Something in the Way He Moves

Larry Seiler has cerebral palsy. But he doesn’t want your pity—he wants your love.

Each summer, Larry went to Summit Camp, a camp for the disabled in Pennsylvania. Like most co-ed summer camps, Summit Camp taught him more than just lanyards and sing-along songs. It was where he had sex for the first time, losing his virginity at 13. He calls her Peanut Butter because she was sweet at first and stuck with him, but later, when she left, she also left a bad taste in his mouth. She had spina bifida, and as a result, suffered from learning disabilities and weakness in her lower limbs. Larry and Peanut Butter snuck out to the lakefront and entered the snack shop alone. Larry found balance up against a Coke machine; she scooted beneath him. Now whenever Larry sees the letters C-O-K-E, he remembers her fondly, his cheeks turning as red as the brand name's background.

At 15, Larry started to get creative. One of his special-ed teachers at Columbus High told her class to keep a journal for two weeks. Larry had already learned not to divulge any tales of heavy petting to boys, because schoolyard gossip always seemed to result in a swift deck to the face. Larry attests that messing with a girl's reputation, no matter if she has disabilities, brings a wrath no softer. So he set to writing his sexual exploits to his teacher. His hope was Danielle Steel; the result was full-on porn. He wrote about his "fuck friend," Matzo Ball Soup (because she was Jewish, clumpy, and a tad salty). He described his favorite positions with lewd verbs like "fuck" and "screw" and how he experimented with heated Hershey's chocolate syrup—messy, but yummy. His teacher talked with him later, asking him if everything was OK at home, and then assigned a fresh task: find synonyms for his favorite four-letter word.

That same year, Larry experienced what he calls his first real relationship. It was with a girl who had Down syndrome. He affectionately calls her Adobo, a Mexican marinade infused with chili peppers. He says her Irish background made her sweet, but she had a ruthless and delightful twinge of spiciness in every comment. Adobo waddled. Her typical Down syndrome features—flat face, smaller head, upward slanting eyes—gained judgment before her mouth ever opened. When Larry prowled the schoolyard alone, "gimp" replaced his given name. For Adobo, "Chinese girl" became her nickname; besides her slit-like eyes, her feet—at size 3—were so tiny that peers teased that they must have been bound. When together holding hands in the schoolyard, Larry and Adobo were simple targets; their mainstream peers called them retarded.

Larry Seiler
photo: David Yellen
Larry Seiler


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The bond was more than physical; they cared about one another too. Larry never had sex with Adobo, but they caressed and kissed a lot. Through her smile, he saw her spirit, and through her laugh, he saw her to be the most beautiful girl he'd dated. She did things she didn't have to. She brought him snacks. She called him every day just to ask if he was OK. She hugged him in front of people, not worried about what they would say. The relationship lasted until Larry's parents condemned it; they told Larry he couldn't date anyone whose disability was worse than his own. They wanted Larry to be accepted into the mainstream and to live the so-called normal life they had known. Larry's quest for normalcy became full-blown.

When he was 16, Larry hooked up with a non-disabled girl for the first time. The experience was humiliating. He calls her Raw Eggplant because he likes eggplant cooked, piping hot. Larry met the girl through a mutual friend; they went straight to bed. She caught sight of his penis and asked if it was small because of his disability. He was embarrassed and angry. They didn't have sex and never saw each other again. Looking back, Larry thinks she's the one who should have been in special ed—didn't she know, it's not the size, but what you do with it that's important?

Then there was the cheerleader. Larry intended to be a linebacker for his high school football team; he had the right build—thick with wide shoulders—but the coordination of a two-day-old deer. During tryouts, he rushed the others with all his strength, but continuously tripped, falling hard on the field. He became the team manager, a glorified title for what he really did—fetch equipment and water for his peers. One of the cheerleaders, Burned Rice Pudding (because she would've been sweet if she hadn't cooked so long and got charred along the edges, making her bitter at the end), screwed him every other week for about six months. It was out of pity, he thinks, but he went along with it. Who would say no to a girl in a short pleated skirt? But as soon as word spread to the team, Pudding started calling him all sorts of names, distancing herself from him. Larry told on her and they never talked again—no more pleated skirts in the sack for him.

Larry's disability may keep him from climbing Mount Everest, but the bedroom was a place where he could have his adventures. He might be slow to pick up certain topics, and had to record lectures at Lehman College to pass classes, but that doesn't mean that his sexual IQ isn't equal to genius. He tried to fulfill himself by using different toys and positions. He tried butt beads and some s/m moves like ones using handcuffs. In a movie, he once saw a sexy scene where the leading man swept all the dishes off the kitchen table and left them shattered on the floor as he laid his lover down. Larry tried that too. He found the one position he couldn't accomplish was sixty-nine—his legs were just too weak—but made up for it by discovering the Lazy Chair. He could plop a girl on top of him and just go to town. He dated a girl with epilepsy once; she was so large he couldn't easily find the hole. He improvised by filling up the bathtub; the wetness, coupled with less strain from gravity, allowed him to glide right in. He attended a ménage à trois, experimenting with some friends who had disabilities. There he met Chicken Legs (not to be confused with Drum Sticks, who is another girl on the list) and discovered that twiggy extremities weren't a turn-on. A friend with schizophrenia once set him up with a transsexual girl (Hebrew Sausage, self-explanatory). Larry was open to trying everything, but when he saw the extra package in between her legs, he confirmed homosexuality wasn't for him. To him, Hebrew Sausage had a disability; she didn't know who she was. Everyone has a disability to Larry, even if it isn't as easy to see as a stiff gait or low IQ score, but no matter the disability, the jizz all comes out the same.

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