Disability and wheelchairs: the dangers of inconvenient penises

Writer Paige Tabone, who has cerebral palsy, shares a post from her blog, which she uses to document the “undiluted truth of someone twenty-two years into living on the often bumpy and unpredictable road against what’s seen as ‘normal’.”

If I have to see one more pair of genitals I have not willing asked to peruse I think I’m going to go insane – or chop them off, I haven’t decided yet.

It’s one of the more unexpected biohazard to life in a wheelchair; they are everywhere. When you’re the height equivalent of 3ft 11 inches, they are just there, whether you like it or not.

They get enwoven into your daily visual tapestry. The world is full of cocks, in this case very literally. As someone is coming towards you it’s the first thing you see, it’s unavoidable. For most people you look straight ahead and the first think you catch is eye contact, because that is what is in your immediate vision. Me? Well mine is penis. Or vagina – there is a lot of those out there so I feel bad not mentioning vaginas, and I know my male friends would be seriously offended if I didn’t.

Not only is being at penile height annoying, it can be a real endangerment. For example, try being on a crowded train at 8 in the morning with some old man genitals in your face and not being able to stand up to avoid them. Not only is it highly unpleasant and exceedingly unsanitary, a man’s bits flapping around by your face so vigorously  you can almost feel the breeze as it whistles pass your ear, it’s a risk.

Trains aren’t always the smoothest of rides and with the uneven tracking that you undoubtedly come across on your morning commute, there is a very really possibility of a face/penis collision. That sort of face plant could cause some serious damage. Black eye, broken teeth, you name it. Just imagine that story when you get to work: ‘So Paige, what happened to your eye?’ Well…

Then you come to crowds. This seems to apply mainly to big crowds and when alcohol is involved, at concerts or at the student bar. I’ve lost count at the times someone has unexpectedly stepped back on me while I’ve been waiting for a drink at the bar and suddenly I have a strangers arse practically thrust in my face.

If I try and put my hand up to stop it I looks like I’m inviting it and trying to touch them up. But what’s the alternative? Openly accept a face full of bum-crack? There is no conceivable way of getting out that situation well.

That’s without highlighting a bum’s incredible effectiveness to strip you of your sight. I don’t know if you have ever been at a concert, or any large crowd for that matter, in a wheelchair and found yourself a few rows back? You might as well turn round then and there and head straight back to where you came from because the chances of you getting to see anything in front of you are less likely than me beating Usain Bolt in a 100m dash.

There could be a giant monkey with five heads on that stage in front of you but you would be none the wiser because all you can see is a steel wall of arse. They are resilient little fuckers too, once they are planted no ducking or diving will see you get passed those jiggling barricades.

Okay so I can’t lie to you and say it’s all bad. There have been times in my life, in my rampant teenage years, where this perk has been rather enjoyable. I say ‘rampant’ I really mean ‘desperate’ and ‘pervy’. And by ‘teenage years’ I mean ‘my life’. I was a late bloomer in the sexual world so inspecting a pert bum was the only way to pass the time.

With my apparent lack of subtlety though, I always got caught. There is nothing worse than being seen shamelessly staring a careers bum as they bend down to tighten a footplate. As I said before though, it’s unavoidable I swear! Plus, there is nothing more enjoyable than being behind a pertly bum in an otherwise soul destroying British queue, it makes the post office visit a lot more bearable.

On reflection, maybe it’s a unrealised perk to disabled life – unlimited genital ogling. Like free parking and half price concert tickets? Then I get the image of John McCririck on a train and I think a was definitely right the first time…

By Paige Tabone

You can visit Paige’s blog, A Life Looking Up, to read more of her work.

Get in touch by messaging us on Facebook, tweeting us @DHorizons, emailing us at or leaving your comments below.

Back to top button