“Can you hang on? I have to take my arm off.” My 20-pound bionic arm is sexy as hell but it also makes the bed a little crowded.
I first saw the Bebionic arm—a robotic prosthetic that functions through electrodes and muscles—on an amputee actress and activist whom I met for drinks after she’d expressed interest in an article I’d written. I was born missing my left hand and went 23 years without wearing a prosthetic, but three years ago when she walked through the bar door to meet me for drinks, my eye went straight to her prosthetic—an all-white futuristic robot hand. It was the sexiest thing on Earth. An arm fit for a stormtrooper sex goddess. I had to have one.
“Bitch, where did you get that?” I couldn’t help but blurt out as our French fries and sauvignon blanc arrived at the table. It was as if I had seen her in the hottest outfit and needed to know where she got it immediately. This arm could make jeans and a T-shirt look like Agent Provocateur lingerie. I was already fantasizing about an all-black version for myself, the dark counterpart to her angelic aura.
I’ve never let my lack of a left arm get in the way of my sexual confidence. Feeling insecure and unsexy was never an option for me. I’ve always stood out—if people are going to stare at me for being physically different, I realized early on, I could either wither into myself or slay. I choose slaying.
The first time I had sex wasn’t particularly ceremonious. But it was hot. I knew from a young age I liked girls, and though queer sex can be hard to define, I knew something amazing was happening when my study partner slipped her hand into my panties one afternoon. We were sitting in front of my family’s computer watching YouTube videos (typical 15-year-old stuff) as she lightly ran her fingers over me. I was so blissed out I didn’t even have time to panic or analyze. The next thing I knew, we were grabbing for one another, lips and limbs entangled as an obscure video played on the desktop in the background. I ripped off my bra without giving a second thought to the shape of my breasts. I let her unbutton my pants, and she unbuttoned her own, as I couldn’t with one hand.
It was animalistic, it was magical. It was everything the movies make the first time look like. Of course it was awkward and new, and we weren’t experienced enough to make it explosive, but it wasn’t anxiety provoking. I could’ve had three hands, or a hook for a hand, or no hands, or a tentacle for arm. It didn’t matter. I was so into her, I didn’t even have the brain space to feel self-conscious, let alone intellectualize that I was a disabled person having sex for the first time.
The second time I had sex with the same girl, I got in my own head. My boobs were too pointy, I had stomach rolls, my moans sounded more guttural than porn-star. It was like I was moving backwards. All of a sudden I was hyperaware of myself, and not mine and my partner’s pleasure. She had been going down on me and I wasn’t making a sound, too busy wondering what I looked like from her POV. Still, in all my hookup anxieties, I never once thought about my arm.
For years, I had both good sex and bad sex without my arm being an issue. Then in college I met someone who made me think about it all the time.
Our sex was earth-shattering, still some of the best I’ve ever had. She told me she thought I was beautiful, but she started to make strange comments about my disability.
“If you had two arms, you’d be straight and really slutty.”
“Have you ever fucked a girl with your stump?”