Since I was a young boy I was very romantic and would dream of the time when I would have children and be a father. I was quick to fall in love and I haven't changed much. There is plenty of room in my heart. Early on women both from Mexico and U.S gathered around me and became intimate friends. I was fortunate enough to hear about their feelings, relationships and gain their admiration and trust. Some of them seemed to say flirtatious things to me verbally but when I returned that flirtation they often backed off.
I also noticed that my friends in Mexico that were in not in wheelchairs were having usually a little more experience than I. They were going on dates, having short lived relationships, many of them already having sex and I wasn't. My friends in Mexico who were in wheelchairs who were around my age had some romances with other people in wheelchairs but not with people "without a disability."
Often when I expressed my romantic feelings towards women who I thought might reciprocate their response would be something like this: " I don't know what I feel for you.. Its a feeling I cant describe. I think its kind of like being in love -- I mean I find you attractive, but its more of a spiritual connection. To this day I don't know how much of those ambivalent responses were linked directly to my disability or what part of them were simply related to me regardless of my wheelchair. Thats part of the question. It seemed that at least on some occasions some of my female bodied friends I think experienced some fear around having to face my body and so transmuted their feelings of attraction into purely spiritual love. Although I say this as a statement its more of a question then an affirmation.
During my first year of college there was a young woman who was obviously in a very sexual mood. She was asking people random people to sit on her and stroke her. But for whatever reason boys were ignoring her. I said " You can cuddle with me" Before she could stop herself she said ... No.. you can't get it up. You are in a wheelchair. Her assumption that I was physically incapable didn't really anger me -- it made me aware that ableisim (unconscious prejudice towards bodies that stray from normalcy) can be a very real oppressive force that can in a small or big way affect all of us...