Fans With Disabilities Are Praising Sex Education's Approach To Disability And Sex
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After the release of season three of Netflix' Sex Education, fans have been binge-watching the show and offering up their praise and critical commentary about the storylines.
In particular, fans with disabilities have been praising the show for its approach to sex and disability in regards to Maeve (Emma Mackay) and Isaac (George Goodwin).
Maeve has been a main character on the show since it began, while Isaac, who is a wheelchair user, was introduced as a potential new love interest in season two.
In the new series, after some false starts, they begin exploring their relationship both romantically and sexually, as Maeve asks him poignant questions about how his disability plays into his sex life and what he can feel and wants her to do.
It's a poignant scene for people with disabilities, as they have self-reported being discriminated against and stigmatised based on their disability and not considered 'dateable' or 'sexy' by many.
Ness Cooper, a sexologist and sex and relationship coach, with expertise in disability and sex, praised the scene too.
She said: "The scene in Sex Education where Maeve and Isaac become more intimate sexually is very important on so many levels. It’s taken away the focus that orgasms and sexual pleasure need to have genital involvement, when in fact that’s not the case.
"It’s important to have this highlighted not just for those with chronic disabilities but also at some point in many individuals lives most will have trouble with genital focused pleasure whether it’s due to mental or physical blocks."
Cooper added: "With Isaac, I found it touching how he was able to talk to Maeve about how they find other areas of touch enjoyable – and if I’m honest we all need to be talking about this!
"I really like how Sex Education has sparked the conversation around how different types of touch can work best for different individuals."
Fans largely agreed with Cooper's assessment, praising the scene extensively on social media and saying it "means" a lot to them.
One fan said, "Maeve and Isaac in Sex Education actually talking about intimacy and disability means so f***ing much to me. That is something so important to see represented in media, and something I've never seen done before. May have cried a little bit."
Another wrote, "Not me crying at Sex Education who are finally talking about disability and sex – representation is so important and that was the first time I'd ever seen a disabled person talking about sex on TV."
A third wrote, "I love that the new season of Sex Education touched on sex for people with disabilities. Quite refreshing to see because I hardly ever hear people talk about it.
"They deserve to experience pleasure too."
A fourth wrote, "Ok so I know that everyone has their opinion on Isaac in Sex Education but that scene with him and Maeve was so refreshing like you rarely ever see a disabled person being intimate on screen."
Another said the scene was "beautifully done" as "sex with a disability requires a lot more communication than most."
"It was perfect representation for those who are less able, sex just doesn't disappear because you're disabled," they continued.
The intimate scene occurred in episode four of the new season, and though by the end of the season the pair seem to not be together, it is hoped that their close friendship and the representation of disability will continue in the new season – whenever it airs.