I’ve been without my left leg since middle school — I had a rare form of cancer that necessitated an amputation. People have never been that weird to me, but I will say I never had much in the way of dates until I moved here from where I lived (a suburb of Omaha), which I think might be in part due to my lameness (ha!). I do think that SF is more accepting of differences, especially when these differences aren’t, like, being a Republican. (Feel free to tell me I’m wrong, I’ve only been here three months and am definitely in the honeymoon phase.)
Literally a month after I moved here, I met a guy I am nuts about, and he about me. But over the weekend something started nagging at me. You know how hot it was? Well, typically I avoid the shorts for obvious reasons, but he was all “Who cares? Wear shorts! I think it’s hot!” Which, woah. Is he being nice or is that a little weird?
So, I asked him, and he said “I have to admit, your difference attracted me to you, at least initially.” Which, OK. So I mentioned this to my friend, who freaked out. “HE IS FETISHIZING YOU.” she said. She’s Asian and I think she’s had her fair share of white guys who go after her because they’re asianphiliacs, so she knows her stuff, but, I don’t know.
Is it any difference to be attracted to someone because they have nice boobs or hair? He didn’t say that was the *only* reason he was with me. Or am I just making excuses for him because I like him so? Babe, help me figure this out.
Dear Hollow Leg,
If all he’s doing is encouraging you to wear shorts when it’s hot regardless of missing a leg, then no, that’s not fetishization. Also, it didn’t cross your mind before your friend brought it up, so I think she’s just projecting.
There is always a superficial reason for initial attraction. I first liked my husband because he told a joke that made me laugh, now I love him for all sorts of reasons. That’s no more a fetishization of his joke telling than your boyfriend has for your missing leg. Now if I made him put a paper bag over his face and tell me non-stop jokes while we made the love, that would be fetishizing his joke telling.
So as long as there are no paper bag type scenarios involved, I think you’re good to go.
Nagging questions holding you back? Babe Scanlon’s got your answer. A SF native, she’s been figuring this place out far longer than she cares to admit, and now she’s ready to share. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org and let the veil of confusion lift. Please do keep in mind: Babe Scanlon is not presenting herself as an expert in anything that means you can sue her or the Appeal if you take her advice and your life tanks. Her recommendations are just that: recommendations.