“Hot girl with one arm wants me,” the link said, so of course, I clicked on it which led to part B, the dilemma: “Do I want?” I found myself on a web site called BodyBuilding.com, though it became evident most members were neglecting to exercise one essential muscle. This one question began a six page discussion, which I am ashamed to say I read most of, unable to peel my eyes from the monitor.
I should have been happy to note that most responders were encouraging, one chiming in with “girls with one arm need love too.” But the comments were generally too sexually degrading to be considered positive (all quotes are here edited to maintain this blog’s PG rating). Some posters wanted more information: How did she lose it? What did it look like? One said he would sleep with the girl if she just had a stub, but not if it was a “crab foot looking” thing. Only one heroic individual commented that “plenty of people are amputees” including his brother, who he said “doesn’t have any trouble getting the ladies.” And then there was this: “Nah, I could score hotter girls that weren't deformed so why go for one that is missing an arm?...I could stand there and have a conversation with the girl but it would be weird for me and I wouldn't enjoy it.” At this point, I very nearly joined BodyBuilding.com just so I could post: “Ignorant guy with big muscles wants me. Do I want?”
This should not have bothered me. I’m a grown woman who’s known plenty of men who were interested. And it should be noted that most of the posters in the thread were 19; it certainly could have been just a bunch of horny guys sitting at home taking a break from porn, but...it did bother me. I felt like I’d been stripped naked while a bunch of muscly dudes discussed the pros and cons of my physical appearance, leaving me anxious and clammy at 12am.
I was angered by the comments, mostly because whoever this one-armed girl was, if she even existed at all, was being talked about like a piece of meat. But I found myself pondering the question: Would I be with a guy with one arm? And here is the honest truth: sexuality aside, I don’t really want to be with a guy missing any appendages. I’m a one-armed hypocrite. It’s not that I’m never attracted to people missing arms or legs, and maybe I should get over the stigma, but I just think it would be too many crayons for one box. Tell me if you saw a couple of amputees walking down the road holding hands (refrain from pondering the possible logistical complications of this), you wouldn’t think, “Oh yeah, well of course, that makes sense”? I don’t want to spend the rest of my life running after onlookers yelling, “We’re really spiritually compatible!”
On Friday night, my roommate and I went to Marble, the cool brewery for locals. The place was packed, heads turned, and I was immediately self-conscious. Suddenly every man there was thinking, “Wow, I could never sleep with her!” Days past the BodyBuilding.com incident, I was still wearing rejection like a ratty jacket. I attempted a comedic defense mechanism and leaned over to Rebecca, “We should go around and take a survey of how many guys would do a girl with one arm.” Shortly, one guy at a table of mostly guys offered us a seat. I sat down hesitantly, my small arm nearly touching him. About thirty seconds into our congenial conversation, I saw it: interested eyes paired with a delighted smile, interest, directed at me. Oh yeah. We left a half hour later, no numbers exchanged; I wasn’t that into him. Not to mention, I don’t pick up guys at bars, one arm or two.
Perhaps I just need to face facts. Some people will be turned off by my one arm; and really, who am I to judge?