This is based on the true story of a man who spent most of his life in an iron lung because of polio. (I remember polio as a big deal because my oldest cousin wore a brace because of it.) He is a virgin who decides to explore the world of sex with Helen Hunt as a sexual surrogate.
I was very moved by this film because so many people hide from their sexuality; while he decides to take the risk to explore it despite the physical difficulties. Anxiety creates so much reluctance about sex that couples are defeated before they begin. He combats his anxiety with the help of Helen Hunt. There needs to be one person who can not let anxiety get the best of them.
Anxiety robs too many people of the simple joy of sex.
The depth of his anxiety was very touching because so many people pretend on the outside that they aren’t terrified. In the movies sex is usually pursued with great confidence and success. His fears are so genuine that the reality of how hard it can be to share yourself with someone else is revealed truthfully.
Many women erase their own sexuality & desire. “I’m too tired to have the energy for sex” is the biggest excuse. I find myself trying to convince women that they may miss out on their sexual peak if they continue to hide from owning their sexuality.
Estrogen is too easily flat lined to keep sex unimportant while testosterone doesn’t allow that to happen so easily.
There is great tenderness in watching the intimacy between them as it grows & develops. She helps him to see the larger world is possible and because of this he takes another risk and invites someone to join him.
His sense of humor combined with his intelligence makes him attractive. So many young women today are so busy seeking the superficial beauty of the outside that they fail to see the true beauty of character. I’m afraid they would watch & not believe that he found somebody for the last five years of his life because he bravely opened the door on his sexuality.
When I used to lecture on incest, I would explain that the incest taboo was widespread across cultures because it’s the one reason kids finally have to leave home. Kids can’t have all their needs met at home; then they must step out into the larger world.
It’s not ok to expect your life partner to cooperate with celibacy. It’s not ok to have sex 10 times or less a year because that is considered a non sexual relationship. It’s too sad if you don’t know if you’ve ever had an orgasm, because then you haven’t. It’s tragic to miss your sexual peak.
It’s wonderful to watch this movie to know that your own terror like his can be faced because sex matters.