By Jane Ridley. Crippled by shyness, the something professional can barely look Fern Arden in the face as he talks about still being a virgin at such an advanced age. Arden is the founder of an exclusive private clinic off Central Park West that provides a very specialized type of treatment for psychosexual problems like this one.
Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe. Q: I'm in a pickle. All I want is to experience touch, intimacy, and sexual pleasure—but without freaking out.
THIS woman is a different kind of sex worker. She has sex with strangers, but often with men who have never touched a woman before. A sex surrogate has revealed what her job is really like.
Currently, sex surrogates work with both men and women. In surrogate partner therapy, the sex surrogate takes a client through a multi-step process, beginning with very basic tools of communication and touch. Surrogate partner therapy can include mutual nudity and two-way touch, as well as manual, oral sex or sexual intercourse. While other forms of sexual help — like experiential sex coaching or therapy can be accessed directly — surrogate partner therapy can only be accessed through a recommendation and ongoing work with a licensed psychotherapist.
Sex therapists talk with their patients to help them confront their sexual problems and improve their sex lives. But some patients need more than talk therapy. They need practice in the bedroom, and have no spouse or partner to turn to.
Since I had spent many years in self-destruct mode, I wanted to use my need for sexual connection to help others. Finally, I had my answer: working as a sex surrogate. They were in pain and filled with shame.
Please refresh the page and retry. But for a few people, the very thought of sexual contact with another human being causes such anxiety that they can never get close to the act. For them, psychosexual therapy is usually a good choice.
SEX workers aren't just hired by men in brothels, but can be recommended by psychologists for people with deep intimacy issues. Sex surrogates help men who have an intense fear of intimacy, and are too scared to pursue relationships, to grow in confidence. They use intimate touch and intercourse to help heal a whole range of problems, both sexual and otherwise. Often sex surrogates are trained at a clinic and may go on seeing their clients for months or even years, depending on the treatment.
Illustration by Eleanor Doughty. Larry was completely naked and blindfolded next to a piano when the younger woman he was with had a breakthrough. She was 35 years old but gave off the nervous pent-up sexual energy of a wallflower at prom, and with good reason: She had never kissed a man, let alone seen one nude in her Long Beach home.
Sex therapy, by definition, is a couple therapy as well as behavioral therapy by origin. As such, practicing a series of exercises is an essential part of the therapy. Masters and Johnson, in their book "Human Sexual Inadequacy", wrote that "one cannot learn about sexuality in any practical way without actually experiencing intimate behavior with a partner". This ethical approach directed them to develop the therapeutic method of working with surrogate partners, as they thought all people are entitled to receive therapy, if they so wish, including people without partners.