Gimps Gone Wild Opens Doors for Disabled Models

LOS ANGELES - Adult model Bonnie, aka "Kitten," visited an adult-video store hoping to find a DVD featuring wheelchair-bound people. She found none.

Asked if any were in stock, the clerk said, "We do not carry those videos because they might offend somebody."

Frustrated, Bonnie wondered why videos with wheelchair-bound people were considered offensive, compared to other types of films. Sick of being shunned as nonsexual, Bonnie created , an online home for disabled models like herself.

"Everyone deserves the chance to express themselves as adult models," Bonnie explained. "Just because we are disabled doesn't mean we can't do this. My models tell me that since they have joined the site, their confidence levels have shot up, they feel better about themselves and they feel pretty and sexy. It's so worth it. I've done something for these people that no one else could do."

Since Bonnie started the site in 2002, models have emerged and bonded around a drive to spread the message that they have the same needs and desires as anyone else.

"The media has pretty much shut out disabled people, except for the usual geriatric wheelchair ads, or show them as some pathetic, needy type of person, a freak or the bitter disabled person," Bonnie said. "We created GGW in response to this rejection. We wanted a sanctuary to express ourselves in a sensual way, to be seen as sexy and to be seen as adults.

"We chose the name as a play on words. If you can't laugh at yourself and [not] take everything seriously, what's the point of living? The name is a humorous way to cope with some of the struggles we face as disabled people."

GGW thrives with the assistance of Bonnie's boyfriend Kurt, aka Diablo, who is featured on the site and has osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disorder characterized by bones that break easily.

Bonnie and Kurt, who have been involved in the adult industry for years, travel often to promote GGW. Kurt took Bonnie to the AVN Awards Show in 2005 while working for Extreme Associates. At the show, they were approached by esteemed photographer Michael Grecco, who was working on his book : An R-Rated Look at an X-Rated Industry.

The two were the subjects of two pages bearing a photo and a statement: "Need proof that the adult industry is an equal-opportunity employer? Look no further than on- and off-screen handicapped couple Diablo and Kitten."

"I want to show the world a 3-foot wheelchair vamp dwarf can be sexy," Bonnie said in the pages' description of the couple's love for the adult industry.

Bonnie began her career as a webmaster in 2001, when she formed a site similar to Gimps Gone Wild. She split ways with her partner and established her current site, which features non-nude and nude photographs and video for which she pays models 70 percent. Bonnie said the site now has more traffic than any other adult site featuring disabled models.

Model Misstress Mayhem, who has cerebral palsy, said she is happy to have found a place to express herself.

"I love being on GGW," she said. "It not only helps my own self-confidence, but I get mail from adoring female fans thanking me for being a role model. I am strong, beautiful and sexy, with a motor to propel me. Love me or hate me, this job gets people with disabilities noticed as sexual beings, and that can only be a positive thing!"

Heather is a GGW model who has spina bifida, which is characterized by a cleft spine or an incomplete closure in the spinal column.

"I like being a model for GGW because it gives you so much freedom," she said. "You can show the world, ‘I may be handicapped, but I am still beautiful.'"

Bonnie said she has encountered "devotees," people who are attracted to the disabled. A conference for devotees is held by the , a support group and social club founded in 1996 for amputees, people with other disabilities and their admirers. Bonnie said the conference, which was created to bring together devotee men and disabled women, was founded by a devotee man and his amputee wife.

Conference founder Jama Bennett has been an amputee for almost 23 years. When she lost her leg, she was refused by her then-husband and other men who regarded her as "different." Her world opened up when she discovered men who found her attractive, not only for her disability but for her strength.

"My own interest is piqued by how well she copes with her disability, how well she transcends it and in the special ways that she does things," one admirer explained to Bennett. "I prefer a woman who is confident and competent, not downtrodden. Of course, like any mature individual, she knows how to accept assistance that is thoughtfully offered and how to ask for help when she needs it. Meanwhile, she gets on with her life, moving gracefully and happily forward in her wheelchair."

"At first, I was offended by them," Bonnie said of devotees. "I thought, ‘Why are these freaks getting off on my impediment?' However, they have turned out to be the nicest, most respectful people I have ever met."