ProConnect

New Film Begs Question: What Is A Sexual Surrogate?!

By

New Film Begs Question: What Is A Sexual Surrogate?! [EXPERT]
Actress Helen Hunt at "The Sessions" premiere in Toronto.
Helen Hunt plays a sexual surrogate in "The Sessions," but this is not your ordinary sex therapy.

The film "The Sessions," starring Helen Hunt, is inspiring a lot of curiosity. People keep asking me, "What exactly is a sexual surrogate?"

A sexual surrogate or surrogate partner therapist (SPT) is a person who works with clients to overcome sexual dysfunction and enhance relationships. The goals range from relieving anxiety around intimacy or dating to addressing specific concerns such as virginity, erection response, ejaculation timing, painful intercourse, inhibited desire or negative body image. Or the surrogate may try to facilitate more pleasure or overcome negative responses based on past traumatic experiences.

More from YourTango: THE SESSIONS: 10 Things You Can Learn From a Sex Surrogate

For anyone who has experienced changes resulting from a disability and does not have a partner to work with, the surrogate can help explore and develop sexual potential. Surrogates are not the solution merely for someone who cannot find a date — the goal of the relationship is to establish self-esteem through honest interactions and build confidence through hands-on practice. A surrogate partner is first an educator, second a facilitator and finally a practice partner who acts as a 'mirror' for her or his clients.

Surrogate partners differ from prostitutes in that they are professionally trained and work in a therapeutic situation comprised of client, surrogate and licensed supervising therapist (i.e. a licensed mental health professional). A surrogate usually feeds information back to both the client and therapist. Together surrogate, client and therapist work in a sort of therapeutic love triangle.

The three-way relationship is usually terminated by mutual agreement among the client, surrogate and therapist. Surrogates are responsible for preventing the transmission of HIV/STDs and conception.

Sound good? Finding a surrogate partner may be difficult if you don't live in California, Florida, New York, or Israel. Convincing your insurance company to cover this service may be even harder!

More from YourTango: THE SESSIONS: 10 Things You Can Learn From a Sex Surrogate

There are only a few dozen men and women who have been formally trained in surrogate partner therapy. When looking, I strongly recommend contacting the International Professional Surrogate Association and using someone who is a member and operates by IPSA's professional code of ethics. Otherwise, in this unregulated field, so it's buyer beware.

More sex advice from YourTango:

Share this with someone you love (or even like a lot)!

Let's make it
FB official
Article contributed by
Advanced Member

Dr. Mitchell Tepper

Author

Mitchell S. Tepper, PhD, MPH
mitchelltepper.com
Sexologist
AASECT Certified Sexuality Educator and Counselor

Location: Atlanta, GA
Credentials: PhD
Specialties: Couples/Marital Issues, Chronic Pain/Disability or Illness, Sexuality
Other Articles/News by Dr. Mitchell Tepper:

THE SESSIONS: 10 Things You Can Learn From a Sex Surrogate

By

THE SESSIONS, starring Helen Hunt (Cheryl Cohen Greene), John Hawkes (Mark O'Brien) and William H. Macy (Father Brendan) is a movie based on the real life story of Mark O’Brien. At the ripe age of 38 and still a virgin, O’Brien, paralyzed from the neck down and living in an iron lung since a childhood bout with polio, hired a sex surrogate to ... Read more

THE SESSIONS: 10 Things You Can Learn From a Sex Surrogate

By

THE SESSIONS, starring Helen Hunt (Cheryl Cohen Greene), John Hawkes (Mark O'Brien) and William H. Macy (Father Brendan) is a movie based on the real life story of Mark O’Brien. At the ripe age of 38 and still a virgin, O’Brien, paralyzed from the neck down and living in an iron lung since a childhood bout with polio, hired a sex surrogate to ... Read more

THE SESSIONS: Made in the Image of God

By

The Oscar contender, THE SESSIONS, starring Helen Hunt (Cheryl Cohen Greene), John Hawkes (Mark O'Brien) and William H. Macy (Father Brendan) deals head on with human sexuality and disability in all their complexities. The movie tells the story of Mark O'Brien, a 38-year-old Catholic virgin who has spent most of his life in an iron lung as a consequence ... Read more

See More

Recent Expert Posts
Smooches

She's That Into You: Cracking the Code of Women

Women give off signals telling you how they feel.

Girlfriends

6 Texting Shockers You Must Avoid!

Sending your man a text message sounds easy enough, but get it wrong and it could be the end of you.

Blues

The addiction to "busy"ness: How to live with more intention

Is the daily routine of life getting you down? Find your passion and live a more authentic life!

Ask The Experts

Have a dating or relationship question?
Visit Ask YourTango and let our experts and community answer.

Resources
How to find the right pro for you
10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

10 Reasons Mental Health Pros Should Join YourTango Experts

YourTango Experts can help your business go from good to great.

10 Steps To Improve Your Coaching Business

Take your coaching business from mediocre to great in no timeā€¦

Frequently Asked Questions About YourTango Experts

Thinking of joining? Here's all the facts you need to know to make the most of your membership.

Getting Your Guy To Join You In A Therapy Or Coaching Session

So how can your get your strong, self-reliant, superman to talk to an Expert with you?

Therapist/Counselors: Who We Are & What We Do

What exactly does a therapist/counselor do and can they really help?

See more resources>
HOT STUFF!
FROM OUR PARTNERS