Vinayana, 25, is a social activist and a person with disability.
That fun game
It was our mid-summer break in college when my girlfriends and I decided to go out. It was a beautiful day, so it was decided to go to a park. After finding the right spot, we spread out our blankets and sat. They placed my wheelchair near the mattress on which everyone else sat.
As we were all chatting, gossiping and laughing, we decided to play a game. Each of us had to tell about our sexual desires and fantasies.
One by one, everyone started revealing their own sexual desires. Nisha shared how she would love to get licked by ice and chocolate while Sana and Priya both wanted to make love under the stars, on the beach. Priyanka has some bondage-sex related fantasies, which we all were shocked to hear. But the best ones came from my childhood friend Anamika, who said she wanted to kiss a girl someday!
We were having great fun. Opening up our hearts on such a personal level was something interesting and courageous. I was really waiting for my turn, as I too had something to talk about.
Chances were coming in the circle, and I don't know if it was by intention or default, my chance was skipped. It was really heartbreaking to realise that not anyone in the group thought that I too might have a sexual fantasy! I wanted to speak then and there but I was just too sad and depressed. Moreover, it was time to go back!
Why not me?
That night, I felt so disturbed and could not sleep. I was surprised to find out that they all thought that I wouldn't have sexual desires on fantasies as I'm on the wheelchair. I didn't know that people with disabilities are not perceived as someone who would have sex or sexual desires. I couldn't understand why this kind of stereotype prevails in our society?
I kept on thinking why I was not perceived as a sexual being? Don't I have a right to talk about my sexual desires?
By morning, I came to the conclusion that people around me aren't aware of this aspect of disability. So, I decided to have a conversation with my friends. I invited them to my house for lunch over the weekend.
They all happily agreed and after lunch, I told them that we should play the same game of sharing sexual fantasies. They all were surprised but agreed. I told them that I would go first and shared my sexual fantasy. Anamika’s jaws dropped and Nisha came to a realisation.
Sanah and Priya said sorry for skipping my turn the last time. So did everyone else. Then I told them about how bad I felt because of the way I was treated that day.
They all were shocked at their own ignorance of disability and sexuality. They felt really bad about it and promised me that it won't happen again. Women with disabilities can be a sexual being and can have sexual desires, I explained.
Acceptance, love and giggles
After that incident, my friends started to discuss everything related to sex and sexuality with me. They would tease me for my crushes, fantasies and I would do the same! We would giggle and laugh together. They would tell me everything that they would understand about sexuality.
Life felt so much better. And normal.
Never again they thought that how can I talk about the topics related to sex. Their perspective towards sex and disability changed and I was really happy about it. I felt good that I could at least change a few minds. It’s a long journey though but I will not stop!
To protect the identity, the person in the picture is a model and names have been changed.