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Dr. Dick on Demand: The Amputee Devotee

Dr. Dick on Demand: The Amputee Devotee
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This week, Dr. Dick investigates acrotomophilia; or, in other words, the amputee fetish.

  Acrotomophilia

Let’s begin with a definition. There is a fetish, or a paraphilia, if you prefer, called acrotomophilia, or amputee love. It’s relatively rare, but there is a sizable Internet presence. You need only do a search for “amputee love” to get you started. These folks, often called devotees, are turned on by the limbless among us.

Here’s an interesting phenomenon, with the spike in seriously disabled vets returning from our numerous war zones and the media attention they’re getting these days—thanks to the inadequate care some are receiving at our nation’s veteran’s hospitals—this fetish is growing by leaps and bounds.

A couple of weeks ago, I was part of a conversation with a group of gay men. We were discussing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the horrific images we were seeing on the tube. Without missing a beat, a couple of the men in the group turned our attention to the number of totally hot young vets they were seeing on TV. Sure they had missing limbs, but for some in the group that made them even hotter. A couple other guys were going on and on about how they wanted to service these returning service men, if ya catch my drift.

Instead of this conversation weirding out the whole group, as I thought it would, most of the guys were getting all into it. I was being quizzed about the sexual issues, of course. Does an amputation affect a guy’s ability to get it up as well as other such sexual concerns? What amazed me so was that here was a group of men who would otherwise be put off by a guy with a bad haircut now fetishizing seriously disabled vets. Then I thought to myself, OMG! I am watching the birth of a gaggle of nascent devotees. That, my friend, is how all fetishes begin.

I realize that you must be facing enormous hurdles to regain your sense of self after the disfigurement and amputation you’ve endured. It hardly seems fair to throw yet another curveball your way. But, as we all know, life is supremely unfair. I suspect that you’re currently feeling enough like an oddity without some chick—even a sizzling hot one—coming on to you because of what you’ve lost. And that’s why I suggest you withhold judgment about all of this until you have a bit more information about this particular fetish and its practitioners.

Many amputees go through life without ever meeting a devotee. Others have intimate experience with these fetishists. One thing’s for sure—a devotee’s interest in you may creep you out, but at least their interest is honest and sincere. They are not like most of the other well-meaning people you’ll meet in your life. A devotee will not pity or patronize you. Devotees, curiously enough, see you as more whole and desirable than those who have no missing parts. In other words, devotees are hot for you because of how you are. This is no “let’s pity fuck the gimp” thing. I know this can be mind-bending, but I hope you can see there’s a fundamental difference between the two.

Some amputee/devotee relationships are long-term, marriage and children included. Others are more recreational in nature. I suppose, if you have your head screwed on right, you’ll be able to discern what might be best for you—if any of this appeals to you. Actually, in this realm, you’re absolutely no different than your non-injured peers trying to make sense of how love, sex and intimacy fit together.

I know that some amputees are put off by devotees. They’re indignant that someone would objectify them for their stumps, and not accept them as human beings first. Well, ya can hardly argue with that, can ya? But in reality, all of us do our share of objectifying. What about all the guys who flock around the blonde with the big rack? You know they only see her tits and not her brain. Is the amputee/devotee thing any different? I think not.

You know how you are doing all this physical therapy to regain your ability to walk and run with your new bionic leg? Well, there’s probably as much emotional and psychological therapy you need to do to adapt yourself to your new self. Part of this psychological adjustment may be embracing and celebrating the fact that you are now an object of desire for a whole new group of folks.

So okay, your hotness is not the same hotness you may have had pre-Iraq, but it’s hotness nonetheless. You may not yet appreciate how a person could be sexually attracted to another person simply because of an amputation. Hell, the devotee may not even know why he or she is wired this way, but that don’t make it any less a fact. The confusion that can result from these desires or being the object of these desires can often sabotage a perfectly viable amputee/devotee sexual relationship.

Acrotomophilia, like all fetishes or paraphilias, is learned behavior. Some devotees recall early childhood erotically charged encounters with women or men who were amputees. But just as plausible is that the fetish could have begun like the story I recounted at the beginning of my response—a group of people fantasizing about sex with a hot vet, who happens to be an amputee. You can see how just a little of that highly charged erotic reinforcement could turn anyone into a devotee. So it’s not that mysterious after all.

I realize you didn’t choose this for yourself. But, for the most part, none of us is really in charge of what we eroticize, or what others eroticize about us. I know I nearly went to pieces the first time someone referred to me as a daddy. It wasn’t till I came to grips with the fact that I was no longer a young man, but that younger men might find me desirable, that the whole daddy thing settled in with me.

What you do with all this information, Cade, if anything, is completely up to you. Will you embrace your new bionic hotness and let it take you for a ride? Or will you resist? Either way, at least you’ll be a bit more informed about “what gives with this shit.”

Good luck!

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