Take my glasses away from me and I am legally blind. People joke about being blind without their glasses, but I fit the definition of “legally blind”. I am quite myopic, amblyopic, have a substantial stigmatism, diplopia, and presbyopia. What this means is that my ophthalmologist finds me unusual and interesting. In more simple terms, I can not read the giant E on the eye chart because it is not there, not even a blur at this point. It has ceased to exist. I am extremely light sensitive and have been known to scream when stepping outside without my sunglasses. I have scared complete strangers in public doing this. I have a lazy eye that refuses to pull its own weight and must be forced to be a team player. I have no depth perception and double vision. My eyes have also lost the elasticity that causes the eye to focus light behind, rather than on, the retina when looking at close objects. In short, my glasses qualify as blunt trauma weapons if I were to throw them at someone and actually hit them.
I recently had my yearly eye exam. I do not like going to the eye doctor. It induces fear and panic. I am always one eye exam away from being told I am not longer allowed to drive because my vision can no longer be corrected. Despite needing a stronger prescription this was not that eye exam. The curiosity that goes with that fear took me to the internet where I googled how strong glasses can be made. I did not find that answer, but I did learn something unexpected that may or may not fall under Rule 34. Myopic Fetish.
Nothing surprises me and I am not one to kink shame. Kink shaming would be somewhat hypocritical coming from someone who used to write adult movie reviews (that is a story for a different time), but the idea of myopic fetish makes me seriously uncomfortable. If we were talking the average “glasses are hot” fetish, I would go on with my life without giving it a second thought, but myopic fetish falls under fetishizing a disability and that makes me rather uncomfortable. I mean, being disabled is not sexy. You can be a sexy disabled person but there is nothing sexy about disability no matter what the disability. I am just not saying this is a chronically ill visionally impaired disabled person. Being sexually turned on by a disability is an extreme form of Schandenfreude. This is just not something my brain will wrap around comfortably.
As a small child I was so farsighted that I could not navigate sitting in a chair without landing on my ass next to it. One trip to the eye doctor later I ended up with a patched eye that I cried about and needing glasses. Eventually my weak eye was strong enough the patch came off and by the end of kindergarten I did not need my glasses anymore.
I was 10 or 11 when I could no longer read the chalkboard in school. I did not want to say anything because I was still haunted by my last foray with regular visits to the eye doctor and eye patches. After asking to be moved closer to the chalkboard and a certain girl offering to give up her seat to me where she could sit next to the boy I liked, I gave up and said something. For some reason I thought that after I got my glasses, I would get my seat back. It didn’t happen.
Each year my eyes got worse and worse. At 17 I needed bifocals. I promptly fell down the two or three stairs outside the eye doctor’s office because I was not prepared for things to look so much closer than they were when looking through them. It didn’t occur to me until that moment that I was essentially looking through magnifying glasses. This falls under the category of “objects in mirror are closer than they appear.” During the bifocal learning curve, I perfected my “I meant to do that” look. If I was going to be a walking disaster, I was going to own it.
Later that year I was sitting in chemistry class and out of nowhere the girl sitting behind me one row over told me my glasses were cracked. I took them off and looked them over and couldn’t find anything wrong. It dawned on me that she caught my bifocal line just right. I smiled and told her it was just my bifocal she was seeing.
“Bifocals? My grandmother has those.”
How do you even respond to that at 17? I have since upgraded to trifocals and people have commented “It’s just a fact of getting older.”
I realize people are trying to make me feel somewhat better about aging, because we do loose eye elasticity as we get older resulting in needing bifocals or trifocals, and it happens to a lot of people. However, I will not accept this comment from anyone because there is that assumption that I am not okay with needing trifocals or aging. Personally, I just want to see properly and not have eye strain or headaches. I always say the same thing. “It’s not a getting older thing, it’s an I can’t see thing. I’ve been in bifocals since I was 17.” You can see the confusion on peoples faces as they process the fact that it is just not “old people” that need bifocals.
Several years later strong prisms would be added to my prescriptions. Where I get my glasses made these days their computer always regurgitates my prism value because it is so high thinking it is a typo. Someone with the authority to summon the guy in the desert with the special sand has to enter a top-secret code into the computer releasing my prescription to the desert lens making guru. Afterall, he is only to be disturbed for the most special of special cases. I’m pretty sure he only works on Wednesdays.
A few years ago, I told a good friend of mine that I ordered my new glasses. She asked for a picture when they came in hoping that I picked out something new and fun and stylish. I told her that I got the same frames, the Ray-Ban Optics. These are the ‘normal’ eyeglass version of the Wayfarer sunglasses (which I also get in prescription strength because it is impossible to put transitions on my lenses). Basically, I get the same name brand nerd glasses every year. They are the only frames I have found that do not break under the strain of my thick-ass lenses. Shout out to Ray-Ban! It also makes everyone’s life easy at the eyeglass store. No one has to ensure that there is enough room for the prism and the trifocal or remeasure me for it. Just copy down all the same numbers from last time. Job done and everyone is happy. When I told her that I had my eye exam and got the same frames again she just laughed at me. It is really the only proper response.
Now I learn that there are people out there who fetishize people like me and their glasses. I really wish it were just people into that librarian look, or who think nerds are hot, or that girls in glasses are cute. Oh no, this has nothing to do with the aesthetics of frames and everything to do with how the lenses look. The thicker the lenses the better. Myodiscs preferred. Think of those bug-eye lenses of Maz Katana in The Rise of Skywalker.
Fetishizing someone’s disability and the trappings of that disability does not sit well with me. The disabled are either treated as lesser people, as an inconvenience, as not worth as much as the able bodied or fetishized. Others are either disgusted by us or turned on by us. We are never seen as or treated as normal. Even the visually impaired are not immune. We have become objects, not people who suffer from headaches and eye pain, dizziness, nausea, fatigue, and limitations to our lives.
I also realize that people do not necessarily have control over what they are attracted to, but I found it disturbing that there are people who go to lengths to have a certain myopic look by wearing contacts that make their vision worse then putting corrective lenses over them. Why would anyone want to be visually impaired? What is with the constant need to cosplay as someone disabled? I am starting to understand why people will be accused of faking a disability for attention, especially if they don’t look disabled. There are people that really do fake disabilities for attention. If the life of the disabled isn’t hard enough, there are those that have to complicate it further for whatever reason. I never thought that I would have to worry about how a strangers kinks would affect me. Guess I was wrong.
 There is porn of it. No exceptions.