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.]
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!