The Sessions

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‘The Sessions’ is about a man, Mark O'Brien, a poet paralyzed from the neck down due to polio. Sensing he may be near death, he decides he wants to lose his virginity and hires a sex surrogate to lose his virginity. The hired sex surrogate, Cheryl Cohen-Greene, tells O’Brien they will only have six sessions together, but soon after, it is clear they are developing romantic feelings for each other.

O’Brien only had three functioning muscles in his body (neck, jaw and in his right foot), but still remained capable sexually, with all of the same feeling and urges and anyone else. Many disabled people are outsiders in society. It is hard for them to meet other people, and many cannot develop their full sexual potential because of difficulties dining a partner. Psychologists can help a disabled individual meet their sexual potential with therapy to help social skills and the reduction of anxiety to help the individual maintain a sexual partner. Another course of treatment is called sex therapy. Sex therapy is a form of therapy or counseling that addresses a person’s psychological or physical sexual problems. In ‘The Sessions’ a sex surrogate was hired to deepen O’Brien’s understanding of sensuality and psychical and emotional intimacy. The concept of sex surrogates was founded by sex therapists Masters and Johnson. Masters and Johnson felt that for many men, they needed hands on guidance. Sex surrogate partners go beyond traditional sex therapy and beyond just talking about sex. It is about what sex has come to represent in the life of an individual. Emotions send signals to the brain, which sends directions to the genitals. If the mind is full of stress, then those thoughts and emotions are directed to the genitals. Stress can block the function of the genitals.

In sessions, sex surrogates are both active and receptive. When active, touch can trigger deep emotions and memories. In ‘The Sessions’ Cheryl, the sex surrogate, encourages Mark...
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