When we think of dirty talk in bed, we may come up with language like: cock, pussy, whore, slut, etc. Many of us have reclaimed these words, and transformed them into something positive for each of us, and when sexual partners use these terms in bed with us, it can amp up the sexiness and turn on us on.
As a disabled person, I like dirty talk too. I love it when people call me a “hot cripple” or a “deliciously disabled” lover or my personal fave, a “girthy gimp”. This language makes me feel powerful as a disabled person; it reaffirms that I can be sexy while also being disabled, and that my disability is a part of my sex appeal. Many of my sexual partners feel uncomfortable using this kind of language around me, because they know of its history, and because they may not have encountered a disabled person before, they don’t want to be offensive. Rest assured dear reader, let me give you some pro crip tips on how to infuse disability into your dirty talk with your disabled lover, without veering into ableist territory.
1. Don’t Just Say It
I remember once, I hooked up with this guy, and as he got to my place we were making small talk. You know, doing all the things you do before one of you makes an overt move. As we were chatting he goes, “You’re so handicapable!” I furrowed my brow, and was really perplexed why he thought I would be okay with that. He continued, “Oh, I had heard you guys like that language.” I quickly advised him that *I* didn’t like it, and to please check before using it with me. That’s what I would advise you all to do. When you blurt out language without checking, you run the risk of hurting your hot disabled lover’s feelings, but also you detract from the sensuality of the moment because the disabled person has to educate you, when they could be using their mouths for other things entirely.
2. Do Your Own Research
If your delectable, disabled dish of a partner says, “Can you call me a crip in bed, please?” you might feel uncomfortable and unsure of what to do. You might have the urge to say, “I wouldn’t say that. I don’t want to offend you.” Instead of saying no as a knee-jerk reaction, you could pull out your phone and research “crip.” If you did that, you’d discover that “crip” is short for “cripple” and has undergone a huge reclamation within the disability community. It has come to mean so many different things to many different disabled people; it has allowed us to define our own experiences. Doing your own research might ease your discomfort, and it could also open up a discussion between you and your partner about ableism and language, which could deepen your connection and make the sex that much hotter. So – win, win?
3. Talk About Why Your Disabled Partner Wants You To Use These Terms… Or Not
I think it is important to ask your disabled partner exactly why they want you to use words like: “crip”, “gimp” or other language in the bedroom. What does it signify for them? Does it make them feel sexy and in control of their experience, or are they letting you into a part of the disability experience that they want to share with you? I know for me, when I ask a partner to use language around my disability in the bedroom, I am actually offering them a point of connection. I am hoping that if I give them permission to use the word with me, I’ll be removing some of the fear they have around disability, and they’ll be able to relax into it more, without fear. By talking to them about these terms and what they mean to your lover, you will learn more about them.
For instance, when I was 13 away at summer camp, one of the kids called me a cripple. I hated that word for such a long time after, and honestly, it was because I hated my disability for a long time. But, I found that by using it in the bedroom with partners, I could take that anger away and transform the word into something sensual and hot. Now, if a lover whispers, “hey, hot cripple” in my ear, I’m all theirs.
It’s also important to inquire as to why the language may not be appropriate for them. Ask them to share with you why they don’t like the word, and respect their choice.
4. Check In & Check Your Tone
I think that in order to use disability-centric language in the bedroom, it’s important to check in with your partner on how that language feels at the moment. After you whisper, “You’re a hot cripple daddy” to me in the throes of passion, you can stop and make sure it feels ok. Sometimes, our internalized ableism gets us, even in the sexiest of moments, so that linguistic lock in makes us feel safe.
I also think you need to be careful of your tone when using the words. Because they often carry such a weighty history, using them with any rough inflection could be a trigger for some.You may want to try your sexiest pronunciation of crip, for the next time you and your disabled date hang out.
I hope this helps both disabled and non-disabled readers alike, and offers some new ways to bring disability into the bedroom, while fostering connections between you and the deliciously disabled people in your lives.