Sex surrogate

Last night I watched a 2012 thought-provoking movie called “The Sessions”.
It stars John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy.

Based on at true story, it tells the story of journalist and poet Mark O’Brien. Paralyzed from the neck down due to polio and confined to an iron lung, he never had sex. At age 38, knowing that his days are numbered, he endeavors to lose his virginity.

With the help and guidance of a priest (William H. Macy) he hires a sex-surrogate (Helen Hunt) to help him reach his goal.

First of all, it never occurred to me that a man paralyzed from the neck down could entertain sexual fantasies.
Able-bodied men, yes. They think about sex all the time. But a severely handicapped man?
A misconception indeed!

According to a CNN report men think about it about 19 times a day on average, whereas women think about sex 10 times a day on average.”

According to the same report Having sexual thoughts is healthier than not having them.”
So regardless of your condition, you are better off thinking about sex than politics.
If you are buried in politics, you are probably a miserable lover.

I was also surprised to learn that a man in such a dire condition could have an erection. But obviously he can. Another misconception.

Mark, a deeply religious man confides in a priest about his predicament.
Again, you would not think that a priest would be the ideal person to talk about such subject.
But the priest (William H. Macy) is not an ordinary cleric. He is a long-haired hippy-looking dude who surprisingly encourages him to go through with his discovery journey.
I think that the Catholic Church would greatly benefit from such enlightened individuals.

Helen-HuntThen there is the sex surrogate, Helen Hunt.
At 50, Helen Hunt is in a great shape and not a bit bashful about disrobing and appearing entirely nude in a few sessions. Few actresses her age would dare to pull such a stunt, but she does it in a tasteful natural manner and deserves a lot of credit for it.
She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role at the 85th Academy Awards.

This leads me to think about sex surrogates.
First of all, what prompts a woman to become a sex surrogate? Love of sex or sympathetic concern for the sufferings of others?
Possibly both. Who knows?

A sex surrogate, as Helen Hunt points it out, is not a prostitute. She gets paid for services rendered and cares about her clients.
In the movie she keeps detailed records of her encounters and works in cooperation with a team of professionals.

According to Wikipedia, “Many surrogates have professional certification in the fields of sex education, somatic psychology, sexology, psychology, or counseling. This allows them to work in an interdisciplinary mode including psychiatrists, psychologists, sexologists and other therapists.”

An intriguing profession, a thought-provoking story and a surprising ending!


2013 LPM annual meeting

Last Sunday La Pétanque Marinière held its annual meeting/dinner.
It took place at the Chalet Basque restaurant in San Rafael.

It is an event that I have long championed and I found it a little disappointing to encounter so few guests, thirty-three to be precise.
A pity because during this meeting our president (Christine Cragg) is supposed to deliver our club’s State of the Union address.
The president is expected to tell the membership how our club is faring.
According to Christine, despite a reasonable bank account, our club is limping.

It is limping because most of our Board Members have resigned or are missing in action.
I think that our problem is mainly due to age and battle fatigue. I will venture to say that the average age of our members is around 68 and when reaching that age people are less frisky than younger folks.
Basically we need new blood. We need to recruit a younger crowd or our club is bound for oblivion.

IMG_0708 - Version 2At the end of the year, Claudie Chourré, our beloved, indefatigable worker is retiring from the Board and she is going to leave a big void in our organization.

As Christine mentioned it, we need four (4) new Board Members for the coming year and I don’t see many people rushing to fill the vacuum.
It is good to remember that the Board Members are an essential part of our organization and without them few decisions can be made.

In her brief allocution, Christine thanked the actual Board Members for their contributions, and also acknowledged the services of Jean-Claude Etallaz, Alain Marchand and Jean and Emily Etcheverry.
They all indeed deserve a big round of applause.

Otherwise the evening went well.
The food, although not extraordinary, was acceptable and the service was good.

I tried to take some pictures to commemorate this event, but it didn’t go very well.
In the dimly lit dining room my small Canon PowerShot camera was too slow to capture the action and my iPhone didn’t perform well either.
That’s why I had to dump most of the pictures that I took during this evening and keep just a few.
Sorry about this mishap. I will be better prepared next time.

Last Sunday many people renewed their membership, and so should you.
Do not procrastinate, mail your check today and keep the club alive!

See you soon on the courts!


To look at photos of this event and listen to accompanying background music, turn the sound on, and click on the link “My Photos” located on the right side of this page.

Status quo

One should never be satisfied with a status quo and always be willing to challenge the existing state of affairs.
Regardless of who you are or what you do, there is always a better way of doing things, especially in our fast changing world.
What was adequate yesterday is probably obsolete today and in need of being updated or upgraded.

Be it your way of playing pétanque (merci monsieur Foyot), your method of managing your health or your love life, there is always room for improvement.
But to be successful, you need to keep an open mind and be willing to embrace changes. And above all you need to be curious.

Screen-shot-2012-08-17-at-3.26.50-PMI am an avid reader and I get most of my ideas from news clips and magazines.
I subscribe to a few periodicals but I also peruse the Internet daily to keep abreast of what’s happening.
Most of what I read is quickly forgotten (or put in a virtual bin called “later”) but once in a while I come across an interesting bit of information and I have no rest until I am able to try it out.

As you know, I run a small blog (what you are presently reading) and I am constantly on the lookout to improve its appeal.
Since standing still means losing ground, I periodically evaluate the content, the look, the functionality of the site and strive to improve its overall attractiveness.

Through reading I often become aware of new widgets, small applications that can easily be installed to increase a site’s functionality.
When learning of a particular app, I download it and try it. If I am satisfied by the results I keep it. Otherwise I deep-six it.
But the main thing is that I am never satisfied with the status quo and I am willing to get out of the rut to try new things.
I am glad to say that this particular site has substantially evolved since its initial launch, and I hope that you noticed it.

Today, most everybody is using a computer or a smartphone but we use only a very small number of the device’s resources. We are too busy or too lazy to dig and figure out its (often hidden) possibilities.

This is wrong.
Apathy, indifference to changes is harmful to your well-being.
Regardless of age, one needs to remain curious and show a willingness to evolve.

Lack of evolution paves the way to extinction.