Well, you know "the question" I'm referring to...
What's wrong with you?
Variations include what happened to you, what do you have, what's wrong with [specific body part] or maybe just a pointed gesture towards [whatever aide you've got to, er, aide you - I'm trying to be as broad as possible here] and a questioning expression and implied waiting for an explanation.
I don't really hang out with other disabled people too often. I don't think I know very many, and I don't know any all that well. And anyway, I've only lived where I live now for less than a year, so I don't know all that many people to begin with. But I overheard a conversation between two girls at a bar last night, and I've been puzzling over it ever since.
Basically, the girl was talking about how she brought a guy home with her after drinking, they hooked up, and then the next morning he said "I don't mean to be rude, but do you mind telling me a little more about your disability" and her response was "OMG GET OUT OF MY BED" and she wrote the entire experience off as a mistake and the guy as a loser. Her friend seemed to agree that the guy was clearly dirt.
Which has left me thinking, so, um, what was so bad about that question anyway? No, I don't like being asked that question by strangers. Of course I don't. And what's more, I usually don't answer, because really, one, I don't want to talk about it, and two, it's none of their business and I really am that stubborn. But... if it's someone you're gonna have sex with? Perhaps even more than one time? Isn't that kind of, well, important information?
Of course a part of why this is sticking in my head so much is that I had a one night thingy myself a few weeks ago - no, I totally never planned on something like that, and I'm not all that proud of it either, but, it happened, and it's been on my mind ever since - and one thing I thought was just strange about the experience was that he never asked me that question. He did not ask me one single thing about my body or how much I could move or how much I could feel. (Just feel the need to edit this to add, I'm not exactly delicate - he couldn't have hurt me by doing anything that wouldn't have hurt a completely able bodied person - if he could have, I would have spoken up. I promise.) And, without going into the gory details - although I think in this comm that is considered ok to do? - we did fumble a little bit, and I did have to give a few instructions, but, really, I don't think sex EVER goes quite like a romance novel or a porno flick, for anyone, especially if its the first time two people were together.
So... is it weird that he never asked me anything? Is it weird that I think that's weird and am not just enjoying that he in no way made me feel like a disfunctional freak or damaged goods or whatever? Is that girl I overheard weird for throwing out what's-his-name for asking about her disability, or is a question like that really supposed to be off limits? Did he not even bring it up because he didn't want to insult me (I don't think I would have been insulted, but that girl I overheard clearly was) or am I just... overthinking this whole concept way too much and the answer is that everything is different for everyone and what's weird to one person is normal to someone else?