I promise, there’s talk of sex in this blog, just go with it for a minute.
Last night Jonny and I watched the documentary Body of War. The movie, which is seriously one of the most inspirational and bestest documentaries I’ve ever seen, follows the story of Tomas Young, a 25 year old fresh-faced soldier who’s desire to fight for his country goes from itch to scratch, after watching
our lame excuse for a President Bush, complete with bullhorn to mouth, standing on top of the rubble at Ground Zero, promising revenge on whoever he wanted to go to war with did this to us!!!
Tomas wanted to go to Afghanistan to help in plotting said revenge, but gets shipped (surprise!, surprise!) to Iraq instead. And even though Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11, it’s where the United States wants to fight, dammit, and so they fight. Back in the states Tomas is trained in the woods, which he realizes is really helpful when it comes to fighting in the desert. Yeah, it’s about as helpful as giving a man with no hands a pair of gloves.
When he gets to Iraq, things go from bad to badder.
On Day 5 in Iraq, Tomas gets hit. Compliments of a bullet to the spine, Tomas is paralyzed from the chest down. He then comes home, where he will need to learn to live again, and what he goes through would make me want to die if I were in his situation. Tomas is obviously a lot stronger than I am.
One more personal aside: There’s lots of amazing footage from the Senate floor, and I now have a major crush on Senator Robert Byrd (not your “typical” crush material, mind you) because he was the most impassioned, eloquent and psychic of all the Senators as to what would, and did, happen. He calls himself one of the Immortal 23 - which is the group of 23 senators who voted against going to war (Clinton, fyi, voted for war - but you probably already know that).
Okay, this blog is about sex, so how come I’m writing about Body of War?
How would you feel if you could never have an orgasm again?
Before you answer that question, I have to say again that you must see this movie, spread the word and spread the message. SUPPORT OUR TROOPS. BRING THEM HOME. Then after you see it (but maybe not the same day you watch) you should spread your legs for your husband, wife, fuckbuddy, boyfriend, girlfriend or soldier, and be thankful that you can.
Tomas won’t be spreading his legs anytime soon though. We find this out in the film, produced and directed by Ellen Spiro and Phil Donahue, because these people aren’t afraid to go there. To address the issues around being paralyzed and getting it up (which has to happen before the actual act of intercourse). Yes, there is actually talk about erections, and sex, and disability, in this film! And it’s honest talk, done really well, and done without shying away from the not-so-sexy truth.
You can learn more about sex and disability from fantastic resources like The Ultimate Guide to Sex and Disability and the Sexual Health Network but you’ll also learn a little about what it’s like to have to live it with by watching Body of War. Tomas returns home to marry Brie, a woman who loves him and promises to take care of him (you’ll have to watch to see how those two fair). Tomas, who already takes a ridiculous amount of pills every day, and will have to for the rest of his life, talks about his exploration of pills designed to get him rocking. Pills and pumps that will do what Hans and Franz talked about doing on SNL.
It’s impossible for Tomas to get erections without the help of Viagra and friends, (actually the “friends” don’t work, and every once in a while Tomas experiences a spastic erection that just happens on its own) but when the Viagra stops working, and for 26 year old Tomas it barely ever works, he can’t get it up at all. For him penis pumps work, but they’re not very sexy, and I imagine in the long run they aren’t very effective either. Once you stop pumping, how long do you really have before things start looking down?
He looks into caverject which is an injection, straight into the shaft of the penis, that causes a stiffy within 20 minutes of administration. While it’s marketed towards men with erectile dysfunction, this is also the drug of choice for many male performers in the adult industry. This website makes it look like the best thing since warm chocolate chip cookies, but the truth is, it’s still a medication and it still has scary side effects. And he doesn’t like the idea of the injecting his member, even though I’m not sure he can feel his penis, so that seems to be out. Although now that I think of it, you see his mother helping him with a catheter and that seems just as bad as the caverject to me.
Brie says she can count the number of times they’ve had sex, since marriage, on one hand. ONE HAND.
There have been 4,032 American coalition deaths in the war in Iraq as of April 14, 2008, according to a CNN count. At least 29,676 U.S. troops have been wounded in action, according to the Pentagon.
That’s a lot of people who have to live with this war forever. Lots of men and women who are never going to be the same, some of whom can count the number of times they’ll have sex on ONE HAND, and these are just the physically wounded. Don’t forget there are emotional wounds as well.
War. What is it good for?