Alright, so let's say that your equipment works fine, but you are sexually dysfunctional purely in the sense that you don't have anyone to have sex with. You're objectively suffering from an involuntary lack of sex (most humans need that kind of intimacy), and it can easily be cured by somebody letting you do sex at them. You don't need classes or therapy; you need a partner. But if such a partner comes along and that's the only service they offer, both of you can go to jail if you get caught (depending on the state). Because that's called "prostitution."
The only legal dividing line between surrogacy and prostitution is that surrogacy is done with a therapist for a therapeutic purpose, but it must have been close to lunchtime when it came to defining what counts as therapy. It seems easy to prove that the lack of a sex partner can be emotionally damaging, but surrogates aren't allowed to play that role. Shai says it's always about equipping his client to seek out sexual relationships on their own.
Dynamic Graphics/Creatas/Getty Images Paying somebody to yell "YOU ARE CURED" after sex doesn't count as therapy.
But we did find another surrogate -- one who isn't certified and doesn't work with IPSA -- who feels differently. We'll call her "K." One K client "had Muscular Dystrophy, and he was told he wouldn't live past 20. Around age 21, they told him he had a different type of MD ... so when he was 25, he decided he wanted to know sex. His therapist connected us. I've been seeing him for months." He and many clients have no expectation to ever have a nonprofessional sexual relationship, but K believes they benefit anyway. As she put it, "He's not gone off and gotten married, but it's expanded his horizons." Another man "had spina bifida and craved human touch" she says. "I was able to meet with him weekly and shower him with female energy. I met with him for about a year. And then one day, he died of a heart attack. But he got to be intimate with somebody who cared."
That's the single most heartwarming thing we've ever heard, but is it therapy? There's a documentary about this called Scarlet Road, which follows an Australian sex worker named Rachel Wotton who exclusively services the physically disabled. We asked Shai about the practice, and he was quite adamant that, "This is not surrogate partner therapy per se ... the touching and cuddling and being in this place of intimacy with a person has a healing effect on anyone, but you can't call it therapy, and you can't call it surrogate partner therapy. It's a different service."
Paradigm Pictures But a valuable one all the same.
An illegal one for the vast majority of you. Still, tell us that you don't know at least one person who would greatly benefit from such a service ("Now there's a guy who needs to be showered in female energy.")
Robert Evans just wrote a book, A Brief History Of Vice, in which he talks about sexual surrogacy AND recreates strange ancient drugs and tests them on himself! You can buy it here.
For more insider perspectives, check out 5 Things You Learn About Sex As A Sex Therapist and Abortion On Request: 5 Facts Of Life As A Surrogate Mom.
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