For as long as I can remember, I always felt different. It was not until high school that I realized that that difference was being gay. I realized at that time that while I had many female friends, they would always be that – friends and nothing more.
It was not until college that I actually had my first experience with another guy. We worked on a psychology project together for several weeks. I found him attractive, but had never discussed my sexuality and had certainly not gotten any signals from him that our relationship was anything more than partners on the project. Then one night, exhausted from hours of reading research and debating the relevance of the studies to our project and not looking forward to a trek across campus to my dorm, Rick offered to let me stay over. His room was a single. As long as I did not mind sharing his bed, he said I was free to stay over. Since it was cold and snowy outside and my dorm was all the across campus, I said sure. He turned off the lights and we shyly stripped down to our boxers. We got under the covers, backs to each other and dozed. Sometime just before daybreak, I became aware of Rick’s hand rubbing my crotch. When I did not resist, he must have gotten encouraged because the next thing I knew, my boxers were around my ankles and he was going down on me. The experience was incredible and was the first of many similar nights over the years.
After college, we moved in together. We spent several years of cohabiting bliss. Then, in the Spring of 1993 things changed. I had been experiencing a dull ache in my lower back for weeks. It seemed to be getting worse by summer, not better. I also noticed some tingling down my legs and difficulty with going to the bathroom. Then I started having problems with erections. At that point I went to the doctor. After many tests over the next couple of months, I was diagnosed with having a non-cancerous spinal cord tumor. The doctor laid out the options: a) do nothing and the tumor would grow, placing increasing pressure on my spine and possibly growing the length of the spinal cord until all my limbs and even my breathing might become compromised or b) have surgery to remove the tumor but with the likelihood that I would be rendered paraplegic at the T10-12 level. Hmmm. Not much choice. I opted to have the surgery.
I wish I could say that Rick was understanding and supportive, but the whole situation proved to be too much for him. My surgery was scheduled for January 2, 1994. On Christmas eve day, 1993, Rick hit me with the news that he could not stand by and watch me become a cripple. He was leaving.
So, on New Years Day I checked into the hospital for final preoperative testing. By this time I was needing a walker to stay on my feet. I spent the evening worrying and wondering what the future would hold. If the love of my life could not handle a future with me in a wheelchair, would anyone else? What would my life be like? Fear and uncertainty were my bed partners that night.
Early the next morning I was wheeled down for surgery. When I woke up after surgery, I was in some pain but strangely felt detached from my body. I could feel the cool roughness of the bed clothes against my shoulders and even down my back, but at a point, it was like my body ended. From below my ribcage, it was as if nothing was there. I panicked! I pulled up the sheet and sure enough my legs were there, but I could not feel them. It was like they were someone else’s. Upon further inspection, I saw a tube snaking out of the end of my penis. NO! This had to be a bad dream!
I reached down. I could trace my hand up my thigh, over my crotch and even up to my navel and there was nothing! It was like touching someone else. My hands and fingers felt the flesh, but my body did not sense the touch. I looked down at my legs and feet. The feet splayed outward at an awkward angle. I stared at them and concentrated hard, willing them to move. Please God, just a flicker or a twitch was all I wanted. Anything to give me hopes that the doctors were wrong. Anything to allow me to hang on to the possibility that I would someday be normal again. I cried and cried. I banged my hands on my thighs. Nothing! I might just as well have been hitting a wall.
I spent several weeks in a depressed fog. I hated my life and especially my body. I would cringe each time the nurse came in to tend to my catheter. I was humiliated at having to wear diapers because I would shit myself. I hated to doctors coming in and poking me; stroking a key across the bottom of my feet, pricking my legs and ass and asking, “Can you feel this?”
“Hell no!” I would scream. “It’s like my body ends around my navel,” I would tell them.
Nothing changed. After a while, the doctors confirmed what I already knew. The surgery got rid of the tumor. I would live. But from now on, I would be paralyzed. T10-12 complete paraplegia is what the neurosurgeon said.
Before long, the physical and occupational therapists tired of doing passive exercises on me in bed. My sutures were out, my spine had been stabilized. It was time to face the chair. The first few weeks on the rehab unit are a blur. I remember becoming dizzy trying to sit up. I remember throwing up from the room spinning. I also remember the day that my elderly stroke patient roommate moved out to a nursing home, the day Christopher moved into the bed next to me.
I had spent the morning in therapy. When I came back for lunch, by this time wheeling under my steam, the old geezer was gone and the bed was freshly made. There was a small suitcase on the floor by the tray table. I heard a flush and soon the bathroom door opened. A bang, a curse and suddenly the door from the john opened. There, naked from the waste down sat a very handsome guy—Christopher, my new roommate. Like me, he was in his late twenties. And like me, he was a paraplegic. But unlike me, he had been in the chair for a couple months. He moved to the rehab center I was at from a place up north so that he could be “closer to home.” I could not help but stare. Even though his legs were kind of thin, I noticed they were hairy and long, just the way I like them. For as long as I could remember, I had been a leg and foot man almost as much as I was a cock and ass man. And speaking of his cock, it shriveled like a turtle’s neck. It was cut, also the way I like them. I was shocked that his cock did not have a huge piece of rubber snaking out of it!
He looked over and saw me staring. I blushed and looked away. He was beautiful. Longish brown hair. Green eyes. A bit of a five o’clock shadow. I guessed that like me, he was not being very consistent with the shaving. Very guy next door handsome. He unselfconsciously wheeled over to where I sat, extended his right hand and firmly shook mine. He introduced himself. He apologized about his lack of pants but said that he could get them off okay but still had trouble getting them back on. I told him it was okay. If it did not bother him, it did not bother me. He laughed and smiled the sexiest grin I had ever seen. “I guess you kind of lose your modesty after a while when you’ve got folks poking and prodding and checking you over all the time,” he said. I smiled awkwardly and mumbled agreement. Shortly a nurse came in and helped him get his underpants and pants back on.
Later, after dinner, we chatted a while. He explained that he had injured his spine in an accident. He drove a truck for a long-distance moving company and was injured while on a job. He was paralyzed at the T-11 level, very similar to me. We made small talk and then he excused himself and wheeled into the can again. When he came back out, I had to ask him – how come he did not have to wear a diaper and why did he not have a catheter and leg bag? He explained that he had mastered a bowel routine and intermittent catheterization program. He evacuated his bowels every other day while sitting on the john by stimulating his sphincter and using a suppository (“a silver bullet” is what he called it). He explained that over time, and with the help of medicine, he was able to control his bladder, too. He just had to insert a disposable catheter tube into his penis every four hours or so. Wow! I was amazed and encouraged. Maybe I could someday do that too. I was getting used to some aspects of my paralysis but I hated the leg bag and the diapers. Yuck!
Over the next couple of weeks, Christopher and I became fast friends. We had a lot in common. We enjoyed sports. We were getting used to life in a chair. But we seemed to keep the conversations kind of impersonal. We never discussed our personal lives before rehab. I found myself becoming very attracted to him and yearned to get to know him on a more personal level. But, I also feared that if I divulged my attraction to him, he would get pissed and that would be that. So I stayed silent and simply tried to concentrate on getting stronger and more independent. Christopher was an inspiration for me and he often encouraged me to push myself farther than I thought I could go.
One a day about two weeks later, I came back to our room after dinner to find Christopher there. He had not been at dinner and I found that strange. We had taken to eating all our meals together. He heard me come in and quickly looked away but not before I could see he had been crying. His eyes were puffy and his cheeks were red. While I did not want to pry, I was concerned. I felt we had become pretty good friends since he arrived. And he had certainly been there for me on more than one occasion when I was down. So, I decided to throw caution to the wind and confront the issue.
“Hey Christopher,” I said. “What’s up? I missed you at dinner. The meatloaf was worse than usual.” We had spent plenty of time lamenting the food and I thought it was a safe icebreaker. He just sat there staring ahead. I went over to his side of the room and locked my chair facing him. I noticed that his shoes were off and that his one foot was hanging precariously off the edge of his footrest. Always having been a leg and foot man myself, I noticed that kind of thing. Without thinking, I leaned down and gently replaced his foot. I had scuffed my feet often enough myself, failing to notice when they had slipped off, I did not want him to scrape his. I thought that would have gotten a response from him, at least a thanks. But he just stared off some more. I sat there a while and finally reached over and put my hand on his leg. He obviously couldn’t feel my hand on his thigh, so I spoke up. “Hey man, what’s wrong?” I asked. He just kind of shook his head and looked away. I saw a tear run down his cheek.
It was killing me to see him this upset. “Hey pal,” I said. “What’s wrong? Talk to me.” He mumbled something about having had a shitty day and that I would not understand. At first I was kind of pissed. I mean what he did mean about me not understanding? Weren’t we in the same boat? Hadn’t we been going through the same challenges for weeks now?
I told him as much and he repeated, “Look man, that’s not what I mean. I got some personal crap to deal with and you would never understand, believe me!”
“Try me,” I said. “Look, I consider you a friend, the only friend I have here. I want to help, if I can. Even if all I can do is listen, so talk to me!”
There was an uncomfortable silence, then Christopher looked me in the eye and said, “I got dumped this afternoon, OK? I guess I should have expected it. Who would want to spend their life with a limp-dicked cripple, right?” I wanted to tell him that I would, but the words would not come out. All I could do was shake my head. Then Christopher shocked me. “You don’t get it man! I’m gay! No guy in his right mind will ever want me, man.”
I could hardly believe my ears. Christopher was gay, too. I wheeled up closer to him, put my hand on his shoulder and pulled him toward me. I leaned in and kissed him, full on his lips. I parted his lips with my tongue and explored his mouth. “I do understand, Chris,” I said. “I’m gay too. I got dumped right before my surgery, so I know what you are feeling. I felt the same way too. But, I have had it hot for you since the first time I saw you.” I think I really took him by surprise, but he did not resist when I leaned in to slip my tongue into his hot mouth a second time.
After a moment, he slowly backed away. “Whoa, man,” he said. “You mean to tell me that all this time the past few weeks while I’ve been fantasizing about you, you’ve had it hot for me, too?” I nodded agreement. “What a freaking waste of time!” He wiped his nose on his sleeve and finally smiled that sexy grin that I noticed the first day we met.
“Hey, let’s close the door and spend some private time together,” he said. Again, I nodded in agreement, pushed myself over to the door and closed it after I put the “privacy please” sign on the outside knob. Usually the sign was an indication that the shrink or one of the other doctors was with a patient and was not to be disturbed. I figured it might just do the trick and buy us some alone time. By the time I turned around and started wheeling back, Christopher was already transferring into bed. I watched as he locked his brakes and slowly lifted one foot and then the other gingerly to the floor. He then reached with his left hand onto the bed while pushing his right one on the wheel of his chair, slightly raising his ass off the cushion. In a series of quick scoots, his ass was on the side of the bed and used his arms to pull himself back further onto the bed. Then, leaning forward, he rearranged his legs and finished settling in. “OK,” he said, “your turn Chad. Come over here and join me.”
I rolled on over to the other side of his bed, locked my chair in place and performed the same routine I had just watched Chris complete. My upper body was not quite as strong as his, and I lacked a few weeks of practice, so my transfer was slower and a lot less graceful. But eventually I managed.
“OK,” I said, “what happens now?”
“First, we need to lose our shirts,” Chris replied.
He offered to help me off with mine. His hands explored my back and lingered there along my scar a moment. That area is supersensitive to this day and I really enjoyed his touch. I returned the favor and started exploring his body as well. We caressed and kissed and eventually lingered at each other’s nipples. God, it felt good. We kissed some more and slowly rolled facing each other. We laid there exploring and kissing for a while when Chris suddenly let out a little yelp. “Look Chad,” he said, “you’ve made me hard! The doctors said I probably would never get hard again, but you managed to get it up for me!”
I looked over and sure enough, his sweats were tenting out in the crotch. I reached over, rubbed his hard on through his sweats and then pulled down the waist of his pants until his balls were exposed and holding down his pants. I leaned over and took him in my mouth. It was heaven! It seemed like it had been forever since I had tasted another guy in my mouth and I worked his dick like only a horny faggot can do. He really seemed to be enjoying it, even commenting that it was almost like watching someone else get sucked off, since he couldn’t feel my tongue and lips on his member. Then, without warning, I felt his hardness begin to fade. I didn’t say anything to him; I did not want to disappoint him. I kept working his meat until, like a turtle retreating into his shell, his dick finally shriveled down to its normal flaccid state.
I leaned back and to both of our surprise, noticed that my own dick, which had previously lain shrunken between my ever-shrinking legs, had also sprung to life. Christopher looked at me a bit tentatively. “May I?” he asked. I smiled and told him he had better return the favor. “Do you need to unhook your cathe?” he asked. I winked and told him not to worry.
He reached down and pulled back my sweats. “Hey!” he squealed, “you’re not wearing!”
“Nope,” I said. “Vickie, the OT, and I have been working on my bladder program all week. I’m on a schedule now, like you. So, please, while it lasts, suck me off Chris!” And he did.
After a few minutes, my cock went soft, too. We laid there, arms around each other for what seemed like hours, but was really much less, until there was a tentative knock at the door. The nurse was making rounds. She peeked in and saw us in bed together. She looked at us a moment, smiled and said, “I wondered how long it would be until you two ended up in bed together. I’ll give you both a few minutes to get yourselves settled in your own beds before I come back with your meds.”
We kissed once more and then I got myself back into my chair and eventually into my own bed. But, I knew I could count on a repeat performance with my new suck buddy, Christopher.
That was the first of several times… but then I guess you’ll have to stick around if you want to find out about how Chris and I came to realize that being paralyzed, even for a couple of gay guys, did not necessarily mean the end of sex.
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