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The Boys In Our Band

by Peter from N.Y.C.

Yes, we are a band. A special band. We, who are devotees of the amputated woman; of the female with an interesting congenital deformity; of that good-looking lady in the wheelchair. And if she's in that wheelchair, because she has no legs, well--paradise! Heaven. All that one could ask for. A stump instead of an arm as well as no legs? Perhaps a foot where a nose should be? But we each have our own preferences, peculiarities, and sub-species that we fancy along with the all-purpose lady on crutches with an empty pant leg.

Or must it be a skirt? Just at the knee. Or just high enough so that we can catch that glimpse of mid-thigh stump when the wind makes a cooperating gust. Fussy types, aren't we? Like one friend who prefers that it be the left leg that was amputated so he can easily play with the stump while driving. How awful to have to continually reach over the good leg to squeeze. Had he thought of having her drive?

Well to balance off those of us who would only be happy with a double amputee in a chair whose six inch stumps periodically shift around seeking comfort (or a hand to caress them,) let me say that I am much more catholic in my desires, my lusts, my perversion, my fascination. It all fascinates me. The one-legged lady on crutches, of course. An attractive woman with that tell-tale limp; food for dreams. Any woman with a limp is fun to watch, fun to follow. As is a limp arm. And the arm ending in a hook. And the arm that no longer is, an empty sleeve in its place. Then there are the dear ladies who cut the sleeves of their coats short allowing their below elbow stumps to serve as much of a hand as rounded flesh will allow.

I would love to sleep with a woman who's had a mastectomy. I still regret not pursuing Sandra, she was from England, who had lost both a leg and a breast. At age 35, she was a virgin. At age 28, I was too timid to push it a bit more.

Then there are scars. Facial scars are best. They drive me crazy. I love inquiring about them. They should have let women into the German dueling clubs. You know what else I love: a woman missing just part of one finger. An itty-bitty little joint. Eye patches are terrific. As are women missing an eye with an obviously bad prosthesis. Or women whose legs are of different thicknesses, even if they don't limp.

Then we have the combinations. Let's see. One eye gone, a breast, leg off, and two fingers. Yes, that will be fine, thank you. And she should look like Jacqueline Bissett. No? Only an Audrey Hepburn look-alike? I'll take it.

But it doesn't end there. I like small hanging breasts. And small women. Tiny. Petite. Spinners, as a friend calls them. (It took me a bit to figure that one out.) Frankly, it never stops. In its purest, simplest terms, I adore flawed beauty. I worship it.

I am often asked why I didn't marry an amputee. First of all, I never found one I would want to spend my life with. There exist a few candidates I know of who are either married, or circumstances prevented it before I married. One favorite spoke no English. That's okay in movies, but gets tiresome after a few meals together. I have some regrets, perhaps. I think they are the regrets of green grass on another side.

I also think my wife and kids provide stability to my life. Were I single, I would spend all my time in malls or rehab centers or cruising limb shops waiting, watching, searching, hunting. I love the thrill of the hunt, and believe it has more value than the capture. The three times I've been with several female amputees, I got no particular rise. Let me catch that unexpected glimpse, and my heart pounds as I go in frenzied pursuit.

A life spent on the hunt would prove marginally rewarding and ultimately destructive. Now I can enjoy those brief highs, and relish the occasional capture. God bless crowded streets in big cities, or malls at Christmas time. Time and patience are the only necessary requirements. And a place to sit. It's been rewarding in a variety of ways.

So far I have treated the objects of our fascination as just that: objects. Are we being fair to women with physical differences? Can we get away with saying "some guys like big boobs, I like missing fingers?" Is the comparison valid? Most women with big boobs enjoy that asset. Do women whose legs end in stumps enjoy their stumps equally? Is our attraction any consolation? Boobs are not like stumps. Stumps bleed. They get sore. They hurt. Amputation is a disfigurement. It is embarrassment. It is anguish. It is inconvenience. It means learning to cope with a handicap. It becomes its own way of life. Some people handle it well. Some people cope. Some never recover from the trauma. Most do not enjoy it. I will not touch upon self-mutilation or those wishing to be amputees. That, too, exists. But then everything exists.

Ideally, I want the object of my affection to know I enjoy her special physical difference. It is what turns me on at first glance. It is what made me talk to her, usually a stranger, in the first place. I did not wish the deformity upon her. I did not cause it. It is her, and it is what I love. I have come along after the fact.

I want to find the amputated woman bright, fun, interesting, attractive and "hep." If she is all of these, the physical flaw is still the best part of the package. Deformity does come first. Fact. A beautiful, able-bodied woman is not asked to dance by a stranger because of her brains.

I would wish to God for me, for the boys in our band, that each woman with a difference would come to accept her uniqueness, and that she enjoys it the way a pretty woman enjoys being pretty. This is her reality, and it won't change. A stump stroked will stay a stump forever. However, it is a stump enjoyed for whatever it is, for whatever it means, by one sub-culture in our population.

Unfortunately, my wishes to God won't change much. There is no way I can convince a woman in a wheelchair that she is like everybody else. She may play tennis, but she will never beat an average player with two legs. She must grapple with her own reality. She must accept what she can, in whichever way she can. She can suffer from her condition or ignore it or pretend it doesn't exist. It is a complex problem dealt with differently by each person. It has nothing to do with my desires. It does have to do with her acceptance of her reality and mine.

For those ladies who fall into the broad category of "object-of-our-fascination," but who are either turned off or argue that we, the able-bodied, can never understand what is really cooking inside their hearts and souls, I offer my experience with being physically different.

Two years ago I had an accident. The net result was the loss of part of an eye, with a plastic shell in its place. There is some movement, and cosmetically it looks great. I am marginally self-conscious. It does get irritated and I have frequent discharges which I must wipe away with a kleenex. A nuisance, albeit a minor one. I crushed my heel, and limp when tired. My right leg is skinnier than my left. Ah, sweet revenge. Were I to see a woman with one or all of my conditions, I'd go crazy. How do I feel about it? Pretty good, actually. I am waiting to use the line "Gee, you limp better than I do." When I go to the ocularist (the eyeball version of a prosthetist) I am always excited about possibly meeting some young lovely waiting to get her artificial eye oiled and lubed.

How would I feel about a woman asking me to take my eye out when we make love? Ladies, try me. Granted none of what is wrong with me compares to the trauma of having a limb missing. As one lady told me, she couldn't believe it had happened to her. It is the most terrible thing imaginable.

However, I have insight into the deeper levels amputees must feel about their physical problem. As part of my accident, I also had a craniotomy. Part of my skull was crushed, and it left me with quite a severe dent above my eye. It looked pretty bad. However, I didn't let it bother me. There were no activities or social functions from which I retreated. Of course I knew how I looked, and it was different. I surmise I might have lost one assignment (I'm a writer) because of it, but there is no way of knowing for certain. However, I knew all along the dent would be corrected. I knew it would only happen about a year after the original surgery.

The day I lost that assignment, about 10 months after my accident, I called my neurosurgeon and said now was a good time to have the cranioplasty. Within a day he agreed to do the surgery, set up hospital admittance and scheduled the operation. For someone who did not let his facial disfigurement bother him, let me tell you dear friends, I was flying. I could not believe how happy and relieved I was. Perhaps it was the happiest moment of my life.

Of course, what this tells me is that I was repressing my true feelings about how I looked. I was coping. When I knew I could be made whole again, I let go of my coping mechanism and let ecstasy take its place. The reverse must be true when someone learns they can not be made whole (or when it is first learned the limb must come off.) Coping mechanisms are replaced by tears and bitterness, until such times as the ability to cope fights its way back.

My thesis is that any amputee, every object of our fascination, no matter how well adjusted or how well she copes, would love nothing more than to be made whole again. It cannot happen the way I was brought back with mesh and plastic compound to replace skull bone. Lurking under every happy exterior of a lovely amputee must be that secret gnawing wish and prayer to be restored to all body parts.

Have my feelings toward amputees changed? Not one bit. I am as crazy about them as ever. If anything, I will take advantage of my missing eye, if and when I can. I use it as an entree to establishing a meeting with a good looking woman on the street who tickles my fancy.

There is one question we who are fascinated ask each other and ask ourselves. Would we be better off not having the fascination? Would our lives be calmer if we liked our women whole and unflawed? What would we prefer? While we cannot really change how we feel any more than a woman can grow her leg back, I would have to say that it has made my life more enjoyable than if my preferences were otherwise. Being a person looking for that wonderful flaw, I can walk up and down the street hoping something special will be coming the other way, or around the corner, or waiting for the bus. My eyes scan like radar. And when I see someone! Skyrockets. It is a feeling those not in the band cannot imagine. It is a feeling that the objects of our fascination cannot understand, anymore than I can understand why a man would prefer a man to a woman.

Over the years, some women have said they were very pleased to be looked at as sex objects despite their flaws. Others are truly turned off. I tend to be open about these things. Talking about the fascination with an amputee is part of the fun of it all. Would I change any of it? None of it. Not one bit. I wouldn't mind a slight improvement in my sightings-per-thousand ratio, however. The hunt is fun, but a little less effort would be appreciated.

I suppose most of us have tried to analyze what causes our particular fascination. I am certain that it does not stem out of perfectly normal, healthy upbringing. What the problems are, I don't know. Can it be part of our body chemistry? That, too, I don't know. Are we all men who feel inferior, and having relations with women who have been "cut down to our size" allows us to function well? Perhaps. Do we enjoy seeing women punished? Perhaps. Do we have a sense of superiority by being juxtaposed with someone flawed? Perhaps. Do we feel a handicapped woman is easier to seduce? Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps. Perhaps. But who knows and I'd rather invest my money in the hunt than trying to get answers or get cured. As one dear friend said, "Don't analyze it. Don't worry about it. Sit back and enjoy it."

As a side bar to the discussion of what causes our fascination, let me add one additional fact which I find fascinating. A semi-distant cousin married an amputee. After the wedding, I ran his name through some friends in the band, and it came up positive. I have yet to confront him with my being aware of his secret, but one day I will. We are not particularly close, and that will make it easier. I don't know if his wife knows, but as he has several books about amputees in his library, I imagine he's talked about it to her. Is the fascination hereditary? Imagine my boys bringing home amputee girlfriends.

I must say the interest shown by such magazines as the National Enquirer or "Real People"-type TV shows in amputees and their achievements leads me to believe that there is a broad, general fascination in the different and unusual. We need only recall freak shows at the circus, or the stares most people with physical disabilities must endure from the average person on the street.

I suppose it's time to wrap up my journey. There is no particular conclusion as there should be to any article. I have no great summation or words of wisdom to impart. I will still go on chasing those with missing limbs, small breasts, or those women called spinners (figured it out yet?)

I only ask you, dear readers who are not fascinated, but are the objects of our fascination, that you understand our particular perversion. Enjoy it with us if you can. It is not meant badly. It can open the doors of your world to a new experience.

While not all the players in our band are interesting or fun or desirable or whatever it is that you might be looking for, enough are that the experience does pay off in small and sometimes big rewards. I did introduce one fascinator with a fascinatee, she of the rather perfect one-legged kind. She wanted nothing to do with the fascination at first. With time she came to understand what it was all about, and freed herself from her aversion to this unique attraction so that the fascinator and fascinatee got married, and are living happily ever after. My wish for all of us is similar good fortune!

Don't analyze it. Don't worry about it. Sit back and enjoy it.

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