ProConnect

"The Sessions" Is Wise and Helpful for all Couples

By

 "The Sessions" Is Wise and Helpful for all Couples [EXPERT]
Give this movie a chance!
The film advertises sex for a disabled man; however, its wisdom is a gift for all couples.

I disagree with much of the descriptive media focus on the 2012 independent drama film, The Sessions, written and directed by Ben Lewin, a polio survivor. More about this soon.

This film, entitled The Surrogate when it deputed in the 2012 Sundance Film Festival (where it won the U.S. Dramatic Audience Award) stars two enormously gifted actors, John Hawkes, who depict the true lives of Mark O'Brien, a poet and journalist who due to childhood polio is paralyzed from the neck down and spends most of his hours in an iron lung, which he can leave for a very limited time each day and Helen Hunt, who plays Cheryl Cohen Greene, the sex surrogate he hires in order to lose his virginity.

More from YourTango: Why Some People Are Cruel And How To Deal With Them

O'Brien's story has been known prior to this film. He and Greene wrote the article "On Seeing A Sex Therapist," published in 1990. He also described his life journey in his book, How I Became a Human Being: A Disabled Man's Quest for Independence. In 1996 Jessica Yu won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Short, which chronicled O'Brien's life.

Lewin attempted to find a disabled actor to depict O'Brien, but when he found no one he believed could play him effectively, he turned to Hawkes, who used foam sized as a soccer ball laid on the left side of his back to curve his spine.

More from YourTango: How To End Your Relationships With Negative 'Friends'

But here is where I differ with the major advertising focus of The Sessions: In its depiction of successful sexual consummation by a physically impaired man the film has been likened to the 1978 film, Coming Home. Both are touted as films about sexually impaired men who overcome limitations. The latter starred Jane Fonda as Sally, an unhappily married woman who finds independence when her brutish husband (played by Bruce Dern) leaves to serve in Vietnam. Sally falls in love with John Voight, the soldier who returns from war a paraplegic. It is in their consummated love scene that Sally experiences her first orgasm.

Both films, however, are, in reality, about far more than overcoming physical limitations. They are about how not to lose each other, how to avoid divorce — and how each of us bring fears to sexual and emotional intimacy — fears that can destroy love and trust. Each film explores the personal lives of the principles focused on and shows how successful sexual consummation and continuing this satisfaction and the release and hope it brings  involves far more than technique. In The Sessions, Hunt plays a serious professional with marital challenges of her own. Due to her client's severe deformities, sexual penetration will be exceedingly difficult, if at all possible. It is possible, as is mutual orgasm, because there is love, based on enormous respect, between them.

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

SaraKay Smullens

Author

I look forward to your thoughts and sharing with you.

To be continued,

SaraKay Smullens, MSW, BCD, LCSW, ACSW, CFLE, CGP 

Location: Philadelphia, PA
Credentials: BCD, MSW
Other Articles/News by SaraKay Smullens:

Why Some People Are Cruel And How To Deal With Them

By

Here are a few examples of the different kinds of cruel people that exist in our world and a solution on how to deal with them.  The Supposed Friend & The Cheating Boyfriend My 20-year-old client, a college senior, was both sobbing with pain and shaking with rage. She had learned just a few hours before she called for an emergency appointment ... Read more

How To End Your Relationships With Negative 'Friends'

By

Communication gurus usually advise folks to honestly talk out problems and share intimacies as the most useful means to solve discord and enhance relationships. But here's the catch to this counsel: It only works with those who are determined to develop the capacity for this kind of communication, if they do not already have it. Communication gurus also ... Read more

Ted Cruz Resigns as "Manchurian Candidate In Training": A Satire

By

Have you heard?  An American spy working in the Texas home of Senator Ted Cruz  and and his wife, Goldman Sachs's Heidi Nelson Cruz, has passed on a hot off the press secret e-mail written from her "boss" to Russian President, Vladimir Putin.  ("I cannot say who placed me," the spy said in her recent interview.  ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts
Girlfriends

6 Texting Shockers You Must Avoid!

Sending your man a text message sounds easy enough, but get it wrong and it could be the end of you.

Blues

The addiction to "busy"ness: How to live with more intention

Is the daily routine of life getting you down? Find your passion and live a more authentic life!

Crazy

Guide to Becoming a Soulfull Woman Understand Your Beliefs

Once you understand where your beliefs about yourself came from, you determine what's really YOU

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Resources
How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no time…

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>
HOT STUFF!
FROM OUR PARTNERS