Mathieu suffers from cerebral palsy. He is confined to an armchair, his four limbs are affected, but he nevertheless has completely human needs which are still little talked about. And that we consider even less. So let’s talk about it.
“Of course, we are starting to talk about it a little more, but… we are still far from a movement that would lead to a new version of Emmanuelle in a wheelchair, what,” he wrote to us recently. A comment tinged with humor and realism that obviously piqued our interest.
The 40-year-old man with a pen as lively as the rest of his body seems inert arranged to meet us at his home, for obvious reasons: meeting places with a person with a disability are not common in the streets.
Installed in his armchair, in the middle of his small apartment in a central district of the city (in the good care of attendants 24 hours a day, seven days a week, it should be specified), he reveals himself with an unsuspected verve.
His discovery of sexuality therefore takes place in solo mode. If you want to know everything, no, he obviously can’t walk, his arms have “limited” mobility, but are also not immobilized, and everything else works “fine”, thanks.
“This will show my age, but it was with Bleu nuit and magazines,” he remembers, philosophizing about his condition. “I know I could never do a remake of American Pie: invite a girl over and have her be attracted to me…”
Granted, get this: this is more or less what happens later in adulthood, albeit in a completely unexpected way.
In his mid-twenties, Mathieu spends time with a friend. “The funny thing is that she was a former attendant who no longer worked for me, obviously,” he explains. They go to see shows, chat and, one fine day, have a picnic. However, that day, Mathieu is poorly dressed. Literally: “I had my pants on wrong, and she has the skills to help me,” he explains. What she does: “I’ll fix it for you!” »
They go up to his room, then once the pants are fixed, they settle down to “relax” and, without warning, Madame turns off the light. “That wasn’t even planned! », marvels our interlocutor. “Still, she demonstrated her abilities to me! », he modestly summarizes, remembering his very first fellatio.
“And it’s crazy because it was a moment of extreme sensuality for me. In my head, I never would have envisioned this happening! It still surprises me to have a sex life. »
It must be said that the matter does not end there. They continued this “lovers-friends” relationship for several years. “The act happened perhaps a year later,” continues Mathieu. It was fantastic: the equivalent of an atomic bomb! Very concretely, Madame settles on him, “obviously”, and “my God, I felt like I was going to burst,” he says. It’s something, quite honestly, that I’m afraid I’ll never experience again.”
Parenthesis: Mathieu had a double bed at the time. However, when we changed his bed for a smaller one (his current bed, indeed “tiny”), “we never worried about whether it was going to impact my sex life,” he lets slip. End of parenthesis.
In short, with “life”, as he says, and especially the years, they grew apart, Madame ended up getting married, and Mathieu found himself alone. “It didn’t matter, I was already in love with another girl! “continues our man, without transition. Unfortunately, this is not reciprocal. “Intellectually, he attracts me, but physically, it’s not that,” says his flame about him. Result ? “It destroyed me…”
It was also somewhat following this equally “monumental” disappointment that Mathieu decided to launch into activism. “And it changed my life. Because it’s a cause that is close to my heart, he said. Honestly, to use an analogy from LGBTQ people, without being a closet subject, it’s a big problem to democratize the management of the sexuality of people with disabilities. »
True, there are a “plethora of issues that plague us,” he knows, starting with accessibility to health care. “So it’s only natural that the issue of sexual health is relegated to the back burner. Understandable, let’s say. But acceptable?
Note that for several years, Mathieu has also, from time to time, experienced connections with a neighbor, who suffers from cerebral palsy like him. They masturbate each other and it’s “very, very, very fun,” says Mathieu.
“Doing the frontispiece page of the Kamasutra, forget it, but I have other skills…”, it seems.
Yes, they have been surprised before. But Mathieu does not take offense. “An attendant knocked and saw the two of us: ‘Oh my God, excuse me,’ she said. It was funny. »
But no, the two are not related. It’s because Madame dreams of a partner for traveling. And he’s obviously not her man. So they see each other “when the going happens”. For his part, Mathieu dreams of experiencing “butterflies” again.
This is what he wants us to remember from his story. “Of course we have medical issues,” he concludes, “but that doesn’t stop us from having completely legitimate desires and needs! […] The day we stop considering ourselves as numbers in a medical file, we will have taken a big step towards the liberation of who we are. […] Because the social perception is still that people with disabilities are asexual. Nothing could be further from the truth.