Sex, people with disabilities, and The Scenes

I went to the movies with my mom on Saturday, purposely late to avoid the ads and previews. This strategy backfired when we arrived 10 minutes TOO LATE  to the movie we planned to see, Flight. Truth be told, I didn’t care, particularly when a poster for The Sessions caught my eye.

Iron lung. Polio. Sex surrogate. William H. Macy. Helen Hunt. Hmmm. I was fuzzy on details but hopeful so I twisted my mom’s arm. Flight, Denzel … Argo, Tehran, Islamists … They’d be around later …

The Scenes, a film based on the true story of an intelligent, witty, religious man who contracted polio at the age of six, brings up important issues, the least of which is, people with physical disabilities that have sensation below the waist aren’t different than anybody else when sexual urges and the need for intimacy are concerned.

Helen Hunt plays the role of the sex surrogate – someone who is paid for sex but isn’t a prostitute. She has a limit of six sessions with a patient and during the course of the client sessions she exposes them to things they’d do with a partner. The nudity and sex is not gratuitous. It was very matter of fact and portrays sex so normally and naturally – and, well, it was very un-Hollywood. I believe The Scenes is the type of movie that will open the eyes of the everyday American to the basic needs of people with disabilities.

If the thought of this movie makes you uncomfortable, don’t be. I assure you, it is funny at times, thoughtful, and not at all creepy or awkward. In fact, I’m fairly certain it will make you look at yourself and how you perceive people with disabilities.

2 thoughts on “Sex, people with disabilities, and The Scenes

  1. Heard abut this movie on NPR as they interviewed the director, I believe. Sounded very intriguing… now if I can just find the time to go see it before it’s too late!

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