If you drive down Highway 74 toward Jacksonville, North Carolina, you will see a tan stucco building with no windows and a set of double doors. The sign in the parking lot reads, “The Driftwood.” Or sometimes, when the neon sign is broken, it will light up just “Wood.” It’s appropriate for a strip club and the innuendos are obviously limitless. But recently I noticed something different. Under it, in bold black lettering, it states Bridgette The Midget is performing — for a limited time, of course.
I, too, have dwarfism and as we drove by, my husband asked me if I’d ever been interested in going to see her.
I wondered, “Why in the world would he ask me this? Did he want to go to the strip club? Did his friends wonder if I knew her? Or, gasp! Did others ask my husband something far more personal? Did they wonder what it was like to be with a little person between the sheets?” This question isn’t a foreign one. When my memoir, Dwarf: How One Woman Fought For A Body — and a Life — She Was Never Supposed To Have was released, Eric was asked by Allure magazine if he had a thing or fetish for little people. It was assumptive.
Truth is, no. He doesn’t. But the question remains: What is sex like with a little person? Eric is 6 feet tall and strong, and his body is adept to endure the most grueling Marine Corps training. My body, on the other hand, is lucky to be able to put my socks on without a twinge, spasm or jolt. But our love life thrives. It’s exciting. Why? Simple. I’m willing to step out of the box I used to hide within. I embrace my body type confidently and I feel safe with my husband. I say my opinion bluntly, sex with a little person is extremely fun. And for me, personally, it’s also freeing.
A close friend of ours is obsessed with Comic-Con. “You’d look great dressed up as a Japanese Manga doll,” he’d say. I tapped into that fantastical idea, channeled my inner Babydoll from the movie Sucker Punch and dressed up in a pleated skirt, tight shirt tied in the middle and long hair captured in pigtails — suddenly I no longer had dwarfism. I was simply just role-playing. Sure, role-playing was different for me at first, and even for my husband. We shared a few laughs and cracked a few jokes, but we were able to use that as a connection to bring us together and just let go.
Sex with a disability is nothing like what others imagine it to be. It’s not gross. It’s not extra-hard on the other person. And no, there isn’t special prep work that must be done beforehand. Just because some parts of my body may not move the way an average woman’s body moves does not mean we are lifeless, limp or boring. Quite the contrary. When you have a disability, sex really can’t be boring. There’s a constant need to adapt and overcome. And that certainly can make it exciting.
My husband often says to me he forgets I have a disability. He says this not because my body suddenly changes and becomes more capable between the sheets, though according to studies done by Professor Barry R. Komisaruk, Ph.D. at Rutgers University, an orgasm does raise one’s pain threshold and can help those with leg pain move easier. Rather, it’s because I’m unashamed of my body. I don’t dwell on my disability.
You’ve heard Tim Gunn say it when it comes to fashion. Well, I’m saying it when it comes to sex. Forget using your disability as a crutch to hinder yourself. Make it work. I remember watching steamy romance scenes where the girl is on top doing her thang and feeling bad for myself that I couldn’t function like that. It hurt to accept it. Then I got over it. Now, I’m not embarrassed or ashamed to admit I’m no Jenna Jameson. But, I don’t want to be, either. I can please by doing other things in other ways.
It took me a long time to get here. My confidence wasn’t born overnight and neither was my courage to talk about this. But if not me, who else? There was a time I shied away from even the thought of intimacy thanks to the silver screen. I didn’t think I could please a man, let alone an astounding Marine. Oh, how wrong I was. It also took me a long time to realize this: Sex is much more than just, well, you know — in-and-out action. Sex is a concoction of confidence, creativity and communication. And that, anyone can do, regardless of body type.