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One-Legged Stardom

by Carol Davis

Warning : Carol Davis' website "Amputees Are Beautiful" and CR Productions are now closed. However, we consider that her story remains compelling enough to have its place on this site.

Introduction

Carol Davis There is really nothing very interesting about the story behind my becoming an amputee. I wasn't stalked and maimed by a crazed attacker who blew my leg off with a shotgun. I wasn't involved in an accident where doctors worked feverishly to save my mangled leg. No, all that it was that made me a member of this unique "sorority of one-legged ladies" was a losing bout with cancer.

Actually, I should refer to it as a winning bout with cancer, as I'm still here - writing this - 15 years after it all happened.

My name is Carol, and as I mentioned, I'm an amputee. My left leg ends abruptly in a stump about six inches long. It took me a long time to feel comfortable referring to it as my stump and I used to simply call it my "little leg". But a lot has changed since those early days of adjusting as an amputee, and I've learned about many new things. One of the things I've learned was the fact that many men find amputees to be extremely attractive because of their missing limb, not just in spite of it.

Although I've had my story told in another publication about six years ago, that was before I began producing videos about amputees for those men who find amputees to be especially attractive. This is the story about my experiences of "stardom" after corresponding with thousands of men about their attraction to amputees and what I've learned about the men who share this attraction.

My Life before the Amputation

I am the oldest of five children and the only girl. My younger brothers were all very athletic, and it was natural for me to be interested in physical fitness. Before I lost my leg, I was quite active and enjoyed all sorts of sports, including skiing, swimming, bicycling, and ice and roller skating. I was on my college swim team, and I received several medals for my efforts in the free-style and back-stroke.

After college I got a job teaching math and science. I began dating a fellow teacher whom I had been car-pooling with. Things seemed to go well, and we were married two years later. We were happy together and although we had our differences, for the most part we got along quite well.

It was in the summer of 1978 when my husband and I took a cross-country driving trip to the west coast. During the trip I noticed that my left knee became stiff after a few hours in the car. At the time I had been exercising heavily, both working out at the health club and bicycling ten to twenty miles every day. So when my leg started to hurt I figured that I must have pulled a muscle which may have been aggravated by being cramped up in the car for long periods of time, and I didn't worry too much about it.

But after our trip, my knee didn't get better. It got worse. Not only was my regular exercise routine of jumping rope painful, but just moving around became a chore. Climbing stairs was particularly difficult. My leg became so weak and sore that climbing stairs made me feel very old. I remember thinking that I felt like a cripple.

I decided to see my doctor about my left knee. My doctor referred me to a circulation specialist who couldn't find anything wrong. I was referred to four different doctors before one of them ran a battery of tests. He thought he saw something in an X-ray and recommended I have a biopsy. He didn't seem too concerned, so I didn't worry either.

A week later the doctor called to say the results were back from the lab and that I should come in for a consultation. In his office, he told me he wasn't too sure about what the results meant, and recommended that I go to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston for further testing. He said that "Mass General" had doctors which were more specialized in this area. I agreed, and he set up an appointment.

In Boston, the doctors repeated all the tests that my doctor performed. These tests took a week, and on Friday, with my husband and mother present, my doctor finally told me what was wrong. I had a malignant bone tumor in my knee, the same cancer as Ted Kennedy, Jr. had developed. I was told that the recommended treatment was chemotherapy, after amputation of the affected leg. Mine was to be amputated at mid-thigh.

For some reason I was not terribly stunned by the doctor's news. After a week of being poked and prodded by a team of seven doctors, I felt a growing feeling that something was seriously wrong. So, although the news was bad, it didn't surprise me that much.

I was told I had a choice - that I could decide not to have my leg amputated. But I was also told that without amputation, there was little chance that I would live longer than a year or so. My doctor said one of his patients with the same type of cancer had died less than two years after refusing to have her arm amputated. He told me that losing a leg wouldn't be as bad as it seemed - that I would be able to lead an otherwise normal life.

Only One Choice to Make

My choice was clear. I wanted to live, even if it meant losing my leg. I gave my consent to the surgery, which was to be performed the first thing Monday morning. That night and for the rest of the weekend, I kept thinking about what was going to happen on Monday morning. I kept looking down at my legs and wiggling my toes. As I fell asleep I would try to imagine what it would be like to have only one foot - what it would feel like not to have a left knee, ankle, and foot. I spent a lot of time thinking about this over the next two days.

Monday morning arrived and my husband and mother walked beside me as I was wheeled to the operating room area of the hospital. Here I waited alone in the hallway, lying on my back, waiting for the operating room to be made ready. I remember waiting a long time - then it finally hit me. They were really going to amputate my leg. I was going to wake up with my leg gone! I began to cry. A nurse who was passing by in the hallway apparently heard me crying and stopped by my bed. She glanced through the papers at the end of my bed which contained information regarding the surgical procedure, then slowly put them down. She seemed to understand what was going through my mind. She said nothing, but with the understanding that only a mother could have, she patted me on the head and held my hand. It seemed to console me. In addition, after several minutes of crying, my nose had been getting very stuffed up. I was concerned that my stuffed-up nose might cause complications with the anesthesia, so I made an effort to stop crying, and I was pretty well calmed down by the time the nurses came for me.

They wheeled me into a small room and put an I.V. needle in my arm. Then I remember them moving me into the brightly lit operating room and I was lifted onto the table. I remember seeing a nurse injecting something into the I.V. and I found myself rapidly losing consciousness.

My New Life as an Amputee

When I woke up I was in a lot of pain. It felt as if someone was pinching and twisting my toes and pulling my foot as hard as they could. I had a pinching feeling in my calf, too. It was almost unbearable.

For the next few days, I drifted in and out of consciousness. Every four hours I was given morphine injections, and it felt wonderful as the drug spread though my body, seeming to dissolve the pain. After a few days, the pain slowly subsided and the doctors began substituting other pain killers for the morphine. However, I still felt as if something was twisting and pulling at my toes and foot and pinching my calf. I tried to reposition my left foot to get more comfortable in the bed, but my foot wouldn't move. It was a strange sensation because I could feel my toes, my foot, and my ankle cramped in a very uncomfortable position. I had to look under the bedsheet because it was so hard to believe that my leg was really gone! What I saw under the sheet was a heavily bandaged area where my left leg had been. It was strange - even as I looked at it and could see where my leg now stopped, I could feel my entire leg - my foot, ankle, and even my toes.

Some may find it hard to believe, but I was up and walking a few days after my amputation. The doctors had put a plaster cast over the bandage and attached a metal pylon to the cast. With the aid of crutches, which I had been already using to keep the weight off of my knee before the operation, I was able to walk on the pylon. I learned to get around fairly quickly although the cast was bulky and had to be attached with an uncomfortable velcro waist belt to hold it on.

I remember very clearly the day my doctor took off my bandage to remove the sutures. I had no idea what my stump was going to look like. I didn't look down until he had removed the sutures. What I saw was very swollen, and the skin was soft and kind of puffed out between the stitches, so the end was bumpy, with kind of a scalloped outline rather than a smooth curve. My stump was about six inches long. I laughed and told him "At least you could have stitched it straight." He seemed shocked that I would joke about it - but after a few seconds he laughed, too.

I was in the hospital a total of six weeks. After the amputation, every day I went for physical therapy and training for new amputees. I was taught to wrap my stump to shrink it down for a prosthesis. I lifted weights and worked out on a machine to strengthen my upper body. I also did exercises on a floor mat to strengthen my leg. One of the exercises called for me to lie on my back while a physical therapist would apply downward pressure on my stump and I would try to lift it. It wasn't long before I could lift my stump effortlessly, and no amount of pressure by the physical therapist could hold my stump to the mat. I was surprised to find that my stump became so strong. My therapist told me that my stump needs to be strong if I was to be able to use a prosthesis well. One of the hardest parts of physical therapy was negotiating stairs: going down stairs the first time on crutches terrified me.

It took me a while to adjust to my new body without a left leg. The day I was discharged from the hospital, my parents drove me home and helped me up the steps to my front door. Unfortunately, the storm door was locked from the inside, and I waited, standing outside leaning on my crutches while my parents went around the back to open the door for me. When they opened the front door, I stepped forward - with my missing left leg! I just stuck my stump out and toppled over. I fell hard, putting my hand through the glass storm door cutting my hand badly. This was a very natural mistake to make. I could still feel my leg, and in the excitement of arriving home I just forgot that it wasn't really there. I was embarrassed at having done such a dumb thing, but after having spent six weeks in the hospital, I wasn't about to go back for such a stupid mistake, so I wrapped my hand in a towel until the bleeding stopped.

My Real Trials Begin

After leaving the hospital I began two years of chemotherapy. It was far worse than the amputation. Three days after my first treatment, all of my hair fell out. My hair fell out twice in the next two years, but that was nothing compared to the nausea and weakness which I experienced.

And there was something else troubling me: My husband was acting differently toward me. Sure, he was very sympathetic and supportive through my entire ordeal. But it was clear that my amputation had changed our relationship. Our sex life ended when my leg was removed. He couldn't accept the way my body looked. He wouldn't even talk about it. I can't say for sure that my amputated leg was the only reason he didn't find me desirable any more, but it was certainly a major factor.

My husband began to stay out late and drink a lot. He didn't want to look at me anymore. I talked to a few doctors about this and they said that I should give it some time - that he'll probably get over it. He never did, and we divorced three years later. My husband had always told me that one of the reasons he married me was because of my "great legs", and he just couldn't accept the fact that now I had only one, and would need to use crutches or a prosthesis for the rest of my life.

My husband's reaction to my amputation had emotionally scarred me very deeply. After our divorce, as I was getting undressed one evening, I looked in the mirror at my lop-sided body and my stump hanging out of the left side of my panties and thought about how ugly he must have found it. I understood that he could not change the way he felt about my appearance with only one leg and an ugly stump, any more than I could grow my leg back. I thought that it would be all but impossible to ever again enter into a relationship with a man. I felt that I was an incomplete woman - that no man could ever desire my body again. Luckily, I was wrong.

My family and friends adapted to my amputation much better than my husband did. At first they felt sorry for me and wanted to do everything for me. I convinced them that I wasn't helpless and that I could do things for myself.

My amputation changed my life greatly. I had to learn to walk all over again - with a prosthesis, first with the aid of two crutches, then one crutch, and finally a cane. I still use a cane when I'm wearing my prosthesis.

My New Activities

I got interested in skiing again about six years after my amputation. I had skied a few times before when I was able-bodied, but skiing on one leg was new to me. By attending a handicapped learn-to-ski clinic, I met and talked with other amputees. We discussed and learned from each other a lot more than skiing. For the first time, I got to see other amputees. I saw stumps - both arms and legs missing. And nobody seemed ashamed of the way they looked. It didn't take me long to feel at ease in my ski outfit with the pinned-up left pant leg. It was worth it. Skiing was fantastic! I discovered a whole new feeling of mobility.

Of course, the equipment I use is slightly different than a normal skier. I use an "outrigger" on each arm. Each outrigger is like a forearm crutch with a little ski on the bottom. A mechanical trigger controlled by a line from the handle allows me to flip the skis up so I can use the outriggers as crutches when I need to walk.

It took me eight years to get the courage to go out without my prosthesis, other than on the ski slopes. Actually, I didn't have much of a choice. I had plans with a friend to vacation in Florida for a week. The airline and hotel reservations were already made, and the day before our flight, some fluid from the hydraulic knee of my prosthesis leaked through the cover in the back of the knee. It made an unsightly black spot in the soft foam cover, but worse, I found it difficult walking with the prosthesis and I was worried that it might get worse. My prosthetist took a look at it and said that I'd have to leave it and that it would take a few days to fix. So I went on vacation without it, and used crutches instead.

It was to be a blessing in disguise. That week, I walked along the beach barefoot for the first time in eight years. I can't describe in words how emotional it was for me to feel the wet sand between my toes again! My crutches sunk a bit in the sand as I cried silent tears of joy. It's the little things in life that mean so much, I thought.

But that week was to be another turning point in my life. Here I was, in public, among strangers, without my prosthesis. My prosthesis - my only link with appearing physically normal. What must these people think? Does the sight of me crutching along the beach turn them off? Does the sight of my cotton jumpsuit with the pinned-up pant leg make them want to quickly look away? To my surprise, they didn't even seem to notice. They didn't stare or point at me, or even look away. They didn't care. I felt as if I was accepted the way I was!

After I felt comfortable without my prosthesis, it wasn't too long before I mustered up enough courage to wear a light summer dress or a short skirt with a colorful top. After all, it was almost Easter and rather warm in Florida at the time.

I absolutely love to travel. Whether flying or driving cross-country, I love to visit new places. If I travel alone, which I do occasionally on business, I wear my prosthesis - because while using crutches I can't manage to carry even the smallest items. If I'm traveling with a companion, I'd rather leave my leg at home and use my crutches. It's so much more comfortable sitting in an airplane seat without the cramped feeling I get when wearing my prosthesis. I can also walk much faster with crutches than I can with my leg on, and I feel much less clumsy.

In the summer I love to swim. I feel very much at ease in the water. As I mentioned, long before I lost my leg, I was on my college swim team. After I lost my leg, it didn't take me long to try swimming again. I wasn't sure that I would still be able to swim, but swimming was a part of me and I had to try. To my relief, I was still able to swim quite well. At first I felt a little lop-sided in the water and my balance was totally different, but I quickly adapted to my body's different bouyancy. I also had to fight the habit of kicking with my missing leg - it didn't really help my swimming very much to kick with my little stump. I found that my speed and power in the water were greatly reduced - with only half the "kicking" power, I swim a little slower but I still have more endurance in the water than most people.

I've always loved to swim and learning to swim again with my new body wasn't all that difficult. But finding the courage to be seen in a swimsuit was another matter. About a year after I lost my leg, I tried swimming again in my parent's pool. I wore a one-piece swimsuit, but I also wore blue-jeans over the swimsuit. I didn't pin up the empty pant leg, but just let it drag in the water. I was happy to be swimming again, but I didn't want anybody to see my stump.

Then came an opportunity to go skiing in Colorado. I had never skied Colorado, but had heard many great things, and it was an opportunity I didn't want to pass up. I knew that the resort at which we were to stay had an outdoor hot tub. I didn't want to miss the hot-tubbing parties that sometimes occur in the evenings after a hard day on the slopes, but I was afraid of appearing in a swimsuit and showing my stump, and I didn't want to be seen wearing jeans in the hot tub. Then I had an idea. Before the ski trip, I went to a local sport shop and bought a solid red exercise body suit - the kind with long pant legs and stirrup loops for the feet. Instead of leaving the left pant leg loose or pin it up in back, I decided to turn the leg inside-out and then fasten the stirrup loop of the left leg to the back of the bra I was wearing underneath. I also wore a white cloth belt with it. It looked good and I felt comfortable in it. And it didn't bother anyone, either. Actually, I was surprised to receive several compliments about it that evening. It wasn't long after that ski trip, on a trip to Hawaii, that I was able to appear in a real swimsuit all by itself, first in a one-piece swimsuit, then later in a bikini. I had finally overcome feeling self-conscious about my body.

While I was in Hawaii, I tried scuba diving for the first time. It was a beach dive from Hanauma Bay, and it was a unique experience for me. Because it was a beach dive (instead of a dive from a boat), I needed help getting in and out of the water, especially with the heavy tank on my back. The fish that live in the bay were very beautiful, and of many colors. I had only one minor problem. Because of the weight of the air tank and my somewhat lopsided body, I kept falling off to my one side if I stopped moving through the water. So I had to keep kicking the flipper to avoid turning over. But it still was a lot of fun.

My activities can be summarized by the three S's: Skiing in the winter, swimming in the summer, and shopping all the time. The phrase "born to shop" really describes me quite accurately. Everywhere I travel, I love to visit malls, boutiques, and craft shows. I like shopping for gifts, clothes, and especially shoes. I've always had this thing for nice feminine shoes, and it hasn't changed - even after I lost my leg. I buy flat-heel shoes if I plan to use them with my prosthesis, but I can't resist the sexy look and feel of high-heels, especially with a short skirt. I have a pair of rosewood crutches which were made a little taller than normal, so I can wear a heel. It makes me feel very feminine to be able to dress up in a short skirt and high-heel shoe - something I didn't do for over eight years after losing my leg.

Other Feelings

I've had to learn to deal with strangers and to accept being stared at occasionally, although most people are polite. Children are very curious. They often stare at me in supermarkets and malls, but that doesn't bother me. Kids sometimes ask about my missing leg in the cutest ways. Young children are so puzzled to see only one leg emerging from my skirt or shorts. They sometimes just stoop down and look up trying to figure out where my other leg is. Once, last year, while vacationing in Yellowstone, I was standing at a store counter, and a little girl was staring up my empty shorts leg. She just stared until she noticed me looking at her. Finally she asked me where my leg went. I replied that it had gotten sick and the doctor had to take it. She nodded, seeming to understand, satisfied with my answer. Then she asked, "When's he gonna give it back?" Just then her father came over and pulled her away, apologizing to me and muttering something to her about it not being polite to stare. Adults are much more uptight about it than children. I don't think kids should be discouraged from asking questions. I think if children were allowed to satisfy their curiosity about disabled people, they would grow up with much healthier attitudes.

Of course, that's my opinion as a teacher. At the start of every school year, when I have a new class of fifth-grade students, I explain to them about my missing leg and my prosthesis, and tell them that if they have any questions about it, they should feel free to ask me. I have been asked a lot of interesting questions from kids, like: Does it hurt? Can you swim? Do you take it off when you go to bed? What does it feel like? Do you feel like you can still wiggle your toes? I answer them truthfully, never considering any question too silly.

I've continued to be physically active. I've now skied about 100 times as an amputee, and I also teach other amputees to ski.

Several years ago, I tried riding a bicycle again for the first time in nine years. My ten-speed bike has only one pedal, and the pedal has a toe-clip on it so I can pull up on it as well as push down. I found that riding a bike with only one leg was not really that difficult. I need to hold on to something to help me balance while I'm getting my foot into the toe-clip when I start, and I make very sure that when I stop that I lean and get off on the right side of the bike, but otherwise riding a bike feels very normal to me. I rode three miles the first day I got back on a bicycle, and I often use my bike to get some exercise. Besides, it's a lot of fun.

Discovering Devotees

I had talked with many professionals who prepared me for my new life as an amputee, but nothing that anyone told me prepared me for what I later found out on my own.

It was on one of my ski trips that I found out that there were men that didn't find the sight of an amputee to be repulsive. It delighted me when I found out that, in fact, some men actually find an amputee to be physically attractive - even sexy! I had a hard time believing this at first - how can something that I consider so ugly - my stump - be seen as attractive by others? But it was true - a friend showed me a magazine article about this phenomenon.

Becoming an amputee is a very traumatic experience for anyone, but I think it is especially difficult for a woman because of the emphasis on cosmetic beauty that is placed on women by today's society. With my various videos, I hope to show to any woman who has undergone or is about to undergo an amputation, that not only does life go on, but that it can be just as rewarding for an amputee as it can be for an able-bodied woman. Just because your body is different, doesn't mean that it is unattractive and undesirable. Beauty is very much indeed, in the eye of the beholder.

Although I don't share many of your feelings about your fascination - I don't find my lack of a leg "sexy" in any way - it gives me a special feeling to know that in the eyes of many of you, that I am still a "complete" woman.

My Videos

In 1988, I was featured in my first video, "Ten Years After". This video was a documentary about my life on one leg and how I coped with things on a day-to-day basis. My second video, "Eye of the Beholder", addressed the phenomenon of amputee-attraction and my views about it. My most recent video, "Per Your Request", is a culmination of suggestions from the thousands of letters that I've received from my viewers over the past six years.

In addition to videos featuring myself, I have produced two videos of other amputee women, including a below-knee amputee named Tamra, and I have ongoing productions for at least five other amputee women who want to be featured in a special-interest video. I have recently announced a sixth video about a double-leg amputee named Carla.

My videos are all done in good taste, and none of them feature nudity of any kind. One of the girls, an amputee named Debbie, decided that she wanted to model some lingerie for her viewers, and she received many favorable comments about her provocative modeling scenes. All of the models who have appeared in videos that I produce receive all of the profits from the sale of their videos, and Debbie used the money she received to purchase a high-tech prosthesis which her insurance company wouldn't pay for and she otherwise couldn't afford. Debbie also offers photographs of herself.

Since making these special-interest videos, I have learned a lot about the tastes of these special men. With each video tape that I send out, I include a questionnaire that asks about which scenes they liked and which they didn't, along with any suggestions they might have for future videos. Although these men all have the same attraction for women who are missing a limb, their tastes vary widely with what they want to see in a video tape. Some men are attracted to ladies who are missing arms, others are only interested in those with multiple amputations. It is clear to me that no matter what shape you are in or what parts you are missing, that there is someone out there who is attracted to you.

As I try to please as many of my viewers as I can, my videos contain a lot of variety as far as my activities and outfits that I wear. Some of the men that write to me want to see me wearing my prosthesis or one of my peg legs, but most prefer to watch me walking with crutches and just doing everyday activities that I enjoy. Many of my viewers liked scenes of me modeling various clothes - shorts, dresses, pants, high-heels, and especially swimsuits.

Questions, Questions

Since releasing three videos about myself and two videos of other amputee friends of mine, I've learned quite a bit from the many men who write to me about my videos. I'd like to share with you some of what I've learned about the special men who find amputees so attractive, and also answer some of the questions that I'm most often asked.

Q. Can you still feel your missing leg as if it's still there?
I can't feel my leg anymore unless I concentrate on it. It took about a year before those funny feelings went away. Maybe my brain adjusted to the fact that part of me wasn't there any more. Sometimes, while lying on my back with my eyes closed, I can feel my entire leg - knee, foot, and even my toes. This feeling disappears as soon as I try to move my "phantom" leg.

Q. What does it feel like to have a stump?
That is probably the most difficult question for me to answer, because it is a very difficult feeling to describe in words. Also, over the years, my mind has adjusted for my missing leg and it feels differently now than it did when I was a new amputee. My stump feels a lot different than my other leg. For one thing, it's extremely light. I can move it effortlessly. My stump is also much more sensitive to touch than my normal leg. There is nothing quite like the feeling of a stump-massage from a willing gentleman. It is a feeling that is wonderful to experience, yet impossible for me to describe in words.

Q. Does it bother you when people stare?
Not anymore. Besides, not too many people stare, except for young children, and I'm very willing to talk to them to help make them feel more comfortable about it. I don't want the child to think that there is anything wrong with asking about it, and I feel quite at ease talking about my missing leg with children. I've occasionally noticed a guy watching me from a distance, but now I know that he's enjoying watching me - not pitying me.

Q. Have you ever forgotten that your leg was gone and tried to walk?
Yes, even a year after my amputation, I forgot and stepped out of bed in the middle of the night, trying to walk to the bathroom. I took a step with my short leg and fell right over. Luckily, I didn't hurt myself.

Q. What do you think of guys that find amputees attractive?
I think it's great. I can't change the way I am. I'm always going to have a stump where a normal woman would have a nice looking leg. I'll always feel a little inferior to other women that have two nice legs, but it has helped my self-esteem so much to know that there are lots of men who find me attractive just as I am.

Q. Are there any ADVANTAGES to having only one leg?
Well, only a few, but they don't offset the disadvantages. For one, I can save money on buying pantyhose. When I get a run in them, I just turn them around with the run on my stump side and I can still use them.

One of my admirers has given me several pair of pantyhose that he has custom-tailored for me. They have the stump side cut off and sealed closed. When we go out on a date, he is turned on by the fact that while I sit, my stump is nicely enclosed in tight-fitting nylon while it lies on the seat under my dress or skirt. I can always get his attention if I should happen to casually move it under my skirt or dress.

Other "tricks" I've learned are a different way of folding up my empty pant leg. I used to fold the pant leg up on the side or the back and pin it to my waistband, but I've found that if I turn the pant leg inside out and pull it up inside, it looks nicer.

I can also save money on shoes. There is one department store that will sell two different sizes to people with different sized feet. That same store will sell a single shoe for half the price of a pair of them. I also swap shoes with some amputee friends of mine who are missing the opposite leg that I am.

Another advantage of being "handicapped" is that when I go on a ski trip, I usually get a discount on my lift ticket. Also, when there are long lift lines, I can cut through the "ski school" line and not have to wait in the long lines. Oh, one more thing about skiing as an amputee - I never have to worry about crossing my ski tips!

Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

I've always loved high heel shoes, and that hasn't changed, even now that I can wear only one. I think that a high heel shoe makes a woman's leg look more shapely. I've been told by several guys that I look more "statuesque" when I'm wearing a single high-heel shoe. Wearing a high heel as an amputee can be somewhat precarious at times, especially when walking down a staircase or an escalator. At times like those, I like to have someone assist me by holding a crutch for me while I use the handrail.

Many of the men who write to me have a fetish for shoes, especially high heel and spike heel shoes. Most of the men who write to me consider themselves "leg men", and say that they feel a woman's legs are the most attractive part of her anatomy. Of the men who write to me, I get as many compliments about my remaining leg as I get about my stump.

Where are the Amputees?

Several of the men who write to me have asked me where I find the amputees who appear in my videos. As these men point out, amputees are not a particularly common sight.

All I can say is that we are out there. As far as my videos are concerned, most of the amputees who appear in them have been referred to me by some of the men who correspond with me. These men have shown my videos to the ladies and mentioned that they could earn some additional income by modeling in a video of their own. Each of the men who has put an amputee woman in touch with me receives a complimentary copy of her video or photo sets. In addition, I offer him the opportunity to assist me with the filming process if it's convenient for him.

Those Who Stare

Some men have asked me how I feel about being stared at, and if it bothers me. I get stares from children all of the time. They are so curious. They can't understand that I don't have a left leg and it really gets to them! Some of the younger children will actually stoop down to look up my empty shorts leg or my skirt to see if I'm hiding it under there. It usually embarrasses their parents, but I explain that it's okay and that it's just their natural curiosity.

I occasionally notice a guy who is watching me, but if I happen to look in his direction, he usually turns away, pretending he wasn't looking at me. I sometimes wonder if these "watchers" are devotees, or whether they were simply curious.

On a few occasions I have been approached by a stranger who just came up to start a conversation, and I have also been contacted by some of my viewers when they've seen me out in public. Once, I was at the airport on my way out of town, when one of the parking police at the airport approached me and asked me if I was Carol Davis. He said that he enjoyed watching me in my videos, and we talked for a little while.

My Feelings about Devotees

One of the questions I'm most often asked is how I feel about "devotees".

With a few exceptions, almost all of the devotees I've met, whether at organized meetings or other places, have been very nice gentlemen. Most of them are no different than anyone else you might meet. Also, most of the men who write to me seem to be quite intelligent, and I enjoy hearing from them about their feelings. I try to answer each letter personally, but I sometimes fall behind, so if you write to me, please forgive me if I don't get back to you right away.

What I find very sad is the fact that most men who are attracted to amputees have at one time or another experienced extreme feelings of shame about what they find so attractive. Until they discover that other men also share their feelings, they think that they are quite strange, even perverted, to get pleasure from a woman's amputation, especially in light of the fact that it caused her so much trauma and unhappiness in her life.

I wish there was something I could tell these men to let them know that it's okay to find amputees to be attractive and desirable. After all, they didn't cause me to become an amputee, so why should they feel guilt or shame?

What I've Learned about Devotees and their Preferences

Let me share with you some of the feedback I've received from the men who have written to me and those who have answered the questionnaires that I've sent out with each of my videos.

First of all, most of the men are attracted to SAK amputees. About 20 percent of these men are ONLY interested in SAK amputees, and not interested in women with other types of amputations. Some of the men who write to me have a preference for left or right leg missing, and a very small minority are interested ONLY in a woman with a specific side - left or right - amputation. One of the men who is only interested in RAK amputees explained to me that he had a memorable relationship with an amputee as a young boy, and that she was missing her right leg. He went on to tell me that ever since that time, he had fantasized about what it would feel like to be an amputee, and it was always the right leg that was missing in his fantasies.

Double AK's are also in demand among these men. Arm amputees and multiple amputees - those missing several limbs are also thought of as erotic. The success of Tamra's video notwithstanding, most don't care for BK amputees. However, from the response that Tamra received from her viewers, there are exceptions to this rule.

Most of the men who buy my videos are only interested in watching activities that I perform without my prosthesis, whether I'm using crutches or hopping, or even crawling on the floor. Others are more interested in my prosthesis, and watching how I put it on and walk with it. However, these men are in a minority.

In addition to the level of amputation being a factor, some of the men are interested in the adaptive equipment used by the amputee. A surprising number of the men who write to me have a fixation on the crutches that I use. Of those that have expressed an interest in crutches, most of them prefer the underarm or "axillary" crutches. They tell me that they look more elegant and make me look more attractive. Some of the men prefer the Canadian forearm-type crutches. It seems that most of the men who prefer the forearm crutches are from Europe, as these crutches are more common there.

Some want to see me using my prosthesis, and a LOT wanted to see me use my peg leg. Only a few men are interested in wheelchairs, but I was surprised to know that they also exist. I've recently been in touch with quite a few men who are attracted to women who wear leg braces, and I have plans to feature a brace-wearing woman in a future video.

Even among the largest group of men who prefer AK amputees there was some subtle sub-preferences. Some men prefer hip-disarticulation amputations and some prefer very short stumps, while others (although a much smaller number) liked longer AK stumps.

Peg-legs are a mixed bag. The men who responded to my questionnaire were about evenly split on whether they enjoyed watching me wear a peg leg. A small minority of the men, about 20% of them, liked to watch me wear my prosthesis, while the others only wanted to see me on crutches and on my peg leg.

Regarding peg legs - I've always thought that they were only for those who couldn't afford a real prosthesis with a flexible knee. But I've discovered that a peg leg can actually be useful when doing housework. It is much lighter than my prosthesis and I don't have to worry about the knee giving way when I don't expect it. I have a much better "feel" for where the tip is placed, and I don't have to concentrate as much when I'm walking with it, although I must swing it to the side when walking, since it doesn't have a knee to bend. The biggest problem with a peg leg is when I need to sit down, especially in a car. I understand that some peg legs have a knee that can be unlocked and bent, and that some pegs can actually be detached for use in a car.

The responses I've received about my peg legs have been either very positive or very negative. Some guys absolutely love to watch an amputee wearing a peg leg, and other men absolutely hate it. It seems there is no middle ground on the subject of peg legs.

As I mentioned, some of the men who write to me are especially interested in women who are missing both legs, especially DAK amputees. The men who have a fixation or fetish about crutches, however, don't care for DAK amputees in general, probably because a double-leg amputee can't use crutches. I have recently released a video featuring a double leg amputee named Carla. While many double leg amputees use a wheelchair for mobility, Carla uses two prostheses. Some double leg amputees, including Carla, can walk on their stumps. Another amputee woman I know - Tina - who normally uses a wheelchair, can actually walk quite well on her stumps, taking little tiny steps when she walks on them. Tina may be featured in a future video of her own.

Although SAK and DAK amputees are by far the most popular with the men that write to me, there is also interest in arm amputees (both above and below elbow) as well as below-knee amputees, although interest in BK amputees is a lot less. I don't know why this is the case, as the men who like arm amputees seem to enjoy both above-elbow and below-elbow amputees about the same. It seems that as far as leg amputees go, "less is more".

Pretenders and "Wannabees"

Many of the men who write to me tell me that at one time or another they have fantasized about being an amputee themselves. A surprising number have admitted that they have also pretended to be an amputee in private, tying up their leg to "experience" what it feels like to be an amputee.

A relatively small number of men have said to me that they would like to actually become an amputee themselves. I also know some men who have succeeded in obtaining an amputation for themselves, and they have done this in a variety of ways, from chainsaws to shotguns to a freight train. One of these men even had a doctor perform his amputation in a clinic. Most of the men who have a desire to become an amputee themselves have said that they would never have the courage to actually do anything to cause it to happen, but if an accident should happen, that they would be able to accept living the rest of their life as an amputee - even welcome it.

In Closing

I still don't understand exactly what beauty these men find in my one-leggedness, but I do know that there exist MANY men with this special fascination for women with missing limbs, and I'm very glad that this phenomenon exists. After all, I'm going to live the rest of my life with only one leg - why shouldn't it be okay for men to like me just the way I am?

If any of your amputee readers might be interested in being featured in a video of her own, please have her contact me. In addition to making some extra spending money, being featured in a video just might be the opportunity she needs if she's looking for that "special guy", as many of the men that write to me are very mariage-minded and looking for the girl of their dreams.

I have a brochure that describes the videos that I currently have available, and it includes color photos from scenes of each of the videos as well as an order form.

I am always happy to hear from those with similar interests. If any of your readers would like to correspond, they can write to me at the following address:

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