Devotees are people who have a fetish or intense sexual interest or desire for someone living with a disability. Most commonly devotees are men who are attracted to women with amputations, but there are also people who fetishize other aspects of living with a mobility disability like wheelchairs, leg braces, etc… and devotees can be men or women.
There is a lot of debate across disability communities regarding devotees. Some people feel they are inappropriately fetishsizing one part of a person or that something is “off” about them. Other people say they have found friends, allies, and lovers among devotees.
Like many other groups of people with sexual interests that don’t fit social norms, devotees have flourished on line, and while there is no way of knowing how many people identify themselves (or could be identified) as devotees, there are lots of websites devoted to the topic where people share pictures, stories, and meet up with each other.
Some of the most interesting work on devotees has been produced by radio teacher and broadcaster, writer, and journalist Kath Duncan. In addition to producing a multi-part radio series on devotees, Kath also produced a documentary film called My One Legged Dream Lover
Read more about devotees:
- Kafer, A. “Amputated Desire, Resistant Desire: Female Amputees in the Devotee Community”. Paper presented to Society for Disability Studies Conference, June 2000, Chicago. Accessed May 27, 2007. <http://www.disabilityworld.org/June-July2000/Women/SDS.htm>