Maybe Instagram or other trendy social media I don’t do give the same impression, but YouTube for sure has become a place to come out with things you wouldn’t yet dare to do in real life. The key word here is vlogs, there are thousands of them, they are being used for tons of reasons to come out with something, and amputees are increasingly joining these ranks. And maybe my impression is biased, I’d say the number of girls and women beats that of boys and guys by a huge margin.
Given that amputee girls are like any girl if you count out what’s missing, they’re also into girl things like any other girl. This means a lot of amputee vlogs are about braiding hair and doing nails one-armed or the coolest ways to wear baggy jeans one-legged. But girl things also include openness with feelings about yourself, so what definitely comes second is vlogs about what it means to be different as an amputee, how the world looks at you when there’s something missing. The current teenager generation appears to have found YouTube as not only the place to come out or share but not unlikely also the place to build confidence and self-esteem.
And that’s is a great thing, I’d say.
The age category changes to adult women now, but very much in line with the above is amputees not excluding themselves from more saucy internet activities. Here the key word is web cam, and lately we’re seeing a firm increase in women not letting an amputation stop them from going on camera. Going nekkid for the whole internet to watch is obviously a thrill you have to be into, but equally obviously there’s not a single reason why amputees would not be into it. As they have a right like any other to try and make money out of it.
Maybe there’s a confidence thingy involved here as well – like with the more innocent stuff on YouTube. The ‘maybe’ is bigger here though, since there are so many other ways to build confidence that potentially world wide broadcasted close ups of whatever makes you tick sexually has to be an explicit choice, which changes the amputee thing from an initial drive to a more incidental happening to be. The world may implicitly exclude amputees from the sexual and erotic domain, amputees themselves do not, which is perhaps most clearly expressed by amputees going on cam.
And I’d say that’s another great thing.
There are two good examples here in my view. The first will be well known to readers of this blog. Southern belle Fantasy has been around for a while, and there’s good reason for calling her the first amputee model to tease devotees with full blooded sexual explicitness, Long Jeanne Silver (a leg amputee porn model from the nineteen seventies and eighties) excluded perhaps. Fantasy was the first to not only go fully naked but to share her solo and duo sex life on camera on top of that.
The second is a young woman who goes by Sexy1legger on the net. On her profile she confesses having been into masturbation since age five, which fed her curiosity for sex to the current level of wishing to show it to others. As the name suggests, Sexy1legger is also an amputee: in 2008 a bone tumor in her hip socket necessitated the total amputation of her right leg. Saying that a hip disarticulation shows is stating the obvious; it very much does, especially when fully nude on web cam. Yet sexy1legger doesn’t let her prominently visible amputation be in the way of enjoying what she likes, nor of letting others enjoy that as well.
And that’s yet another great thing, I’d say.
I don’t know if this distinction is really a sharp one, but I’m inclined to call Sexy1legger a porn model who happens to be an amputee, whereas Fantasy explicitly considers her stump erotic hardware. They obviously both know their leg amputation makes them especially attractive for devotees, and neither are they afraid to deploy that aspect of their sexual attraction. It’s my impression though that Fantasy is more outspokenly the porn star with a stump than Sexy1legger tends to be.
This distinction also extends to the softer genres of devotee video material. I’m inclinded to think most models posing for AmpGermany or Natalie’s Palace would never have gone on camera if they hadn’t suffered a limb loss. They are also the amputee equals of Little Britain’s Emily Howard, the stiff upperlip drag queen with “I’m Emily, I’m a lady. I do lady things” as running gag. Similarly amputees do amputee things, or at least are made to do in the rueful scenarios thought out by amputee video producers. If we are to believe them, leg amputee women spend most of their life in shoe shops or putting on nylons. Furthermore losing a leg apparently makes you drive a blue VW Golf and go to one very specific fitness room only, both truly remarkable side effects of an amputation, I’d say. Yes AmpGermany: we’re mainly interested in the models of course, but we’re not so stupid as not to notice insulting degrees of repetitiveness. But back to serious again: these models all consider their stump erotic hardware too, beit that they choose to market it the glossy and non-explicit way.
From the perspective of devotee preferences, they also have a point in doing so. After all loads of devotees wish to be confirmed in their Emily Howard view on amputees: they want to see amputee things, and quite a few amputee things are not explicitly erotic, not by any common definition of erotic anyway. The weirdness of our weird attraction is also in finding pretty matter of fact aspects of amputation erotic. Placing your stump on the grip of your crutch is a practical way to stand one-legged, and the amputee doing it will unlikely consider it an act of erotic behavior. In the eyes of many a devotee it’s an incredibly hot thing to watch, however. So basically an amputee model can be erotically arousing without ever needing to do things she would herself consider erotic. The only thing she will have to be prepared to do is deploy what the devotee considers her main erotic armament: her stump(s).
How that will make an amputee model feel is hard to say. Most models tell us they found going on camera helpful in their own self acceptance as an amputee. I also actually believe it can be beneficial. I also think a model would never state she hated it, simply because telling us she loved it will sell more videos. And there’s noting wrong with that.
Half way soft & glossy and pure porn there’s an in between in terms of explicitness. The uncrowned queen of tasteful yet distinctly naughty is Brittney, and she’s doing it with a natural flair I quite like. It’s a naturalness no doubt related to her having been an amputee virtually all her life. Brittney became one-legged as a seven year old kid, which gives the body language of her being an amputee a sort of self-evidence I do not see in models who became amputees (much) more recently.
It’s also a self-evidence that extends effortlessly into her sex appeal. There’s no explicit sex when the cam is on Brittney, but she’s not exactly avoiding nudity and there’s no timidity whatsoever in daring to exploit what one could call erotic advantages of amputation. Showing your high leg amputation in full close-up offers a few other juicy details as well. Using a lightly moving stump to spread with exciting ease defines the amputated as a physical advantage over a full leg, and Brittney makes full erotic use of it.
Here we’re talking the line between not letting your stump be in the way of seductiveness and actively making it a sexualized part of that. You could also call it the difference between ‘sexy despite’ and ‘sexy because of’. Not letting something be ‘in the way’ expresses not caring for something inherently negative. Actively sexualizing a stump is the expression of considering it to be part of sexuality like any other body part, even stressing it as sexually special, which may not be anything special from a devotee point of view but it surely will for an amputee.
This is not to say Brittney – or any model for that matter – would actually do at home what she does on camera. Somehow though, I also think Brittney would not be doing things like these on cam if she’d be firmly against this sort of erotic view on a stump.
And then there’s something else to consider: this world does not consist of devotees only. For the amputee herself real life outside this devotee world is a lot more important than the secluded and secretive domain of erotic amputee enjoyment and appreciation. It may very well do an amputee good to pose on camera, but let’s not jump into pink cloud conclusions here: a few American beauties excluded, the current majority of amputee models are not well-off Eastern European women who model to bring in hard needed money. And very likely, the American exceptions are modelling for the same reason, which may be as prozaic as it’s true but then there’s also the mere fact of it actually succeeding in bringing in money. And more importantly, what that stands for from a societal point of view.
So, is this all indicating a better acceptance in society for physically different people? Or does this rise in amputee modelling reflect of a sort of freak interest 2.0, an unhealthy curiosity that surfed the waves of technological progress to move from the annual fairs to the internet? It’s not plain to see, I think. Let’s look at the downside first, so we can finish this blog in a major key.
The internet has given way to an unprecedented access, not only of information but also of communication. And of support, or let’s call it discovery of not being alone, which is what I experienced in the mid ninenties when coming across the very first expressions of devoteeism on the then infant internet.
With unprecented access, it also gave way to total lack of (self) censorship, however. I’m very much for freedom of opinion, thought, speech, press and everything, but in my adolescent days there was mom telling me there was more to life than the Penthouse magazine I hid under the mattress. Nowadays, many a parent doesn’t have a clue what their kids are doing on the internet, and the net itself issues no warnings, meaning that there’s a whole generation of youngsters growing up whose first introduction to sexuality is taken care of by xhamster or youporn.
Call me old fashioned, but I don’t think that’s the best way to do it, and furthermore I think it will introduce sexual newcomers through bizarre outskirts of sexuality rather than the mainstream start from where you start discovering. Not every girl is a slut waiting to be tributed with a facial. I honestly think there’s nothing wrong with being one, but there’s definitely something wrong with being assumed to be one by a guy who hasn’t got a clue because his sole reference is some sleezy porn site. And this may sound as a side step, but I’ve heard a few amputees mention the total insensitivity of guys approaching them on the net. Assuming an amputee’s stump to be a freak show kind of object for your sexual curiosity is grossly neglecting someone’s feelings about missing a limb, no matter how well she got over it.
Other than that I’m all for freedom, as said, and the internet is also a very great thing of course.
And now the positive end.
It took a bit of research and the good memory of an American friend to find the first amputee in mainstream modelling. The result is Ivy Gunter from about thirty years ago, a successful fashion model who lost a leg to cancer and resumed modelling – always with a prosthetic – after the amputation, which was considered to be very unusual then. Nowadays the list is longer, and depending on what you consider modelling it can be very long. No matter how long the list though, it consists of mainstream models who show their stumps and whose modelling is not intentionally aimed at a devotee audience.
Viktoria Modesta, Debbie van der Putten and Shaholly Ayers are just a few names from the world of modelling, but there’s more. Women are not only being beautiful after all. An important category when considering changing society’s view on amputees is motivational speakers. Well, google search on ‘amputee motivational speaker’ and see for yourself: hundreds of them and they may well never have heard of devotees because they’ve never considered appreciation of that kind important.
And sad as that may sound for ‘us’ that is maybe the greatest thing of all.