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Cory Silverberg

Sexual Surrogates

By July 12, 2008

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A sexual surrogate is someone who works with a sex therapist to provide a hands-on adjunct to traditional “talk therapy.” After seeing a sex therapist for several sessions the therapist may suggest to a client that they would benefit from working with a surrogate as well. The surrogate is meant to be a stand in for the eventual sex partner the client seeks. They may help the client by offering concrete social skills (the way to prepare for a date, how to socialize, how to talk about and initiate sexual contact) and they may help by having sex with the client (everything from an erotic massage to penetration play). The point is that they offer support and education by doing rather than just talking. Sexual surrogacy is a practice that never fully caught on, but reached its peak in the 70s, particularly in California.

There’s an interesting if at times annoying long form article on sexual surrogacy in the Miami New Times. It’s a topic that lots of people wonder about and the article offers a very personal window into the world of sexual surrogacy. I could have done without the all the sex worker bashing that goes on in the piece, and at least a few of the stories related in the piece make me question the boundaries and professionalism of those involved, but it’s still an interesting look at a practice that, as one therapist interviewed for the piece suggests, is almost completely gone.

Read more – New Miami Times: Florida's Last Sexual Surrogate

Related – Mark O’Brien: On Seeing a Sexual Surrogate

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