Tackling the taboo of sex and disability in the sack

by Silvana Calcagno - 2015.01.25
Tackling the taboo of sex and disability in the sack
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Sex and disability: two words you rarely see together, as if it were taboo. But today it's finally been broken in 'Under the covers', a documentary by Colombian director Johan Florez, who is Italian by adoption. The idea was presented at the most recent Milan Film Festival in the competition 'Are you series?' to become a TV series. It was one of the finalists and was then transformed into a 33-minute documentary that looks at the world of sexuality through the eyes of someone with disabilities.

Because contrary to the widely held assumption, having a physical disability doesn't automatically mean you aren't sexual. This refers not only to the act of making love itself, but also to a simple embrace or just physical contact with another human being. This is the main focus of Florez's documentary, whose plot was inspired by Max Ulivieri's life. Ulivieri is a project manager for accessible tourism, a blogger as well as founder and president of the LoveGiver Association, a committee for sexual assistance. He shares his story during the course of the documentary, discussing the importance that his love for his wife Enza has played in his life and particularly the role of sexuality in the life of someone with a disability.

“The body,” says Max, “is a treasure chest that holds something more important.” A lack of full physical capabilities shouldn't preclude the possibility of communicating with that body, to transmit and receive emotions. It's a crucial point for those concerned and for those around them.

Precisely for that reason, Maximiliano Ulivieri wrote LoveAbility, which tackles the theme of sexual assistance for people with disabilities. The role of sexual assistant is now recognised professionally in countries such as Switzerland, Holland and Germany. In Italy, a bill has just recently been proposed to close the gap that separates us from these countries.

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