Who Won the Iraq War? I Did.

December 2007 Esquire
March 5, 2007 Newsweek

The Iraq War turned four this week.

If you're looking for streamers and party hats, you're either a moron or president of the United States of America. Four years later there's just not that much to celebrate. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found, we've created a safe haven for terrorists, and Iraqis remember the rule of Saddam Hussein more fondly with each passing day. Our budget is busted and nearly 3,300 American lives have been lost. There are no winners in George W. Bush's war.

Except for me. And others like me.

No, I don't own stock in Haliburton. And, yes, I'm just as mortified by the death toll—American and Iraqi—as any other thinking person. But I'm still getting something out of this war. Bryan Anderson, for example, the decorated Iraq war veteran who graced the cover of December's Esquire. Anderson is both a triple amputee and a smolderingly hot specimen of man. Sadly, he doesn't see himself that way.

"When you're looking for a girlfriend or a boyfriend, you have this mental picture," Anderson told Esquire. "Nobody's going to say that they're looking for somebody who's missing three limbs."

Well, Bryan, I've been masturbating to your picture for the last four months because you fit my mental picture perfectly.

Those in the know refer to people like me—people who dream of a roll in the hay with someone who had to roll himself out to the barn—as acrotomophiliacs, or amputee fetishists. Those of us who want to sleep with amputees are known as "devotees." Many of us are men, some are gay, and more of us than you might expect are women. And thanks to George W. Bush's war, acrotomophiliacs are going to have an easier time finding dates and masturbation material. We're the only "winners" of this war.

Now, I'm not a classic acrotomophiliac. I don't require my sexual partner to be missing body parts. I wouldn't kick an able-bodied Leonardo DiCaprio out of my bed—but if he accidentally sliced off a hand I would be a little more anxious for him to stay.

Where did this fetish come from? This is my best theory: As a teenager, my first crush was a man who happened to be in a wheelchair. He was different, and I found that sexy. I also liked the fact that, unlike my peers, he couldn't run away from me. Not because he was in a wheelchair, but because he was the greeter at Wal-Mart. He was paid to sit at the door and smile. I would sit in the food court and stare at this Brad Pitt on wheels as he welcomed fat shoppers in sweatpants. When the greeter finally caught me staring, he confused my lustful gaze with freak-show gawking. I felt horrible.

Ever since, I've been attracted to disabled men—and older men, chubby men, and guys with accents. For some, conformity is sexy (think typical gay men and the Abercrombie & Fitch ads that target them). For others, difference is sexy (think typical straight men and the American Apparel ads that target them). I always notice different; extreme difference catches my eye and sparks my interest. And isn't getting noticed the first hurdle we have to clear before we can find love?

Take, for instance, the picture of Army specialist Marissa Strock on the March 5 cover of Newsweek. Anyone can see at first glance that she's a good-looking young woman who—oh my goodness, she's missing both her legs! Now, this last physical detail will either titillate or repulse, but it will not fail to register. And it's okay to find someone attractive for his or her physical attributes alone, right? Nobody looks at Halle Berry and thinks, "I'd love to tap that I.Q." Initially, what makes Berry so attractive is her physique and willingness to go topless for her art. It's the same with my attraction to people with no thumbs. Maybe they're also Rhodes Scholars, but at first glance, they're thumbless, and I want them to fuck me. If that's objectification, then so be it.

This comparison is flawed, I realize. Berry hasn't lost a limb in a traumatic accident. (Though if she keeps drunkenly crashing into things she might soon. Remaining fingers crossed, everyone.) Anderson and Strock, however, have experienced life-altering traumas. But should that disqualify them from being seen as sexual beings? And should that disqualify those of us who find them sexy—as they are now—from seeing them as sexual beings?

And thanks to George W. Bush—and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney and Condoleezza Rice and corrupt Republicans and ineffectual Democrats—there are going to be a lot more amputees around for me to see as sexual beings. During the Vietnam War, two American soldiers were wounded for every fatality. Now, thanks to advances in body armor and battlefield medicine, 16 U.S. soldiers are wounded for every fatality. That means fewer depressing military funerals and more sexy disabled vets, more Bryan Andersons and Marissa Strocks.

In the very recent past—that would be before March of 2003—prosthetic limbs were found mainly on little old ladies who ate too much sugar. But, now, thanks to George W. Bush, there's no shortage of strapping, fit, healthy amputees, limbless men and women in their physical prime. Most of the soldiers sent off to Iraq are just barely old enough to vote, so people like me can look forward to lots of barely legal, legless porn. It's enough to make me believe in God. Hell, it's almost enough to make me vote Republican.

George W. Bush has been feeling underappreciated, particularly by the Iraqi people. Where's the cake with four candles? Where's the gratitude? Well, on behalf of my people, George, I offer our thanks. You get an "A" for Effort. Stay the course, Mr. President. You're the Decider. What, you have another plan for victory? Wonderful! The more young Americans you send off to fight this immoral, illegal, and already lost war, the more will come back half the men or women they used to be. And I, for one, am not complaining.

Because as a proud, loyal, fucked-in-the-head American citizen, I would give my right arm for just one night with anyone who gave his right arm to Operation Iraqi Freedom. And the longer this war goes on, the likelier that becomes.

Hail to the chief. recommended


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Man you are one sick and twisted individual. For this I thank you...and for the record the first thing I thought of before reading your article while perusing the pictures was "I'd sure like to fuck that no-legged chick". You are not alone my warped compadre'.
Posted by Son of a Mitch on February 19, 2009 at 11:53 AM · Report this
Hi, my name is Marissa... you know, the one in the picture you have posted. First off, I'd like to say thank you. No, I don't believe that my injuries should keep me from being seen as a sexual being, nor do I feel that I am any less sexy than I was before I was hurt.

HOWEVER, I DO get quite upset when my image is exploited for ANY reason. I just found out today that images of myself and images of me with my family are being used on amputee fetish websites without my permission for people to get their rocks off to.

Secondly, I don't even know how to respond to most of your article. The fact that you are for the war simply because it produces more material for you to wack off to disgusts me. The fact that you THANK the MORON'S who ran our country for 8 years disgusts me to no end. It just makes me hang my head with shame about the intelligence level of this country and how low it's gone in the past decade or two.

As far as you 'Son of a Mitch' I'd just like to say, you disgust me.
Posted by effinggreat13 on August 23, 2009 at 2:59 PM · Report this
Marissa ... I wrote the article, and I normally wouldn't respond to a comment, but I think you deserve a clear response.

Yes, you are beautiful, before and after your trauma! Absolutely.

Secondly, my praise for the war was meant to be entirely sarcastic. If it read as an actual approval of the Bush Administration's war campaign, then it is entirely a failing of tone on my part, and I want you to know I agree with you one hundred percent. My intended point was that there are no "winners" in this war, and in order to find a silver lining, one would need stretch the results to a ridiculous extent.

I am absolutely NOT pro war. However, I am pro-soldier, people like you who deserve not only to be recognized as heroes but as people.

Thank you for your service. And your comment.
Posted by docky on January 11, 2010 at 8:20 AM · Report this

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