The Nature of Pornography

The Nature of Pornography

I can’t even imagine what sort of traffic I’m going to get with this title!¬†This is the biggest issue, though, in the uncomfortable relationship between people who have disabilities and people who have devoteeism.

I have yet to ever hear of any case of a devotee harming a person with a disability in real life.  As far as I know, there have been no reports of rapes or kidnappings or anything dangerous (and I think if something like that happened it would be HUGE news that we would all hear about, even so: one or two cases is the same rate as in general population, so could not be blamed on devness).  The big complaint against devs is that we are using images for masturbation that were not intended to have a pornographic nature.

I went looking for the definition of pornography. ¬†It is extremely difficult to pin down. ¬†The definition that has been decided on rests with the intention of the person creating it, not the person using it. ¬†“Creative activity (writing or pictures or films etc.) of no literary or artistic value other than to stimulate sexual desire.”¬†It’s not a perfect definition. ¬†Specifically because what turns me on is not traditionally seen as sexual in nature and may very well have another purpose. ¬†The man who said that he knew smut when he saw it would not have seen smut in the same things I do.

It seems to me that men are better able to understand the purpose of porn, where most women are creeped out by it no matter what it’s about. ¬†Somehow many women have the idea that someone enjoying porn means that person is not also capable of a real relationship with a human being. ¬†Men tend to understand that one can enjoy some objectified images of bodies without it meaning that you aren’t able to appreciate and enjoy real bodies and the real people in them.

As much as I try to separate myself from the “creepy devs,” it is truly an extremely thin line. ¬†I use YouTube clips for pornographic purposes too. ¬†I can enjoy just a body. I¬†make up a story in my head to go along with that body sometimes. ¬†Yet I also have relationships with men who have disabilities in real life. ¬†I might “objectify” men when I’m watching porn, but I don’t do it in real life.

Here’s the real crux of the issue though: the images that many of us use for porn were not intended to produce a¬†titillating¬†response. ¬†These people did not want to be porn stars [and, actually, for this very reason, I only look for and “use” videos from movies where it is the¬†character¬†who is disabled; but many do not make that distinction]. ¬†I am turned on by a video of a man fully dressed, playing wheelchair tennis, or getting into a car. ¬†I’m not sure that should be seen with disgust. ¬†Strangely, it’s apparently okay to be turned on by a naked person, but as soon as you are turned on by someone not doing something overtly sexual, then you’re a scary freak. ¬†I’d think that makes us rather safe!

I’ve tried many times to explain one simple concept:¬†You cannot control what someone else masturbates to. ¬†

No matter what kind of person you are or what kind of picture or video you put on the Internet, I promise that someone is turned on by it. ¬†I’ve said before, I have hip-length hair. ¬†There are hair fetishists who masturbate to pictures of my hair. ¬†Does that upset me? Not at all. ¬†I’m a bit flattered. ¬†But that’s not the point. ¬†The point is that if you don’t want someone turned on by looking at you, you’ll have to lock yourself in your home and never let another person see you. ¬†I’m sorry, but that’s how human beings are designed. ¬†We are attracted to various visual stimuli, whether that’s something that’s considered normal or something unusual. Just going down the street, people may be (and probably are) turned on by you without you knowing it.

We don’t control what turns other people on, and¬†we don’t even control what turns ourselves on.

So the “creepy” devs take the pictures and repost them on fetish sites. And that’s the big complaint. Yes, it’s a bad idea and they shouldn’t do it. ¬†But they usually don’t see how they are being hurtful. Seeing a beautiful woman (or man), they want to share. ¬†And I can’t see that much difference between them and many of the rest who do a Google search or a YouTube search and just enjoy the image they find but leave it where it is.

I reiterate: once an image is up on the Internet, someone is going to be turned on by it, no matter what that image is. ¬†When you leave your house, there are people who will appreciate your beauty, and will feel turned on. ¬†It’s just a physiological response. ¬†Maybe they will fantasize about you later. There’s nothing you can do to control that.

Now, one of the weird misunderstandings is that when people think of fetishists, they imagine some really inaccurate things. ¬†I think a lot of people who feel creeped out at the thought of devotees are¬†imagining a fat, greasy, old man locked in a basement cackling with glee at your pictures.¬†The truth? Number one, many people feel ashamed of what turns them on and every moment of pleasure is inseparable from a feeling of guilt and self-hatred. Number Two, it’s completely normal and often attractive people who are devotees.

The idea that devness could be caused by people who are not attractive enough to get a date with an able bodied person is complete ridiculousness.¬†It’s also awfully insulting to people who have disabilities! ¬†We must be ugly and undesirable people if we are desperate enough to pursue people who have disabilities, right? ¬†Gag.

This is what a devotee looks like:











This child was having fantasies about disabled men. ¬†Before puberty, she imagined them as friends or father-figures. ¬†She had tingles in her groin that she didn’t understand and that scared her.

 This is little Ruth. A sexual deviant, apparently.

Now she is learning to accept herself as she is.  Besides having unusual porn, she also dates men who have disabilities in real life.  Having been out in real life with eleven men who have mobility disabilities, I would say that she knows something about the difference between fantasy and real life, and she enjoys disability in both.

I think that it is time to stop judging people for being turned on by something different from someone else.¬†I could say how disgusting I find it that you are turned on by a big penis, but I respect your right to exist. I don’t judge other’s sexual desires unless they are actually harmful to people. ¬†Devoteeism has not harmed anyone. ¬†It may have made you uncomfortable, but that’s as bad as it gets. [ If you’ve had someone stalk you, I apologize. I know that is upsetting, but I maintain that people who stalk don’t do it¬†because they are devotees, they do it because they are creeps and there are always a few creeps in any group.]

People who are attracted to those who have disabilities might spend their whole lives never having a relationship and just fantasizing. They may marry able-bodied partners and secretly dream about disability. ¬†They may attempt to have relationships with the people they are drawn to. ¬†The object of that desire has the opportunity to say no. To refuse a relationship with a devotee. ¬†There’s no call to get mean or deny that person’s right to exist. ¬†I am talking about adults with disabilities who have full capacity to consent or not to a relationship or sex.

What people masturbate to is not hurting you.



  1. Elizabeth McClung
    Dec 28, 2011

    This is an interesting post, but covers so much that I wished it could be broken down. I don’t consider devotee writing or wannabe writing porn but erotica. Perhaps that is my own bias in thinking that porn is image related. And what people get excited about is fine and dandy – the ‘consenting adults’ veiwpoint.

    However, there is not always consent, nor are they always adults. Child devotee is a huge section of devotee, whether that is wheelchair or amputation (or crutches for some reason). When photos are taken off the internet, like the ones you posted here, and resold in DVD/CD bulk packs – that breaks the law. So does reposting them elsewhere without consent. But, how much of that is porn? I don’t think that is a porn issue but the fact that a legal boundry has been crossed.

    People get excited erotically about things that just get invented, mechanical objects and a host of things as you mention. People, however go into a different catagory. I do think that the level of vulnerability and the degree of action regardless of the other persons’ desire or consent matters. There is a large gap between rape fantasies for example, written erotica, or drawn pictures and someone who pays a couple guys money to make a woman think she is about to be raped so he can take a film of that without her knowing. And then share or sell that film. But that is not really about whether it is porn or not.

    You mention: ” If you’ve had someone stalk you, I apologize. I know that is upsetting, but I maintain that people who stalk don’t do it because they are devotees, they do it because they are creeps and there are always a few creeps in any group.”

    The thing is, there generally aren’t when ground rules are laid down on acceptable social behavoir. If a person is a ‘creep’ they are generally thrown out of the group and denounced as not part of the group (like someone into S&M who ignores safe words and ends up breaking the law). Stalking is a crime. However, depending on the focus, it can not be, and thus a person can openly stalk, harass, terrify and eventually create lasting harm in another individual because what they do doesn’t involve percieved threats.

    For example, a stalker can put their hands on your wheelchair handles, and claim to be ‘helping you’ – and the police will do nothing, even if it was for restraint or to ‘keep you’, ‘watch you struggle’, or take a particular type of picture without consent. If a guy grabs a walking female, holds her against her will and continues to do so when asked, order, demanded that they be let go – that IS a crime.

    Stalkers are Stalkers. People who are aroused for various reasons are people aroused for various reasons, and some might be devotees. But a stalker is not a devotee, they are a criminal, they are a threat, they are a stalker.

    I just wish that point was made with greater clarity in the post.

    Also, I don’t think people should be ashamed (in general, as there are always cases like pedophile snuff, which yes, I think having a therapist to regulate what is an acceptable level or boundry is important), and wish they weren’t. Orgasms are actually benificial, particularly in females. But then both Europe and Asia have oft commented on the repressed nature of the North Americans and how we can’t seem to shake off that moral noose in our minds.

    • RuthMadison
      Dec 29, 2011

      You are right, this is a huge post with so many other important subjects sort-of squeezed in. Will have to look at exploring each aspect in more depth.

      You are absolutely right that they point I was trying to make about stalking is not so much that stalkers are a part of a group and accepted, but more exactly what you said “Stalkers are Stalkers. People who are aroused for various reasons are people aroused for various reasons, and some might be devotees. But a stalker is not a devotee, they are a criminal, they are a threat, they are a stalker.” I’m sorry if that was not clear. I really do need to separate out the ideas in this post.

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