Am I Devotee For Wanting to Date an Intellectually Disabled Person?

Feb 11, 2019

flufferanian asks, quote:

If I think about dating a girl or two with intellectual disability during my lifetime and actually end up falling in love with her, does that make me a “devotee”? I’m in no way, shape, or form getting sexual gratification from this (I identify as asexual), I just feel that they deserve to be given the same opportunity to love that the majority of people take for granted. I’m just willing to love someone who accepts and loves me for who I am.

end quote.

The short answer is no, you’re not a devotee of intellectually disabled people: you’re not fetishizing or objectifying someone’s disability. However, the scenario you’ve described is really problematic.

You’ve described your hypothetical romantic connection with another human being as if you’re performing some kind of service or charity: “they deserve the…opportunity to love” and “I’m just willing to love someone who accepts me…” (emphasis mine).

You may not get sexual gratification from dating an intellectually disabled person, but it definitely sounds like you would take some kind of self‐righteous pleasure in dating someone you consider to be overlooked or under‐appreciated by the rest of society.

Frankly, it sounds like you’re wrapping your own prejudice against the intellectually disabled in a cloak of “acceptance”. You said you would “just be willing to love someone who accepts and loves me for who I am”. Willing? What I hear is “I’m willing to date an intellectually disabled person if they’re willing to accept me.” Does that sound healthy to you? It doesn’t sound healthy to me. It sounds like you see dating an intellectually disabled person as some kind of concession or compromise.

I’m not saying you’re a bad person. In fact, I think that asking this question was brave, it was asked in good faith, and asked out of genuine a concern for other people. What I am saying is that you have an opportunity to step back and re‐evaluate your position on dating someone with an intellectual disability.

I hope you take it.