The Mercy F*&%k
& Other Ablelist Sexual Encounters:
Yep. All of us sexually active disabled folks (and even some who aren’t sexually active) have, at some point in our crip lives been approached by the “mercy fuck” energy. Usually it comes from arrogant able-bodied men who harbor the idea that disabled people are undesirable and therefore are always desperate for an able-bodied lay. Don’t get me wrong. Sex with an able-bodied lover is such a delicious treat, simply because it is one of the things we were forced to believe will never happen or will never happen again. It is also great because able-bodied lovers just make sex “easier”. However, the deliciousness of having sex with an able-bodied lover does not mean we put ourselves out there like emotional pan-handlers who are sexually starved. The truth is sex happens. It happens all the time between crips and otherwise. It happens by ourselves. It happens at all levels of our experience as sexual beings. Still, there are men out there who justify their “promiscuous curisiosity” with the excuse of “I’m doing her a favor” attitude without taking into account the person’s feelings or the fact that going beyond the sexual experience with someone with a disability might actually be rewarding. The “Mercy Fuck” is just the top layer of ablelism as it relates to the sexual experiences of people with disabilities.
My personal experience as a woman and as a disabled lover has led me to come up with a list of twenty-five(25) ablelist common scenarios that disabled women (and sometimes men) encounter when getting sexually involved with a random able-bodied lover. Although each one could be explained in great detail (and might do so in the future), for the sake of sharing in this blog, I briefly explain each one and invite readers to share their own observations about any of these. As a lover with a disability have you been subjected to any of these? Has language used to refer to your body been the kind that insinuates sexual pity, curiosity, entitlement, abusive power or offensive words? Sometimes we may not even realize when our bodies and our disabilities are being objectified because we have gotten accustomed to either pretending it didn’t happen or excusing them in the name of love. Our own internalized ablelism is something we sometimes use to protect ourselves from the things that would, otherwise, be too painful to deal with.
So, here it is: The Mercy Fuck & Other Ablelist Sexual Encounters
- The Mercy Fuck-
As identified above, the Mercy Fuck is the idea that a nondisabled person is being sexually charitable by having casual sex with a disabled person. Thinking of women this way feeds the monsters of sexism that plague our society, but also promotes the damaging idea that people with disabilities can be sexually objectified because, after all, without the Mercy Fuck, we wouldn’t get laid. This is a dangerous and abusive way of looking at intimacy with another human being. Yet, I have known many men to engage in such practices and justify them behind such idiotic rationalizations.
- The Pity Fuck
Similar to the Mercy Fuck, but worse because pity implies degrading a human being to a level of unworthiness that is beyond words. Having sex with somebody because you feel sorry for them makes the person who believes this the one worthy of pity. No matter what our disability may be, we NEVER deserve pity towards our sexual needs. We should never give ourselves sexually to somebody who sees us through the lens of pity. In our quest to intimacy and sexuality, we as disabled people must learn to recognize the ablelist ignorance behind some of the experiences we encounter.
- The Experimental Fuck
Many nondisabled people are curious to sleep with a crip just to see what it’s like and to see if a disabled body is capable of pleasure. Although ridiculous in its nature, this one of the most common ablelist sexual encounters we find in our collective experience as disabled folks.
- The Badge of Honor Fuck
Some men think that having sex with a disabled lover makes them a better person. It is almost as if they reserved a spot in heaven or done the biggest good deed of all times. Beware of such men. They are looking to making themselves feel good and look good.
- The Closeted Fuck
This is, perhaps, one of the most emotionally painful ones. This is the lover who seems to really be into you when you’re alone, but will go out of his way to deny anything to do with you in public. Being a secret in somebody’s life is painful, but it is especially painful when you know he keeps you as a secret because he’s ashamed of your disability and too afraid of what people might think or say.
- The “I Dared To Fuck A Cripple” Fuck
This one often applies to young and immature people who think they have to prove something to their buddies in order to fit in. Those who engage in this practice usually laugh and ridicule the experience but take pride in having the “balls” to carry through with it as if sex with a disabled person was something “disgusting”.
- The Bucket List Fuck
This refers to those who have sex with a disabled person just to be able to say they’ve done it and cross it off their bucket list as something they would probably not try again.
- The Triple Minority Fuck
To take advantage of the opportunity to experience having sex with a disabled woman of color and then claim to be open minded because she represents three different minority groups.
- The Trophy Fuck
Those who have sex with a disabled lover just so they can brag about being a compassionate giving person. Similar to the badge of honor fuck but more for “bragging rights”.
- The Bully Fuck
To have sex with a disabled person because you’ve been bullied into it. Sadly, the experience is abusive on both ends. The person who is being bullied into the sexual act is also a victim. Bullying is a serious problem among young people and especially so young people with disabilities. Hence the need for open and honest communication about sex and sexuality -something often denied to people with disabilities.
- The Empty Fuck
This one refers to men who have sex with a disabled person assuming that the disabled body does not have the ability to give or receive sexual pleasure. Such attitudes often lead to careless and disconnected sex that ignores all other aspects of a person’s humanity.
- The Cripless Fuck
From the crip perspective, I simply use this one as a way to sarcastically refer to “sex with a nondisabled person” and , when able-bodied people have sex with each other, it would also be a cripless fuck
- The Honest Fuck
The “Honest Fuck” should be a good thing. After all, honesty tends to be good. Right? Except in this case, the honest fuck comes with the kind of “honesty” that exposes painful ignorance towards our disabled bodies. For example, somebody who cringes at the sight of our nakedness. Or somebody who openly compares us to their able-bodied experiences.
- The Religious Fuck
This one refers to the good hearted Christian who sleeps with a disabled person and tries to either convert her or “heal” her afterwards.
- The Rebellious Fuck
The rebellious fuck is one committed as an act of revenge. It is intended to be an insult or to make somebody look bad. Sadly, there are those who consider having sex with a disabled person to be so taboo that they use it to embarrass their family or to appear “outrageous”.
- The “Innocent” Fuck
Sadly, the “Innocent Fuck” refers to sexual abuse that often goes unnoticed by the victim because she/he has not had the opportunity to learn about positive sexuality and the body ownership needed to know the difference between abusive relationships and healthy ones. The Innocent Fuck also refers to people whose cognitive disabilities may prevent them from properly understanding when sexual abuse is taking place.
- The “I once fucked a cripple” Fuck
Incredibly as it may seem, there are those who think they know everything there is to know about being with a disabled lover because he once dated a girl with a disability. This also refers to a sense of entitlement that seems to come along with having fucked a cripple once. Men of this type will feel easy making sexual advances and are usually pretty open about them. The good thing is that we learn early enough who they are so we can make an informed and empowered decision whether to get involved or not.
- The “better than nothing” Fuck
Yes. There are those kinds of encounters when an able-bodied person will initiate sexual contact with us, but act as if they are being cheated by not being with an able-bodied partner.
- The Runaway Fuck
This is the kind of lover who wants to get it over with as quickly as possible and then pretend like nothing happened.
- The Tunnel Vision Fuck
This is the able-bodied lover who tells you that you are the only woman with a disability he has ever been with and would never consider other disabled women as possible sex partners. He says these things without even realizing the ablelism behind his words.
21. The Politically Correct Fuck
This is the kind of lover who wants to make sure he knows “what to call you” and spends time trying to become familiar with politically correct ways of referring to your body instead of the heat of the moment.
- The Attitudinal Barrier Fuck
This is the kind of intimacy that only happens once because although the sex itself is great, the values and core ethics of the person imply ablelism beyond the scope of ignorance.
- The Mindless Fuck
This is the lover who engages physically with the sole purpose of self-satisfaction. They can be easily recognized by the distant emotional state in which they operate during sex.
- The Medical Model Fuck
The Medical Model Fuck refers to the lover who 1) thinks your involvement with his able-bodiness is what makes you whole; 2) Tries to make you appear less disabled during sex, and 3)gives you compliments that as a disabled person should be interpreted as an insult, for example suggesting how beautifully the shawl conceals a scar…..or subtly suggesting that you need to be fixed because you are broken as a lover.
- The Devoted Fuck
These are men who have fetishes toward specific disabilities. Typically amputees, but there are also those who prefer other disabilities. The majority of devotees, as they call themselves, live married lives to average women and keep their “attraction” hidden from their families, but there are also some who live openly revealing their attraction in hopes of landing a relationship with a disabled woman. This is, of course, not the case for every one of these men, but the majority of them are first attracted to the disability or the aspect of the woman’s disability and then to the person herself. Before getting involved with a devotee,you should be prepared to accept this part of who he is because it will NOT change.