The Last Taboo

2013, Sexuality  -   45 Comments
Ratings: 8.03/10 from 163 users.

The Last Taboo conveys a captivating and comforting story of six people with different physical disabilities and a fit partner who was in a relationship with one of them.

These persons share their outlooks on affection, connection, friendships, relationships and, according to their experiences, they share what they've learned about themselves. Basically, the overall idea of the film is that... "In bed, everyone's able."

The maker of this film, Alexander Freeman, had never felt comfortable with his own sexuality. It was always that strange thing that he wanted so badly to explore, because in order for you to really understand yourself you have to be able to experience the touch of another person. One time a girl who was a friend of his gave him an experience that changed how he saw his own sexuality. It was the first time that he felt attractive. But he still had questions. He decided to find out why it is perceived to be the last taboo. He has cerebral palsy, which basically means that he doesn't have total control over his muscles. But, everything still works down there.

The problem with the word "disability" is that it has a negative connotation from the get-go. It automatically implies that there's something that somebody "can't", or something that somebody "isn't", and that becomes defining, foundational definition of the way somebody thinks of somebody and then it spills over everything including sexuality.

People will look at something and they'll think it's beautiful if it falls under certain guidelines and that is what puts so much stigma on the idea of someone with a disability being a sexual person, because people can't quite connect the dots between the idea that someone has a non-normative body or presentation and the fact that they might be sexual.

45 Comments / User Reviews

  1. bringmeredwine

    Thank you so much TDF gods for uploading this video!
    People like to pretend that physically challenged folks would never dream of having sex, nor should they dare hope to.
    I wish society had evolved to the level where a doc like this could be shown and discussed in every high school classroom.
    (geared toward a younger viewer's maturity level)
    Parents and numerous interest groups would have their knickers in an uproar if this subject became part of Sex Ed's curriculum.(if Sex ED is even an option).
    Our youth are sexually active (or thinking about it) They require accurate information to help them make choices with their bodies.
    Our schools are full of able bodied and physically challenged students, so it's an ideal place to start a dialogue.
    For now, a weirdly popular tv show like Taboo will have to do, but at least it'll make adult viewers take notice and possibly open up their minds.

  2. jaberwokky
  3. jaberwokky

    That was interesting. Certainly not something I would have put any thought into before seeing this doc.

  4. a_no_n
  5. a_no_n

    I don't like the word disability. It's a hard word to use after seeing a guy with one arm shimmy up a climbing wall faster than you can, or watching a guy in a wheelchair lead a protest he's organised...or watching the special olympics (special is no feels patronising to use).

    But this is the result of a progressive society. where the differently abled (a better term but quite a mouthful) can explore their limits or lack thereof.

    In Britain where i'm from, the government has been fighting a dirty vicious campaign against the sick and disabled, whom it labels as scroungers.
    Disability benefit fraud comprises of about 2% of the Disability welfare budget (which doesn't even show up as a statistic on the welfare budget as a whole) but yet it's been used as an excuse to completly dismantle the entire welfare state that has given people with disabilities in England the opportunity to have an actual life.

    Videos like this are the perfect antidote to right wing misinformation and should be spread as far as possible.

  6. NX2
  7. NX2

    My knee jerk reaction was to wonder how anyone with a healthy sex life could consider this a taboo. But then i realised it's actually mainly about a self inflicted taboo related to self image and confidence, and finding the courage to explore beyond those perceived limits. 'Disabled' or not, quite something to be admired for.
    Love might give that courage.

  8. NX2
  9. NX2

    Look, it's not that i'm against anything you say here, but how the hell did you manage to bring up 'right wing misinformation' in this context?
    Please - out of respect if you will - don't let this be part of anyones political agenda.

  10. bringmeredwine
  11. bringmeredwine

    I found a Canadian website for teachers, health care workers and parents containing suggested guidelines for teaching individuals with intellectual and physical challenges.
    It's called

  12. a_no_n
  13. a_no_n

    a fair enough thing to say...So if you can find me one single person on the left who fully supports the policies i'm talking about then i'll recant that stance.

  14. NX2
  15. NX2

    Well, i don't know enough about the British political landscape. But no, i don't want you to recant that stance, it might very well be a valid one. I reacted from an emotional side to much, but the point i wanted to come across is that i didn't see how straightening out political issues would be essential for addressing personal issues. But then again, if certain policies are detrimental for a group of people to make a living, then such personal issues might not be of primary, perhaps i should recant.

  16. a_no_n
  17. a_no_n

    I don't think you should, it was a fair enough point to make.

  18. Joe Patches
  19. Joe Patches

    Paralympics is the preferred terminology I believe

  20. a_no_n
  21. a_no_n

    god damnit! i knew there was a preferred term for it, thank you for correcting my ignorance.

  22. a_no_n
  23. a_no_n

    that's exactly what they're doing over the point where people who are in comas and others who are literally months away from dying are being judged fit for work and having their benefits's a nightmare.

    I think i read in a paper that something like 32 people a week are dying within a year of being found fit to work by ATOS...but that's from a British paper so take what you will from that.

  24. bringmeredwine
  25. bringmeredwine

    I demand to see that link! (just kidding:)
    I was reading similar articles from Australia, yesterday
    Well, if I ran the government, God help us all; this is what I'd do:
    I'd fund a new program where each applicant for benefits, right up to the long standing recipients, meet face to face with an occupational therapist, who must be an objective third party, on a regular basis.
    The therapist would visit in the homes or the hospital setting. They can draw their own conclusions on whether someone is fit to work, in the near future. They could meet with the attending physicians, too.
    Maybe this is the only intelligent way to weed out the cheaters, and for an expert to see with their own eyes what physical/mental state an individual is actually in, and whether they are realistically fit for work.
    Maybe such a program could save tax payers money in the long run, then benefits could actually be increased.

  26. a_no_n
  27. a_no_n

    the really stupid thing is that it's not even an issue. Disability benefit fraud is something ridiculous like 2% of the disability budget, which barely even shows up as a statistic on the welfare budget as a whole.

    It's attacking those least likely to defend themselves.

  28. bringmeredwine
  29. bringmeredwine

    Don't worry, I already read that in your previous post.
    Any government who is well aware of this figure, and is still stirring up the pot, is unconscionable.
    Yes, they are creating an issue that is hardly worth the new legislation.
    They are appealing to the kind of voter who thinks with his pocket book; they are sending the message, "I'll save taxes, those dirty b*stard cheaters", and they'll look like hee-roes.
    Do your leaders mention it's 2%? Have they shown the math?
    There are voters out there who don't care about the welfare of their fellow man, and think too bad for you if you can't work-that's not my problem.
    They are a right wing government's dream
    Who the hell decides a guy in a coma should get their benefits cut off?
    Who are these mysterious bureaucrats and how do they come to these insane conclusions?
    Sounds like the lunatics are running the asylum.

  30. bringmeredwine
  31. bringmeredwine

    They are being broadcast starting this Friday, I believe. At 2:pm Eastern Standard time in Ontario.

  32. NX2
  33. NX2

    I couldn't imagine that any political party, right, left or center here in Belgium (where i live) would even dare mention the idea of such point of view. They probably would loose a lot of votes. Social security is very much seen as a basic right, touch that and you'll get quite an uproar.

    You mentioned in your previous comment a figure of 13,272 (CAD?). I don't know the Canadian living standard, but that doesn't seem to be quite a lot. Here in Belgium, if you have a disability or are 'a person with a handicap' as the official term goes (as to distinguish person from handicap) and aren't able to work, then the National Institute for Social Security will provide you with a replacement income. Which means you will get at least minimum wage. I haven't got an exact number for minimum wage, but after a rough calculation on my part, i got something of about 13260 Euro. That's already tax deduced. Plus, depending from situation, you might also be eligible for extra financial aid or tax benefits concerning mobility, housing, education and what not...
    It's well known that people with a disability are taken care of here. I also know this from personal experience, as i used to be a postman, and i had to deliver the payouts.
    The only problem we seem to have is a shortage of places and educated staff for people with disability that need to be institutionalised. There's a waiting list, but it can take up to a few years.

  34. bringmeredwine
  35. bringmeredwine

    Now you've got me reaching for my calculator, lol!
    In Ontario, minimum wage is currently 10.25/hour. (soon to be 11.00 in May or June)
    So, if we multiply that assuming a 40 hour work week is the norm; 52 weeks a year, I come up with 21,320.00.
    I know people on Disability benefits who only receive about 550.00 or 800.00 a month, and it is their only income.
    I didn't mention them before because these figures are purely anecdotal.
    Can you imagine trying to live on that?
    It takes at least 1,000.00 (CD) a month to rent a decent 1 bedroom apartment, not counting utilities,!.
    The waiting lists here for subsidized housing can take years.
    Psychiatric hospitals are closing.
    Waiting lists abound for old age homes
    Nurses are being laid off,
    Our senior pensioners are really suffering too, if they haven't a private pension or significant savings/investments.
    Canadians always prided themselves on providing programs like our free health care, employment insurance, and old age pensions (small as they are).
    Some don't seem so compassionate these days about the reality of what it's like to survive on welfare or a disability benefit.
    Unless they know a recipient personally who really needs it.

  36. bringmeredwine
  37. bringmeredwine

    This might be wandering off topic a bit, but in 2013, Canadian Seniors/Pensioners could collect up to 18,702.84(CD) annually, if they've worked.
    Up to 6,552.84(CD) annually, if they haven't.
    This is before taxes.
    I have the website on hand if you want to see it.

  38. a_no_n
  39. a_no_n

    it's done entirely through the right wing media. the daily mail, the sun etc, they constantly push the angle that everyone claiming disability is a scrounger and a layabout.

    Who needs evidence and statistics when you've got a propaganda machine?

  40. bringmeredwine
  41. bringmeredwine

    I hear ya.
    I don't know how some people sleep at night.

  42. docoman
  43. docoman

    G'day Red, how's it going mate? I'm on a disability pension in Australia. Basically I get similar to Unemployment benefits, but with a few extra's. I get a little extra to help pay for medications, I get a pension card that lets me get most prescription meds at a fixed, reduced cost, and my GP 'bulk bills' those with pension cards so I don't have to pay to see him. I don't have to pay income tax, as my annual income comes in under the tax-free threshold. (They get me elsewhere ) Some parts of my payment are not taxable, (the extra's basically) If I'm able to earn money, there is an amount per week that I can earn, then it reduces the amount I receive.
    My budget is pretty tight, there's not much 'spare' money. I rent from family, it's almost impossible these days to live alone on this amount, rent has gone crazy here the last decade or so. If I had to live alone, I'd probably be forced to move back to a more remote country area just to be able to afford the rent. Probably if it wasn't for the generosity and help of my family, I'd be close to being forced into breaking the law to survive here (relatively close to the city) by now. I have a garden to help with the food (when I'm able to get to it), I also breed fish which adds a couple $ from time to time, and should improve as I get my set-up sorted better and some new fish I have mature and start to breed. Time isn't the problem, ability and money are.
    Our current governments here have decided they're going to 'mess' with it if they can, but that'll likely be blocked in the senate (fingers crossed). The cost of living is rising fast, but the benefits haven't. It's getting tighter. And they're wondering why the crime rates are rising, and the police budget needs to be increased.
    Anyone who thinks its preferable to be on a benefits payment here instead of working, is either a lazy bum, or they've never had to survive on this income level.
    I very much miss working, and not just for the income. Sex, unfortunately, is pretty low on my list of priorities, but it's by no means taboo. :)

  44. a_no_n
  45. a_no_n

    of course for the sake of political balance i have to note that the left wing media does absolutely nothing to try and counter the vast swathes of misinformation and in my eye's they are equally as guilty.

  46. docoman
  47. docoman

    Here in Aus we have a centre, (the old 'left) and a right wing.. now :( Voting is interesting if you're on benefits, it's basically how hard do you want to be 'screwed' and then blamed for our problems. Somehow we've voted in the biggest scumbags they could find. :( Very short memories the voters have here.

  48. docoman
  49. docoman

    To get a disability pension here in Aus, you have to get forms filled in by your treating doctor, and have an interview with Social Security for them to determine if you can work or not. It is reviewed every 2 years, more forms for your treating doctor to fill out. I've already run and won 2 court cases against the two @$#$'s that made me ill (or their insurance companies to be more exact). The compensation laws here are an absolute joke... they're more worried about banks and insurance companies than the people. :(

  50. bringmeredwine
  51. bringmeredwine

    It's so nice to hear from you again!
    Back in the nineties, friends who'd been to Australia were aghast at the cost of living.
    A friend of mine, on Disability, here in Canada, rents a house from her brother now which is way under the current rates.
    When she lived in a miserable 2 room basement apartment, she could only afford to eat every second day!
    Fortunately her brother also pays the utilities because she simply cannot.
    My heart aches for people who have no families to help them out while they struggle so hard everyday just to exist.
    I don't understand how a government determines that such paltry pensions or benefits are "fair."
    Best of luck to you!

  52. docoman
  53. docoman

    I'm not sure of the %, but it's very similar here. I heard a talk about politicians and the apparent lack of respect they get from the general public. One guy said that he'll respect them more when they show the same vigor in chasing tax fraud by wealthy companies and people, as they do when looking at Social Security payments. I wholeheartedly agree with him.

  54. bringmeredwine
  55. bringmeredwine

    I've heard (no proof here), that most Canadian applicants, despite doctor's reports, are refused Disability Benefits the first time round.
    It can be a very daunting and expensive uphill battle to win the fight against the government and collect what is rightfully yours.
    I can't imagine adding a case against an insurance company at the same time.
    I'm so glad you won:)

  56. docoman
  57. docoman

    Thanks mate :) If I came across as sooking I didn't mean to :) I'm lucky, there's many more that are doing it much harder then I am. I agree, its very sad for those that don't have family that loves them like mine do me.

    I concur, many government decisions are just plain wrong. I couldn't do what many politicians do, vote for some things that are so obviously morally bad.

    The extra sad thing here in Aus, is this country has made a fortune off our natural resources for a long time now, but the real owners, the people, don't see much of that. Billions in profits to mining companies, banks etc while the welfare, hospitals and schools go underfunded. There's still asbestos in some public schools.. that's a disgrace. Many diggers (Aussie soldiers) would be turning in their graves. If we keep going the way we are, there's gong to be big problems in the future.

  58. docoman
  59. docoman

    Although the money is gone, I'm happy I proved I was telling the truth, but still my proudest achievement was I forced the company to vaccinate all the other workers, then and since (those that didn't catch Q-Fever too), against my legal advice at the time. I'll never know how many I saved from a similar problem, or death.

    I was denied at first for the pension here, I took in documents showing I'd already won 2 cases, told them they'd be the 3rd if need be. They changed their decision ;)
    I have known others that didn't have the capacity, on top of being unwell, to fight. I still feel sorry for and wonder about them. I'd rather die than let them hurt me like that and get away with it... stubborn can be an asset sometimes. :)

  60. bringmeredwine
  61. bringmeredwine

    "sooking"? Lol!
    Not at all.

  62. a_no_n
  63. a_no_n the irrational hatred stakes Tony Abbott makes Britains entire conservative party look like a bunch of bumbling schoolboys.

    I guess in Britain we're quite lucky that our politicians are so shallow and self serving that they don't have the capacity or the Gravitas for proper evil.

    I must admit, i look at politicians in America, Aus, Portugal, Italy etc and i realise that the level of corruption in Britain is...laugable and bordering on the pathetic,

  64. a_no_n
  65. a_no_n

    unfortunatly for most of them, chasing worst tax avoiders in the country involves turning around and looking at the guy sat next to them...who also only has to do the same.

  66. docoman
  67. docoman

    I'm ashamed Abbott is in our government, let alone our PM. I saw a pic on facebook recently that was pretty accurate, it had George W. Bush and underneath Tony Abbott, the caption said something like, "Remember when we used to laugh and wonder how people could vote in someone like George W... (then underneath Abbott) Awkward"

    I guess that's what is to be expected when a strong Catholic believer (or so he claims) that seems to hate anyone different, especially the poor, the sick, the LGBT's, females in general, average workers and anyone concerned about our environment, is allowed to gain power. I recall him being honest once..during the last election campaign they lost, he admitted that he lies sometimes. (opps, he was told by his LNP cronies to shut up and stick to the script after that interview)

    The backlash seems to be building here, hopefully it'll only be the one term. Not that the alternative is much better. :(

  68. sta8ce
  69. sta8ce

    what are you going on and on about.
    nothing i despise more than this type of canadian who blathers on and on about how s*itty canada is.
    all your info on disability has been why post it.
    the people who get $800 a month are the ones who live at home with mom and dad (like my cousin, the drug addicted brick layer - his disability is being on methadone, $800 is what he gets FOR NOTHING) and who don't have any expenses, so yes, we can imagine living on that.
    disability requires INFORMATION. things like T4's, what your spouse makes, do you have a spouse, rent receipts etc etc etc.
    they don't just pull numbers out of their a$$es and leave you in utter poverty.
    something isn't right about the stories you've been telling here. nor about the number of people you apparently know on disability....

  70. Freethinker
  71. Freethinker

    When they say "The last taboo" in sexuality, this was not what I had in mind...

  72. Anna Marrie
  73. Anna Marrie

    as an able bodied person who has been with an amputee partner and has many close friends with various presentments of disability I can only say this: There is no such thing as a merely physical disability. A psychological component comes with it largely due to isolation, fear and disapproval from society at large. If you are disabled, please factor in your"pain in the ass factor" when you are having a good day and at least try to compensate in some way. Not by saying it. That's hot air. Nobody thinks they are doing you a favor being with you. But by going out of your way to do something you don't feel like doing to accommodate the desire of your partner friend who does the same for you every day. I've seen Sins Invalid and it was great but I wished I had an opportunity to give this feedback. No, not a saint or a freak, just a person with options like you. Your struggle and courage isn't going to cut it if depression and anxiety cloud the every day. That being more likely than not, yeah, you need to step up and make my day once in a while. reality check. OR date similarly situated individuals who get it and don't want to face the same things you don't want to face. Thats equality babe.. still want it?

  74. Richard Neva
  75. Richard Neva

    A very moving film.

  76. Native
  77. Native

    What is this? Sounds like an epidemic of Conservativism around the world. I thought it was mostly America that has Conservative a$$holes pretending to be Christian. I knew that Britain was having problems with their Health System but Aussies are too? I despise the American Right Wing Conservativism and I hope it dies a painful death in the not too distant future and I hope that it does in Britain and Australia, too!

  78. a_no_n
  79. a_no_n

    Because the UK has practically no laws controlling it's media, (British media is regulated by the british other words, no regulation.) the vast majority of misinformation you hear actually starts life here in Britain...Papers like the Sun and the daily mail publish obvious BS, but get away with it because there's no regulation holding them accountable for it...and of course once one has printed it all the others can print it too because it's not got a source.

    We're having problems with our health system because it's had it's budget cut and it's targets increased...Basicly a string of right wing governments have done everything they can to stretch it to breaking point so that they can justify selling it off and make a profit for themselves.

    I don't hope conservatism dies, i just wish it could shake off the Circus Thatcher and Regan forced it to become...

  80. bringmeredwine
  81. bringmeredwine

    Canada suffers from a Conservative government run by members pretending to be human beings.

  82. Native
  83. Native

    Yes, I agree. What Thatcher and Reagan did was unconscionable. It pretty much destroyed the Party of Lincoln. The beginning of the destruction, in America, actually began with Nixon when he allowed HMO's here in America. Reagan, and Thatcher in England, finished it off and each Republican President since then has gone from bad to worse until we are where we are today. The last true Republican President in the United States was Dwight D. Eisenhower. He did wonderful things for this country. When Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act, the Southerners left the Democrat Party and went to the Republican and politics as we knew it in America started and morphed into what we see today. What we have now in America is not true conservativism and what it needs to do is come back and be the Party that was what Abraham Lincoln up to D.D. Eisenhower imbued and let the ugly thing it has become, die out.

  84. TPS
  85. TPS

    Thanks folks, I wanted some discussion about the film in question and I got another tired ratty political discussion. Politics and awareness thereof, including soundly derived conviction are certainly essential to most democratic processes, but this space was _supposed_ to be here for comments and criticism of the f*****g film.

  86. Jeannee
  87. Jeannee

    This one I especially wanted to see, and participate in a discussion of, and even share - but Vimeo videos are very bad for "sticking" - i.e. the talk doesn't match the picture - so you lose the whole thread ;(

  88. Juci
  89. Juci

    This is a must needed conversation. Though as a woman with disabilities and disorders I find the title quite puzzling. I don't find it offensive, just odd. What makes it the last taboo, really? There are still numerous of things that are far more taboo than people with disabilities and/or disorders having the same wants and needs as people with abilities (or the nondisabled). I wish psychologists would look further into the lives of people with disabilities and/or disorders beyond the age of 25. There is no deeper study on the subject matter of living with disabilities beyond age 25. What does a woman like myself can look forward to when I reach the age of 40, 50, 60, over 100 years of age while dealing with the disabilities and disorders I have? All books about Autism, ADD w/ chronic Depression and Learning Disabilities are written for teachers who teach students who are either toddlers or teenagers. What about older people with disabilities and/or disorders? Even Autism Speaks has little to no *beep*ing information on what to do with individuals with ASD after graduating college life. The only information I found on elderly with ASD is a single page article, no real tips or how tos. It's as if those of us with ASD or any disabilities and/or disorders disappear after the age of 25. Talk about Ageist society. Society is even worse towards those of us with disabilities and/or disorders. :/

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