself attractive. Charlotte was born missing a hand, and in she discovered that her photo had been taken from Facebook and put on a porn site, where it was receiving obscene comments. She's also seen people photographing her covertly on the train and says she hates the 'voyeurism' and covertness that some devotees engage them, pointing out a video of people secretly filmed in public by someone called the 'cripple hunter'.

Emily's documentary revealed that a lot of disability porn doesn't necessarily show anything overtly sexual as the devotees are often simply turned on by the disability itself, such as an amputated limb pictured. Another example of a picture branded pornographic by devotees simply shows a disabled woman moving around.

Hopelessly devotee'd to you

So they will create fake profiles, pretend to be fellow amputees. It's the emotional damage it does to people when they're at their most vulnerable. She adds that people should think of amputee devotees as being similar in some respects to paedophiles.

Emily speaks to several devotees online who try to give her an insight into why they find disability arousing. Emily wants to better understand what makes devotees tick and starts conversing with them online to figure out what it is about disability they find arousing. I like seeing them move around. I don't feel very good about that. She even goes all the way to New York to meet a male devotee called Gray in person, who meets her on condition that he can remain anonymous.

The married-father-of two's wife is unaware of his interest in disability. Charlotte Fielder pictured left who was awarded an MBE for her work supporting children with upper limb deficiencies, had her Facebook picture stolen and posted on a porn site where it receive obscene comments. I love seeing your feet and your legs. I thought they were very sexy and very nice.

When I was very young I realised I saw women with disabilties different to how other people did. I saw beauty and femininity and other people might feel sorry for them. So there were many older girls with long leg braces or wheelchairs and I thought they were pretty sexy. He recalls falling in love on the first day of eighth grade when a new girl joined his class. One female devotee left told Emily that she often looks at people and thinks she'd have more interest in the if they were paraplegic.

Another man right confesses that his ultimate fantasy is a woman who is a double amputee as he likes the asymmetry. Emily travels to New York to meet a married father called Gray who tells her that her feet and legs are sexy and describes a leg brace as being like a party dress.

As a child he was attracted to older girls who were in wheelchairs or wore leg braces because of polio. While in the US, she meets with novelist Ruth Madison who writes books about devoteeism. Emily seems taken aback when she enters her house to discover a wheelchair by her desk. It kind of gets me in the mood, inspired to write dev stuff.

The one thing that followed immediately was that I knew I couldn't let anybody know. There was something really horribly wrong about this and people would hate me if they knew. Devotee Emily Madison was aware of her interest in disability from a very young age and found watching Mary Poppins a sexual experience because of a scene in which an old man struggles to walk with a cane.

Ruth recalls two significant experiences in childhood which made her realise she was attracted to disability. One was visiting her grandparents in a nursing home and seeing people in wheelchairs. Another was watching the scene in Mary Poppins where an old man called Mr Dawes appears as Mr Dawes is taking Michael and Jane on a tour of the bank where he works. Mr Dawes walks with a cane and struggles to stay on his feet as he makes his way down some steps. It's still sexy, it's deeply imprinted on me,' Ruth admits.

Dr Michael First, professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University, explains that devoteeism is an 'umbrella term'. So it's a manic issue really,' he says. She also admits that she just doesn't find people who are able-bodied attractive and struggled to be aroused by a previous partner when she couldn't see obvious signs of his disability. I don't orgasm without it.

The love life of Amputee Alex and Melissa NIX, a female devotee part 1/4

After the meeting Emily says she feels 'more empowered about the effect it has on others', and decides that she's going to make her own video to experience the reaction from the community first hand. She wants to find out if it makes her feel empowered, feminine and sexy, or simply 'creeped out'. She's previously posted a request online for devotees to tell her what they would want to see in such a video, and has received a huge response. One man tells her: Less clothes as possible. Clear view of feet and legs. Some spasms would be great too. Emily becomes tearful as she admits that the 'lack of performance' required is upsetting.


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Emily decides that she's going to make her own video to experience the reaction from the community first hand. A video of Emily transferring from her wheelchair to her car gets more than views on a porn site, but she decides that she would not want to fetishise her disability. As she prepares for the video, she puts on make up but admits that it's 'pointless' and says it's just to make herself feel good, as she knows everyone will be focused on her feet and legs.

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While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets CSS if you are able to do so. This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving. It's a disability thing. Blog Talk Show Ouch! Facebook Editor's Picks Contact Us. More from Tom Shakespeare. Hopelessly devotee'd to you 24th October It doesn't seem ten years since a group of us wrote The Sexual Politics of Disability, based on interviews with 44 disabled people about sex and relationships.

And in case you're thinking this is the start of another shameless plug, the book is sadly out of print. We hoped then that the book would challenge some taboos about disabled sexuality and lead to change. Well, a decade later not much seems to have happened. For example, Simon Parritt and Disability Now ran an excellent survey of disabled people's views in , to which more than people responded.

Sadly, many of the stories seemed to echo what people had told us in the s.

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Few service providers or charities appear to be addressing the issues around disabled sexuality. Yet for most adults, intimacy and sex are high on their list of goals, and too many disabled people are still excluded - by lack of confidence, by barriers, by poverty, and by prejudice. Because of our book, I regularly get invited to speak about these issues.

This month, I attended an excellent event organised by Different Strokes , where I met the redoubtable Tuppy Owens, who has campaigned consistently to promote disabled people's access to sex for many years: Last week, I took part in an event at New York University, the first of a year-long series of lectures about disabled sexuality organised by the Centre for the Study of Gender and Sexuality. One of my fellow speakers in Manhattan was Jan Garrett, director of Berkeley Centre for Independent Living, who spoke about devotees, who are people, usually male, who have an attraction to amputee women.

Jan, who herself has no limbs, wanted to challenge the prejudice surrounding this aspect of sexuality. Now, I have to put up my hand, and admit that I was previously sceptical about the devotee phenomenon. Even the rare discussions of disabled sexuality tend to be silent about devotees - our book, the Disability Now survey, and even the Outsiders club website hardly mention it. Yet on the internet, there are thousands of websites concerned with sexual attraction to amputees, to people who use callipers or who have other impairments.

The sexual attraction is often quite specific: Jan listed an alphabet of acronyms used by the devotee community, starting with AK above the knee , BK etc. Devotees are well organised. For example, there is a regular national convention in America called Fascination, where devotee men pay the attendance costs of amputee women.

It was there that Jan met her own husband. Of course, sometimes this attraction gets pathological, even abusive. For example, men post photographs of women which they have taken covertly. Sometimes devotees turn up in hospitals, sitting by the bedside of women who have had accidents and amputations. There have also been stories of people getting jobs in the medical or caring professions where they can legitimately spend time with disabled people. But Jan argued that most devotees are not exploitative, and that devotees themselves are eager to prevent these forms of negative behaviour.

She argued that Acrotomophilia the official term for this sexuality is no different from other attractions. For example, some people are attracted to redheads, or to circumcised men, or to Oriental people, or to women with big breasts. As one website suggests: Positive experiences around disabled people in early life may contribute to this impairment attraction.