herever this gets published, I hope I chose wisely and got a decent chunk of money — at least by the typically miserable standards of publishing — because what you’re about to hear is embarrassing enough for me to hide under a rock for two lifetimes.
Maybe one day, when I inevitably land my Stephen King-worthy fame, I will unveil this tale as my own and be celebrated, but for now, I crouch in the shadows of my pen name, hoping something worthwhile will come out of my embarrassment and frustration.
I like to think that Americans live in a progressive society. It’s no secret that as a nation, we have become more open with sexuality of all shades — very slowly, but seemingly steadily — over the past few decades. Although it still seems to come as quite a shock to some — and at one time, even to myself — that women have needs. And no, I’m not talking about emotional validation, a dishwasher, or dark chocolate bonbons.
Normally these said needs can be addressed in private — discreetly and efficiently with no problem — either with a willing partner or on one’s own. And when one wishes to take matters into their own hand, the advent of discrete shipping and mailing, as well as the ubiquity of batteries, should aid in things rolling along just fine, right?
I was born with a neurological disorder known as spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Basically, ever since I was born, my body and its tension level (rivaling a violin string stretched from Georgia to North Carolina) have been fighting against me. I have to use a wheelchair, work for every movement and every action that to others, seem automatic.
Some people look at me as a quadriplegic sob story. I’ve had people come up to my mother, thanking her for not putting me in a group home. (Why are you thanking her? Did she adopt a mischievous puppy?) I’ve had struggles with transportation, feeling the burden of dependence—my friends seeming to audition for the lead role in the reboot of Driving Miss Daisy as they learn the intricacies of my handicap accessible van. But honestly? Most of the time my disabilities are just crushingly annoying.
There is one painfully embarrassing inconvenience attributed to my cerebral palsy, however.
eing in my mid-20s, it is only natural that I start to explore the physical world that includes my body. It is common to have these types of urges — especially around puberty — and I was no different. In truth, I had never really considered doing anything about it until my first relationship had bloomed, and just as quickly, died. The bastard recently left me after saying he “felt no warmth” for me anymore.
Well, he certainly left me with a whole truckload of warmth — blazing betrayal, the smoldering ashes of sexual frustration, and the red-hot indignity that I couldn’t seem to do what most people do on their own to relieve it. This left me feeling not only heartbroken and lost, but abnormal, adding yet another barrier to what I should be able to do.
It seemed like one more injustice. Like one more thing he had taken from me besides the future I thought we were going to share.
I had never explored myself sexually in even the smallest forms before falling for this individual, and I felt that without him — or more aptly, without a partner — physical aspects of my body and my sexual life were lost to me.
Considering my low self-esteem after the breakup, I didn’t (and still don’t) think any sensual Prince Charming would come careening into my life in a black Mustang filled with condoms, understanding, and sexual knowledge to free me from the shackles of my virgin ignorance. My life was (still is) slowly looking like a quiet existence involving many persistent stray cats and a high cable bill. Fuck you, Bob. (Not his real name, but it works).
But this is not a revenge piece against Bob.
This is a revenge piece against my number one enemy and the one thing I know best — my body. You see, I was determined that neither my body’s lack of cooperation with my brain nor my lack of supportive boyfriend, would keep me from adult exploration. After all, if I was destined to live with thousands of cats, I had to keep myself from being bored in the future, right?
I buy my first vibrator online. To be truthful, I was so embarrassed that I opened the incognito browser, found the tiniest, most discreet, non-dick-looking thing I could find, and bought it. I tried for hours to look for ones that resembled mundane objects, but all they had was lipstick and eyeliner imposter vibrators, and anyone who knows me knows that I don’t use makeup that much.
In the end, I found something suitable. Tiny, but promising to do the job. When it arrived I went through the mortifying process of having my mother open it because I physically can’t, and the genius manufacturers wrap it in the same impenetrable plastic that you might typically find curling irons in — the kind that requires two hands bearing down on the handles of dull scissors.
During many grueling hours of trial and error, I soon discover its uselessness even freed from the plastic; I can barely reach to retrieve it from the very wrong spot that it’s landed at. After using a back scratcher to finally pull it from the abyss of pointlessness that is my lady business, I give up.
The only thing I receive is an itchy lady cave due to vibrating — and in retrospect, probably damaged nerves from sitting in my chair all the time — and a tingling numb thumb that lasts for days. Because despite that demon pebble doing nothing for me sexually, the vibration was strong enough to temporarily disable my thumb.
I’m done with it, I tell myself.
Until … I try again during my time of the month and am forced to call my mother from her sleep to extricate the little bastard from under me. I had to pee anyway, so I knew the moment of embarrassment would be coming. I knew the area I have been aiming for had nothing to do with my menstrual cycle, and as such, I thought it would be fine.
Instead, the little-rice-grain-of-a-vibrator slides deeper under me than I needed or wanted or could reach. When I am finally lifted from my chair, the tiny object falls to the floor, stained and painfully obvious. Thankfully she is half-asleep as I tell her to throw it out, and we both pretend like that horrible, horrible moment never happened.
I resolve to buy something longer, something that I can reach and manipulate better. Maybe then I will be able to find the elusive thing that rhymes with “zit forest” that women all over the Internet complain men are ignorant of.
It arrives. I once again have to deal with the humiliation and cosmic cruelty of my mother opening and putting batteries in it, all the while making lewd jokes that are meant to make me feel better, but instead made me want to jump off a cliff.
What mother dreams of putting batteries in their daughter’s sex toy? No one’s.
Nighttime comes. This is the big moment. And it’s a lot more work than I thought. Putting it in the right position — sitting up in my electric recliner. Stretching my arm to what feels like the eastern side of Egypt so I can reach it. Taking it out and trying again.
I am sweating, painting, and aching — not in the sexually satisfying way — but in that rageful miserable way that makes you hate-snarl at your personal trainer when she tells you to do another set of crunches for what seems like the tenth fucking time.
Morning comes — unlike me — and my mother asks the cursory questions. Do I know where everything is? Yes. Have I turned it on? Yes — still no dice. In the end, she says sometimes like, it doesn’t always happen the first time. Give it time. I know this is supposed to make me feel better, but I’ve heard it so many times for other aspects of my life, that it carries about as much meaning as, “did you know Geico can save you 15% or more on car insurance?”
Yes, I know they can. Yes I know, it will get better. Right now I am frustrated, tired, and grumpy.
Fast forward to yet another attempt — which quickly becomes a repeat of the night before. Except there’s an extra surprise. Due to my lack of movement, it is very difficult for me to make a bowel movement without medication. I’ve been rather busy and neglecting to take said medication and the result is I’m backed up worse than a dump truck in drying cement, and I really feel like I need to go, but it’s not the time. Yet.
So I get out Old Trusty or perhaps Useless 2.0 and start to try. Putting it in places, taking it out. Repositioning. My arm already aches and is soon joined by my digestive tract. Sometimes I find a spot that feels okay, but it doesn’t sustain itself — it culminates in the same itchy nerve endings and the slow climax of anger.
Frustrated in all ways possible, I push the demon stick further hoping to find something lucrative. I suddenly feel empathy for everyone who’s ever searched blindly around a vulva — how is anyone supposed to find it when I can’t even do it on my own fucking body?
Getting irritated I decide to remove the demon stick. I tug — nothing happens. I stretch my arm a little bit further and barely feel my fingers touching the damn thing. My heart begins to race in a panic. What if it’s stuck under me? Well, I have to call mom again. For the love of God, I am not calling Mom again.
I pull on my desk beside my bed trying to get myself to roll over, in order to relieve the weight on the vibrating menace that does nothing. It shifts a little but barely enough. I start praying to God, making stupid promises that I will never keep. I will never do this again! Wait a minute, OK I take that back, I probably will — but if I could just… please God, get this out from underneath me.
I try to twist in order to extricate it, but it only moves sideways becoming harder to reach. The vibrating doesn’t help, as it causes the futile electric phallus to bounce around ever so slightly, just out of my reach. I start saying “Fuck, dammit, fuck,” under my breath — my sheer terror mounting.
I can’t deal with calling her while it’s still on and asking for her help.
I tell Alexa to play the Wonder Woman theme to give me encouragement.
I will survive this. I will remove the useless fuck stick from the depths of my bed if it’s the last thing I do.
As a final blow of betrayal, my body rebels, and my sphincter tells me a visit to the bathroom is of paramount importance. Sweet baby Jesus, please no. The Wonder Woman theme mounts in tension, proportionate to my now-forgotten sexual frustration and growing fear of shitting myself.
The vibrator seems to have come loose and I can feel it against my thigh, miles closer than where it was. If I can get a good enough grip, I can grab it, turn it off, put it in its hidden place, and call my mother before disaster strikes. I focus on the Wonder Woman music.
I am Diana of Themyscira. With the strength of a thousand men, I will hold in my crap, and pull this vibrator out like Excalibur from the stone. With one last, lurching hope, I finally pull it free. Glaring at the schlong-shaped, traitorous object, I turn it off and tuck it away, calling my mother while muttering confusing obscenities about this situation being something akin to “fucking stupid.”
Fast forward fifteen minutes and I have taken a dump three times the size of the offending object that refuses to do its job. Did you go? She asks. Yeah, I reply. I could have said, I came and went, but that would be a lie. At least for tonight.