November 30, 2012

Sex Surrogates In Everyday Life And Pop Culture

December is almost here and it’s time to feel the holiday love. In particular, some individuals are utilizing sex surrogates to bring personal healing or to boost romance in their relationship with others. As such, the media has touted the benefits of sex surrogates, as the trend becomes more and more popular.

According to CBS News, sex therapists have seen a rise in the number of patients as many go to them to help them work through problems related to intimacy and sexual performance. Sex surrogates are licensed therapists who help their patients by allowing them to work through sexual issues or obstacles with them; a sex surrogate might also work with a sex therapist on providing therapy for a patient. Therapy might range from flirting lessons, hand holding, or even sexual intercourse; with this mix of things, it is considered a controversial form of therapy.

“It’s a taboo topic, but it, shouldn’t be,” Dr. Sonjia Kenya, a sex therapist based out of Miami, told CBS News.

Sex surrogates have also helped patients work through other challenges, such as those individuals who are diagnosed with autism and stress or those who consider themselves on the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer (LGBTQ) spectrum.

“They’re professional and successful in every other capacity of their life, but they’ve never hugged anyone intimately, or been massaged without all of their clothes off or walked down the street holding someone’s hand,” noted Kenya in the CBS news article.

Patients will generally be referred by a therapist and the individual can choose to participate or not go through with the sex surrogate.

“It’s up to the patient and surrogate to set a program with a start and stop date. It’s important to point out both parties can stop at any time,” explained Dr. Marilyn Volker, a sex therapist in South Florida, in an article by CBS News.

In a Salon article, intimacy expert Rebecca Torosian described her experience as a sex surrogate. She worked with men who were low in self-esteem and were looking to sexual surrogacy as “a last resort” to help jump start their confidence. She explains the challenges of becoming intimate with the men

“I always thought men were born with an innate understanding of how to have sex. But what I discovered over the years was just how wrong I was. I’ve learned that men are extremely sensitive about being able to ‘perform’ and that they often have no idea how their bodies work. They are terrified that women will find out they don’t know what they are doing, and they will be humiliated and shamed,” wrote Torosian in her article.

Torosian also highlighted the benefits the patients received from working with a sex surrogate.

“That job was one of the great honors of my life. I felt self-conscious being naked, at times, but it was a nakedness we shared, and since the focus was always placed back on them and their bodies, it didn’t last long. I wasn’t myself with them so much as I was ‘everywoman’ – they could tell me things they’d shared with no other woman and not be shamed: I was their bridge between a hopeful new beginning sexually and the women in their lives with whom they’d be returning to renewed,” noted Torosian in the article.

A new movie has even highlighted the recent trend. “The Sessions,” which premiered in theaters this past month, features the story of a man who has a physical disability but wants to lose his virginity – even though he’s already 38. He works with a therapist and a priest to achieve this mission. The film stars actors of high caliber, including Academy Award winner Helen Hunt along with past Academy Award nominees John Hawkes and William H. Macy. As well, the story is based off of the autobiographical writings of Mark O’Brien, a California-based poet and journalist, who worked with sex therapist Dr. Cheryl Cohen Greene.

“Most of us carry around invisible disabilities, mindsets that are negative about sexuality and really misinformation about how sex should be,” Cohen Greene told ABC News.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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