Showering with a cast is really hard.

By Jem B

I broke my ankle living in a very rural area, where doing anything required a physical effort and a working body. Each time I showered I had to tie black bags around my leg, then tie my leg to the window. The end of every day found me collapsing onto my bed exhausted, broken and dirty.

(Burning out fast). I was in the midst of a destructive long distance relationship and pretty much never felt sexy. Feelings of desire were crushed under reminders of desirelessness.

My best friend, in helping me document my cleaning contraption, took this photo. Vulnerability under their gaze – tied to a window, naked, with a broken leg – and hearing them exclaim at my bum beauty really let me feel that broken me was [in fact still] a sexual being. 

Their gaze, their words, their presence through our intentional and artistic documentation of my physical experience lit a spark in the ashes of my libido. It brought me life.

Photograph: Dadawele Fihlani