Saturday, September 10, 2011

Surrogate Sex Partners

This is less of an educational post and more of an explanation/opinion post. A friend of mine sent me a link to this article from FoxNews about surrogate sex partners. What is it? Well, basically, when a person is in therapy for sexual/intimacy problems, a secondary form of therapy could be to have a surrogate to 'teach' the patient how to become intimate with someone else and how to have sex in a healthy way. This means a woman can learn how to relax and have an orgasm, a man can try and help his erectile dysfunction, and someone who is socially inept can learn how to be physical with someone. It's not like these people go in and just have sex with someone. These surrogates are employed by the IPSA (International Professional Surrogates Association). It is a non-profit organization and it is $1,500 for the training. I'm assuming these people have background checks and STD testings. Therapists and surrogates work together to fully help the client. The therapist holds sessions with the patient like any normal therapy meeting, and then the surrogate comes in and slowly adds physicality. They start with things like eye contact, holding hands and just touching, and maybe eventually finish the sessions by having sex. They spend about 30-35 hours with the patient.

Now, one thing I thought of that is also brought up in the article is the issue of attachment. What happens if the client becomes attached to the surrogate, or vice versa? This is kind of like a friends with benefits situation, but in a professional manner. Shai Rotem, a surrogate from California, answers this, ""That is great, it's awesome because the client never allowed herself to open her heart and fall in love with someone before," Rotem said. "Being able to fall in love is a skill, it's something we learn." Rotem said. "No one can take this skill from [the patient]."
Is she learning?
Whereas that makes sense, it is still worrisome. Human emotions are real strong, and for already unstable person to be thrown into a situation where s/he has a temporary physical relationship that ends suddenly, that could end badly. When these surrogacy partnerships began in the 70's, it was almost 100% by men. Men wanted the help that a fake sex partner could provide, but now, a large amount of women have entered into this unusual therapy.

I have to say, it is pretty awesome and genius. There are plenty of people out there who want practice, but have no one to practice with. Maybe a woman is able to make herself orgasm alone, but can't do it with a partner because she gets too nervous. The surrogate is a low-pressure way to show her how to relax. Because these partners are not someone the patients are close with and hoping to impress, they should be able to be themselves.

The therapy is also beneficial to women with vaginismus. Vaginismus is painful sex, and lots of times there are mental reasons for it. Vulvodynia is another disorder where sex could benefit those suffering from it.

The question that arises is if it is moral, and if so, is it legal? Or is it considered prostitution? I think that if it is moral or not depends on the person, and like many things, should only be for those okay with it and those who aren't should ignore it. As far as the issue of prostitution, I think this is a little different. It's not like you're paying for sex specifically. You are paying for therapy and to learn how to be physical and intimate with another person. You are not paying for pure pleasure. You are in a professional situation with clean, educated people who will not rob you or hurt you. But I guess it can be argued that it is like prostitution.

So, what do you think? Is this form of therapy a good idea, or is it a morally-wrong, expensive euphemism for prostitution?

1 comment:

  1. I don't know how to answer that!! Like...I think it's bizarre and I would wonder about some of the motives of the surrogates and I'm definitely concerned about the attachment thing but I suppose if it helps you, good for you? Yay? :P