Jan 20, 2012

Polio survivor’s new film explores sexual surrogacy.

Nine years before Mark O’Brien died, the 36-year-old poet and journalist, who was also a polio survivor living in an iron lung, decided he wanted to lose his virginity. Until then, he’d always been ashamed of his sexuality, which he believed served no purpose save to mortify him when he became aroused during bed baths. So, like any true writer, he recorded his thoughts: “I rationalized that somebody who was not an attendant … would be horrified at seeing my pale, thin body with its bent spine, bent neck, washboard ribcage and hipbones protruding like outriggers,” O’Brien wrote in an article titled “On Seeing a Sexual Surrogate.” 

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