Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Disabled and Gay Internet Dating &/or Amity


For the past two months I have been looking into several internet dating and/or friendship sites wondering how would I fare as a gay disabled person. I was somewhat circumspect as I pondered whether I might: be completely ignored; or, attract the kind of folk who only have a penchant for physical deformity, or, worse still, the kind of film (movie) psychos who are only out to get their kicks from murdering me! Yep, my imagination went running away with me and took me to irrational places. Nonetheless, I did proceed... cautiously!

[Image description: two male British police-officers walking hand in hand openly in a street; the photo appears to have been manipulated.]

Firstly I tried a nationally advertised dating site for men & women, gay & straight. I was quite clear in my profile description that I was disabled and gay. Rather surprisingly I was inundated with requests from heterosexual womenfolk. To me this seemed a tad sad: that these women are so desperate and/or lonely, that they will try to date a gay man, let alone one who is disabled. I do wonder whether other gay men find this or whether it may have been some atavistic mothering-instinct activating due to my being disabled.
Contrariwise, the men my age seemed terribly reticent about communicating: they would just return over and over again to view my profile even if I made first contact with them. The only guy I actually fancied turned out to be a serving police-officer who only wanted unconditional sex. And my attempts at making any friends proved fruitless. I moved on to another site after three weeks.

This time I plumbed for a men-only site for gay/bisexual/bi-curious guys, one advertised in magazines etc. It really was a bit of an eye-opener as every married, non-out bisexual in the NW seemed to pounce on me wanting sex (even though I had not selected that as one of my options), many with rather daring photographs of themselves that I am not at all sure they would have liked their mothers to have seen! Strange how every last one has been after discretion. Not sure a close-up of their member classes as discreet? Just today I had another one pop up - ay! I assume they think because I am disabled, I will not be able to cause any trouble, or, that I am so desperate I’ll take anything coming my way. Who knows?
However, I have made a couple of pen-pals in Spain, one of whom I am now on friendship (as opposed to acquaintanceship) terms. With the latter I am able to practise my Spanish in real-life conversations and I have broadened and developed my vocabulary.
Whilst Spanish chaps have been most amiable, the residents of another European country have been rather more taciturn. The Austrians are known for fiercely guarding their privacy: but one needs to open up a little in order to befriend others. I speak & write Austrian-German but that has not helped. I am left wondering whether the disability-thing is too unæsthetic for them?
Oddly, the most discomfiting experience on said site has been coming across blokes one knows. Perhaps it is just me, but I find this actually socially embarrassing. Outside of the virtual world one would not ignore them if one saw them; but in cyberspace there appear to be no secrets, and I am not certain I want to know the sexual fantasies, inside leg measurements and proclivities of Tom, Dick and Harry.


[Image description: a smiley face icon.]

Finally, about a fortnight ago, I signed up to a site specifically aimed at developing links to possible friends and/or dates. It’s not the easiest system to navigate; not quite intuitive. Still, I gradually worked it out. Not desperately sure of the etiquette either, as different sites seem to have their own norms of behaviour. I have sent out one or two smiley faces; but thus far no response. However, I’m not yet disheartened, as perhaps, like myself, the members do not go on every day. 
I have been contacted again by both straight men & women even though I have again made it very clear I am homosexual (no option for declaring bisexuality). I have politely pointed out this fact and that no umbrage taken if they do not wish to pursue acquaintanceship. Some guy in Africa decided I was not the type of platonic friend he wanted! Another guy admitted his own developing sexuality, and we’ve continued to chat via the ‘net. Well, after all, it’s all about finding others with whom we feel comfortable, I suppose. 
Of the three sites, I feel most at ease in the third as nearly all the folk are disabled physically and/or mentally, so do not have to explain all that. Unfortunately, the number of gay disabled men on the site is very small and then when one narrows down to those of a similar age, there are even less.
I suppose there is probably a need for a gay/bisexual/bi-curious disabled folk’s contact site. If there is one out there, please let me know!

12 comments:

  1. Hi Colin,

    I just stumbled across your blog this evening. All I can say is thank the lord I'm not alone!!!
    It seems you are currently ambling down the very same paths I have found myself wondering through for the past year or so and no doubt paths that have been well trodden by other gay men with disabilities...but where are they? That is something of a conundrum.

    I have tried both gay dating and the one and only (to my knowledge) UK based gay disabled dating site and found equally frustrating and utterly depressing - the disabled gay dating site in particular, where everyone there seems to have a serious case of cyber twitch- all I get out of the other users is a 'wink'. I picture them all sitting there at their computers clicking the 'wink' option for hours on end. It's terribly sad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps it's the only button they can reach!

      Heigh-ho! Really wish I was not so ill all the time: the things I could do!!!! %D

      Delete
  2. Hi Colin,
    I am a 21 y/o gay disabled man called Dan and reading your observations has made me feel better as I too have found exactly the same thing in the online dating world. People either seem to ignore me entirely or the few that don't (2 in total) seemed to have hidden agendas. One even said I wasn't gay figure that out!! and the other started emailing me abusive messages in capital letters not a great start. I too have signed up to a plethora of different sites both conventional as discribed on tv and the more specific sights but no joy. Thanks for taking the time to put your views out there :-) great to know I'm not the only 1 going through the same stuff in the world hope this finds you well. Best Wishes Dan aka muddywheelsman wordpress

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just realised I did not get back to you, Dan. My apologies. I suffer from dyscognition and have been up to lots this past weekend, including birthday celebrations and the Manchester 50,000+ demo.

      Were I not so busy with #WoWpetition, I should love to set up a dating-site. Expect by the time I get around to it, someone may beat me to it!

      Thanks for commenting.

      %D

      Delete
  3. I have always had a special place in my heart for people with disabilities. People with disabilities have a much harder time than the rest of us. I am a 25 year old gay man from India and as far as i know, I haven't met a disabled Gay man online or offline here. Though i am able bodied, i don't constrict myself to dating able bodied people and have always wanted to date someone with disabilities too. All the international free dating/friendship sites for the disabled are so prejudiced and racist that, being Indian doesn't get me a membership on any. I think this needs to be addressed too, there are people who genuinely want to date/forge friendships with disabled individuals. Aside, very nicely written, my best friend was disabled, but straight. I can almost feel him speaking to me after reading this, he passed away three years back.

    ReplyDelete
  4. to all of you. I'm a disability awareness advocate and have started a website called Hidden Rainbow www.hiddenrainbow.org. Please have a glance and share your story.

    ReplyDelete
  5. disabilitydatinguk disabled dating site to have meeting people with disabiltiies looking for love, friendship and relationships. Providing best disable dating uk service with instant and fast contact

    ReplyDelete
  6. I actually enjoyed reading through this posting. Many thanks.
    Fitzus Free Dating Friendship Community connects our members to health, fitness sports fans 100% Free to join.
    Free dating sites
    totally free dating sites
    100% free online dating
    free single dating
    free online dating

    ReplyDelete
  7. I wonder if you can give me some advice as Im an older gay man with a disability and realising I have got to do something about my identity as its bloody frustrating always hiding. Have you found that able bodied men or disabled men for that matter struggle with themselves and impact their negative feelings on you. Have you found that slowly, slowly catch ye little monkey is the best way - i.e. start a friendship and then let it develop rather than forcing the agenda.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sorry, it's taken me so long to respond, Patrick. Please contact me via email at colinrhunter at-symbol gmail dot com. TY. %)

      Delete
  8. Really enjoyed the post. I posted my profile on a disabled dating site, but since I am not a paid member (because it's way too expensive) I can't contact anyone nor can they contact me. It's pretty useless. I'm surprised at how much these sites charge for premium memberships.
    I have had two lovers that dealt with some form of paraplegia-- one with a partial paralysis from the waist down and another with paraplegia from the chest down. Both were incredible lovers. My first lover of about five years didn't work out because I wasn't ready to "come out." I regret not making a long term commitment to him. He was the best man I have ever dated. The relationship with the second guy didn't work out because I couldn't handle his smoking habit. I have almost given up on finding a man in a wheelchair. Since those two lovers, I have dated non disabled men. Finding men in wheelchairs on dating sites is too much of a hassle so I stick to the walking men. Once I did leave a note on the windshield of a paraplegic man, but he never called me. I didn't even know his sexuality. I just thought he was handsome. I don't have a fetish or anything for paraplegic men, but I think some men in wheelchairs are so sexy, especially because of their approach to intimacy.
    --J
    galeraz9@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete