A sexual surrogate is a self-described professional who provides physical and emotional therapy for paying clients with relationship and/or sexual problems. Unlike a traditional hooker, sex occurs but is not guaranteed. Surrogates are cheaper than hookers per hour (usually $75–180/hour for a surrogate). However, some sexual surrogates typically don't recommend their practice for all but frugal savers or high income earners, because of the sheer amount of sessions involved. In this sense, sexual surrogacy is bougie, lovey-dovey sex work.
Sexual surrogate therapy is the term for using a sexual surrogate, and often occurs in conjunction with a separate talk therapist (referral or ongoing) who doesn't take part in the physical activities.
The largest sexual surrogate group is the, "International Professional Surrogates Association", or IPSA. Most, but not all, female sexual surrogates in the USA are located in California. It is also a sanctioned form of therapy in Israel.
Origin and history
The idea of sexual surrogacy was first formulated in the 1970 book, "Human Sexual Inadequacy", by the gynecologist William H. Masters and the sexologist Virginia E. Johnson.
They called it, "partner surrogacy", and it was intended for both single and non-single clients. Masters and Johnson also trained people to work as partner surrogates. Media sensationalism changed the term to, "sexual surrogacy", despite the practice still including relationship support.
Master's and Johnson's study
Master's and Johnson worked with 600 people on their sexual dysfunctions. Using sexual surrogates, 75% of patients were cured of their dysfunction, a much higher percentage than in talk therapy.
Master's and Johnson quit the practice after a lawsuit. Sexual surrogacy was more common in the 1970s and early 1980s due to the AIDs crisis scaring off potential surrogates, something that still effects willing surrogates.
Today, sexual surrogacy is only remotely common in Israel, because the 1984 Chief Rabbinate approved it as an official and sanctioned form of therapy.
Ease of service
The hardest part of getting a sexual surrogate, in the US at least, is that there are only about twelve officially licensed ones. A little over half are female, but there are no licensed female sex surrogates on the East Coat, and almost all of them are located in San Francisco and San Diego California. So if you don't live in California, you most likely won't be seeing a female sexual surrogate without a lot of money for travel.
The fine print
“”Genital-genital contact may or may not be therapeutically indicated. When it is indicated, it is often a minor part of the therapy.
Sexual surrogates and incels
According to research by Dr. Brian Gilmartin, seeing a sexual surrogate directly contributes to lower fear levels around girls in everyday situations. He proposed in, "Shyness and Love", that all clinics and college campuses contain sexual surrogates. An excert from his book, "Shyness and Love", states:
Conditions treated by sex surrogates
- Lack of sexual confidence
- Negative body image
- Bad relationships
- Orgasm, ejaculation, or erection difficulties
- Penetration issues (for females)
Sexual surrogates in popular culture
- The movie, "The Sessions", was a semi-fictional portrayal of a real life American sexual surrogate named Cheryl Cohen-Greene. In the movie, she sexually services a paralyzed poet with Polio.
- "The Surrogate" was a 1984 slasher horror film, about a couple who sought sexual surrogate therapy, but find themselves wrapped up in a murder plot.
- "Surrogate" (2008) by director Tali Shalom-Ezer, is about a man who has issues with relationships with women, and seeks the help of a female sexual surrogate named Hagar. The two bring up repressed fears from the client's life and the client learns to love again.
- "Private Practices: The Story of a Sex Surrogate" is a 1985 documentary about the relatively new practice of sexual surrogacy. The film follow a love-shy, incel, 25 year old virgin named, "Kipper", who's main issue is fear of women. It also documents a 45 year old divorcee named John who suffers feelings of sexual inadequacy. They are both serviced by surrogate named Maureen Sullivan who got referrals from psycotherapists.
The IPSA vets sexual surrogates and only lists those that meet their ethical, and, "professional", qualifications.
A sexual surrogate technically operates in a legal grey zone due to the fact most state laws regarding prostitution don't explicitly forbid sexual surrogate partners. Although, it's possible an overzealous prosecutor could bend existing prostitution laws against the practice. Stacy Woods from Esquire magazine argued the service is patently illegal, but purposefully overlooked. Sexual surrogates however, argue it is not illegal.
Regardless, IPSA licensed surrogates have been working in-the-open in the USA since at least 1973, without any legal issues. Some private insurance in California have also allegedly paid for sexual surrogate therapy in the past.
Sexual surrogates as, "glorified hookers"
Many organizations, including Esquire magazine, have argued that sexual surrogacy is just a way to dress up hookers, who they consider, the, "real deal". However, this argument doesn't hold much water as there are differences between both. First is that sexual surrogates can be much cheaper. The second is that the surrogate is usually licensed to uphold certain ethical codes, which if violated, could result in loss of IPSA license. This includes: breaking client-therapist privacy, adequate STD prevention measures, a responsibility to continue therapeutic service in the interest of the client, never dating the client, (a negative to surrogacy), and a primary concern being the client's personal welfare.