I’m happy to say that the new movie Sessions is getting good press. My long term friend Cheryl Cohen who wrote the book the movie is based on, deserves all the praise I can heap on her. There will be a number of sexually repressed folks who will raise their eyebrows and claim, “Surrogacy is just a form of legalized prostitution!”
But they remain interested. I believe it’s a way for them to “get off” while wallowing in hating all forms of sex other than religiously sanctioned heterosexual monogamous marriage. This in spite of the fact that half of those marriages end in divorce while the rest have hubby getting his Christian dick sucked off by some amateur in a men’s room or the Rabi who gets a professional hand-job while wearing women’s panty hose.
Recently I was asked about surrogacy by a writer working on an article for a magazine. After spending some quality time sharing my perspective, her email must have been hacked, so rather than have my time wasted, I’m doing a quick blog on the subject. During the interview, I made a statement that my own practice with women struggling to have an orgasm could be considered a form of surrogacy since my style of sex coaching includes hands-on instructions. For years now, I’ve had fantasies of getting busted for prostitution, but since I only work with women, have a PhD in sexology and my work has been applauded by other sex professionals, any smart authority figure realizes I’m not a good target. They prefer to bust third world women giving men “Happy Endings” in spas.
In discussing surrogacy, most are concerned about developing intimacy with a client. As best as I can tell, the word “intimacy” is a code word for sex. People assume it would automatically be difficult to disengage once therapy was over. I was asked if the client would be able to transfer their new found “intimacy” to someone else. What boundaries are in place to make it clear that this is not a "real" relationship but a therapeutic one? In standard surrogacy it’s usually ten sessions. Also most men working with a women surrogate has seen a sex therapist first who then oversees the progress of the client with regular reports from the surrogate. Sometimes the therapist sees them together. I wonder why we aren’t concerned when a patient continues to see a talk therapist year after year. When a patient falls for their therapist and doesn’t want it to end, it’s called “transference”. Why aren’t we more concerned about that?
Perhaps the nature of male sexuality is actually far more dependent upon a partner than is usually acknowledge. Most all men masturbate but very few think that masturbation is REAL sex. We are still a very puritanical nation that believes a man must learn how to penetrate a woman’s vagina because procreative sex is still the most legitimate sex act. Also we need to factor in that all men handle their sex organ every day in the process of urinating and washing their highly visible genitals. However, most women have never viewed their vulvas in a free standing mirror with a good light using both hands. The genital exam with a woman client can last an hour or more depending on the number of questions that need answering.
My client knows that we will only have one session that lasts for an entire afternoon. I do not watch the clock which I feel would be detrimental to learning about sexual pleasure and orgasm. Some sessions have gone on for as long as 7 hours. Most sessions last around 5 hours. She can come see me again if need be or contact me by email to ask any further questions that have come up since she’s been practicing masturbation.
I was also asked in terms of women who seek male surrogates, did I ever worry that the woman client is extremely vulnerable, not only physically but also emotionally. How can women vet a surrogate to be sure he's trustworthy? What licensing did I think surrogates should have? This is a perfect example of America’s fear of sex. There is no way to tell how any professional is trustworthy. How do we vet a dentist or a doctor? I ask to speak to one of their patients, or try one session to see how I feel afterwards. As for licensing, there are many professionals who have a license but are worthless when it comes to helping a person change and grow. Anyone could be paying a therapist just to listen to their problems and complaints with little intention of evolving.
Finally I was asked how did I create boundaries for myself? Naturally I’m involved with each client, but that doesn’t mean I’m attached other than I want the best for her. I want her to leave our session knowing how to create an orgasm for her self so she can share that information with her partner. Every one of my clients knows I’m a one session therapist. She can email me with a question but not see me on an ongoing basis. Why aren’t these same questions asked of therapists who do talk teach? Early on in my practice with women, I had a beautiful young psychologist book a second session and a third. I told her if she booked another session she’d have to admit we were dating because I’d taught her everything I knew.
It’s only natural that a woman surrogate working with a man who is sexually/socially or physically handicapped would want to extend the connection. Why do we think this has anything to do with “falling in love?” We are now seeing many Vets returning with missing limbs who need surrogate partners to help them have some kind of sexual release. This should be available to all Veterans free of charge while the government pays the surrogate. I also know that some sex surrogates like other sex workers fall for a client and visa versa. Some patients have married their therapists, bosses, or teachers. Hey, that’s part of life. It seems that because a surrogate is having sex with a client we get overly concerned with emotional or romantic notions of dependency. I’d be more concerned about a woman falling for her lawyer, psychotherapist or handy man.
In my opinion, using a surrogate or a hand’s on sex coach is absolutely the BEST way to learn about sex. We can’t learn how to dance by talking about it. At some point, we must get out on the dance floor and make the moves.