Destre came across this article just now and sent it to me (http://www.pacificnews.org/marko/sex-surrogate.html); it is a story of a man with polio dealing with his sexual desire and his perceieved physical and romantic inadequacy. The article is mainly about coming to terms with his sexuality and the emotions he went through in seeing a surrogate.
How is a person to respond to an article like this? Being sentimental and emotive is inappropriate and patronising, yet being rational and scientific about it the human sexual aspect which is the whole point of the piece. A certain sensitivity to the person is fundamental, but so is impartiality when studying social phenomena. Someone please, give me an idea of how to understand phenomena as this without being taken by sentiment, yet maintaining compassion.
At the end of the article, the man’s sexual life did not alter at all; while gaining an awareness and appreciation of his own sexuality, he realises later on that he could never fulfill his needs. It would seem some kind of repression would help him get on with his life and forget about his masculinity. But is sexuality too important to deny; even for the stigmatised like him?
Another theme of the article was the perception that this man with polio, who is physically infirmed, cannot find anyone who can appreciate him sexually. This is due to the stigma of disability and criterion of sexual attractiveness held by nearly everyone. This isn’t a sob story, rather, it is an account of a person’s sexuality and they way that they deal with it. Avoid the sentimentality at all costs.