Couple

Even paralyzed, I can love them

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Bruno de Stabenrath was a "young man with soles of wind". But a road accident made him tetraplegic. In Cavalcade, his autobiographical novel, he talks about how he (re) discovered his body and his sexuality. A straightforward interview.

Before his accident, Bruno de Stabenrath was a man in a hurry with music for passion. He had created the Borsalino band in the 1980s and, more recently, the band Jam. At 15, he was noticed by François Truffaut and Ettore Scola, shot in commercials and TV movies. In his book, he gives a very personal testimony, but also wants to speak on behalf of quadriplegics who are not as "privileged" as him. He asks: how to lodge, feed, pay for a carer, buy rehabilitation equipment and travel with only 5,000 francs per month of social assistance?

Interview by Isabelle Yhuel

The Taboo of Sexuality

Handsome man, Bruno de Stabenrath, 40 years old, frequented the world of show-biz, where money seems easy and parties endless. But five years ago, as a result of a car accident, Bruno found himself quadriplegic. Today, paralyzed of the four members, he is a privileged handicapped person, thanks to a family and friendly entourage very present, financially generous, and to his taste of the life, remained intact in spite of the sufferings. In Cavalcade (2001, by Robert Laffont), he addresses with justice, and sometimes crudely, the taboo subject that is sexuality. He explains to us how, when one is like him a man who likes women, one arranges, after such an accident, with the physical pleasure and with the love.

Psychologies: When did you think about sex and love again?

Bruno de Stabenrath: I will always remember that day at the hospital, about two months after my accident, where I started to "bend". I then knew that I was saved. In the middle of this monolithic block, rigid and insensitive that had become my body, this little banner that stood up marked that I was alive.

Psychologies: Before, what relationships did you have with women?

Bruno de Stabenrath: Despite some long liaisons, I did not feel ready to commit myself. I wanted above all to succeed in music, and I felt that creating a couple would shrink my universe. I was a Pygmalion, attracted by women rather young than I turned into a pinup. The aesthetic side - fishnet stockings, stiletto heels, a certain smile, vitality - has always been fundamental to me. Except that after a while, they got tired of this role or talked about baby, and there, I was afraid. But at the time of the accident, I fell in love and broke up with all my other partners.I was at a crossroads of my life, I was thinking of setting myself up in a real story. Then nothing was possible between this girl and me.

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