Sexual surrogate

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A sexual surrogate, sometimes called a surrogate partner, is a member of a sex therapy team consisting of client(s), supervising therapist, and surrogate.[1][2][3] Some couples attend sexual surrogacy sessions together, while some people (either single or in a couple) attend them alone.[4] The surrogate engages in education and often intimate physical contact and/or sexual activity with clients to achieve a therapeutic goal.[5] Masters and Johnson introduced the practice in their textbook on Human Sexual Inadequacy, published in 1970.[6]

Most surrogates are women;[7] a few are men.[8] Some surrogates work at counseling centers, while others have their own offices.[9] Many surrogates have training as sexologists.[10]

Although anyone can call themselves a surrogate without training or certification, there is training and certification available.[11][12] The International Professional Surrogates Association, founded in 1971, trains and certifies sexual surrogates and refers clients and therapists to them, as well as participating in academic research and public education.[13][14] Vena Blanchard is its president.[15]

Typical problems[edit]

Patients frequently present with these specific problems:

There are people who have experienced a change in sexual lifestyle due to an acquired disability (accident, paralysis, disease, trauma), and a surrogate can help them explore and develop sexual potential. The causes of sexual dysfunction are numerous and the methods a surrogate might use to help improve sexual function are varied.

Therapy[edit]

Since many sexual problems are psychological rather than physical, communication plays a key role in the therapeutic process between a patient and the sex surrogate, as well as between the surrogate and the therapist. Surrogates offer therapeutic exercises to help the patient. These may include relaxation techniques, intimate communication, teaching social skills, and some sexual touching.[16] Sex surrogate and tantra sex educator Mare Simone says that physical intimacy is a rare occurrence between her and her patients, and she will not engage in intercourse with those in committed relationships.[17]

Legality[edit]

Sexual surrogacy has been legal in all of the United States since 2003, provided the surrogate works under the supervision of a licensed therapist.[18]

Articles[edit]

The 2003 Salon.com article "I was a middle-aged virgin", by Michael Castleman, discusses a middle-aged American virgin (Roger Andrews) and his therapy with the sex surrogate Vena Blanchard.

Documentaries[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • The TV series Boston Legal featured a sexual surrogate named Joanna Miller (played by Jane Lynch) as a recurring character. The show explored her professional relationship with two of the main cast, their sexual problems, and how a surrogate can approach treatment. The show further drew attention to the problems that can face those who offer sex surrogacy services. The character Joanna appears in the episodes "Can't We All Just Get A Lung?" (Season 3, Episode 1) and "The Verdict" (Season 3, Episode 6), which were both first aired in 2006.
  • The movie The Sessions (2012) stars Helen Hunt as Cheryl, a sexual surrogate who helps polio survivor Mark (John Hawkes) lose his virginity at the age of 38, based on the true story of Mark O'Brien and Cheryl Cohen-Greene. O'Brien wrote about his experience in 1990.
  • The Israeli movie Surrogate (2008) is about a female surrogate (Lana Ettinger) treating a man (Amir Wolf) who was sexually abused as a child. The film was directed by Tali Shalom-Ezer and is based on extensive research at Dr. Ronit Aloni's renowned clinic in Tel Aviv.

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Burford, Michelle (September 2009). "Is a Sex Surrogate Right for You?". AOL Health. Archived from the original on February 12, 2010. 
  2. ^ International Professional Surrogates Association. "Surrogate Partner Therapy". Retrieved 13 March 2013. 
  3. ^ "Better-Sex Secrets from a Sex Surrogate | Women's Health Magazine". Womenshealthmag.com. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  4. ^ "Better-Sex Secrets from a Sex Surrogate | Women's Health Magazine". Womenshealthmag.com. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  5. ^ "Better-Sex Secrets from a Sex Surrogate | Women's Health Magazine". Womenshealthmag.com. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  6. ^ "Surrogate Partner Therapy/Sexual Surrogacy-To Refer Or Not to Refer". Zurinstitute.com. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  7. ^ "New Ashvegas feature: Ask the Sex Coach". Ashvegas.com. 2009-09-24. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  8. ^ DeHaan, Jerry De. Reaching Intimacy: A Male Sex Surrogate's Perspective, published 1986.
  9. ^ "Certified Sex Surrogate Partners". Sexsurrogateofla.com. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  10. ^ "Sex Therapy". Informedaboutsex.com. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  11. ^ "Sex surrogates: an alternative type of therapy". http://al-hikmah.org. unknown (2004-2011). Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  12. ^ "IPSA". Surrogatetherapy.org. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  13. ^ "IPSA". Surrogatetherapy.org. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  14. ^ Muller, Robert (2013-05-27). "Sexual Surrogates Help Many Who Suffer Alone". Psychology Today. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  15. ^ "About Vena". http://www.venablanchard.com. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  16. ^ "surrogate partner therapy". IPSA: INTERNATIONAL PROFESSIONAL SURROGATES ASSOCIATION. Retrieved 27 January 2014. 
  17. ^ Burford, Michelle (September 2009). "Is a Sex Surrogate Right for You?". AOL Health. Archived from the original on February 12, 2010. 
  18. ^ Fisher, Adam (2012-10-22). "What Are Sexual Surrogate Partners?". Kinsey Confidential. Retrieved 2014-03-03. 
  19. ^ "Taboo: Forbidden Love". National Geographic Channel. 

Further reading

External links[edit]