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Handicap fetish describes a sexual preference for people who are disabled. People with a handicap fetish are mainly attracted to individuals because of their disabilities, which may be physical or mental in nature.
Because the term "handicap" has fallen out of favor is often considered derogatory, this fetish is also sometimes called a disability fetish. It may also be referred to as devoteeism. People with a handicap fetish are often called devotees or devos for short.
Someone with a handicap fetish may be attracted to individuals with minor disabilities, such as if they are missing fingers or toes, or more marked disabilities like blindness, missing limbs, or cognitive impairment. Some people with a handicap fetish have a preference for partners with particular disabilities.
Sometimes people with handicap fetishes also feel aroused by fantasizing about being disabled, or by role-playing as a disabled person.
Although controversial, in most cases people with a handicap fetish simply accept their sexual preference as a part of their sexual identity and seek to explore it in a healthy way. As a general rule, most fetishes are considered acceptable fantasies as long as any acting on them is safe and consensual, and the fetish does not negatively impact the fetishist's life.
This fetish is controversial because of the potential for exploitation of those with disabilities. However, it’s important to remember that most adults have sexual desires, including those with disabilities. It is most important that all individuals participating in any interaction governed by a handicap fetish are consenting adults.
Others worry that those with a handicap fetish see only the disability, and not the individual. However, some people with a handicap fetish believe they are better able to understand people with disabilities, because they do not see the disability as a barrier to human connection. They may also see little difference between themselves and individuals who are attracted to particular characteristics such as large breasts or muscular arms.