Mark (John Hawkes), who has been in an iron lung most of his life due to polio, decides he wants to lose his virginity and hires a sex therapist, Cheryl (Helen Hunt). After a few sessions, Cheryl and her husband read a love poem Mark had written for her, causing tension in the marriage. After the sixth session, Mark and Cheryl decide to stop the sessions due to the feelings they are beginning to have for each other.
Sometime later, Mark's power goes out during the night, turning his iron lung off. He is eventually rushed to the hospital and saved just in time. While recovering in the hospital, he meets a volunteer named Susan. The two fall in love and are together for five years before Mark passes away.
At the funeral, all of Mark's friends, caretakers, and women he loved attend. The poem Mark wrote about Cheryl is read by Susan. The two women share a knowing, loving glance about the man they loved.