Surrogate Sex Partners: Are They Legitimate?
We often think of people going to therapy for emotional problems such as depression, relationship worries or eating disorders – but one of the fastest growing trends in therapy is the use of sex therapists. Sex therapists are specialised therapists that talk to their patients about sexual issues and problems to help them get the most out of sex and enjoy their lives some more. While sex has traditionally been a taboo issue, and people would shun away from talking about it in this way, we have been increasingly seeing an uptake in sex therapy sessions as people become more open about their sexuality and what they want to experience sexually.
It is also true that increasingly, sex therapists are seeing patients for whom talking just is not enough to deal with their problems. These patients require practice in the bedroom and either have no spouse or partner, or have found themselves in a situation where they are unable to have sex with their spouse or partner. These patients are in a desperate situation, but there is now help at hand in the form of sex therapists who become surrogate partners for their patients. These therapists use a ‘hands on’ approach in order to help out their patients who are having problems with physical intimacy. While in some cases this might just involve holding hands, flirting and touching, in others it can result in the therapist actually having sexual intercourse with the patient.
The use of surrogate sex partners is actually quite rare – most patients find that talking through their problems is enough. But there have been a growing number of women who are frustrated by their sexual issues who are turning to sex surrogates in order for them to get the most out of life. For these women, their physical or mental issues had been doing too much damage to them to simply talk through and sort it out with conventional therapy.
Unsurprisingly, this is a highly controversial practice. It is easy to imagine the predatory sex therapist using their position of power and authority over the vulnerable patient – and yet sex therapists who use this practice stringently argue that this practice is being used to help the patients, rather than something that could possibly ruin their sex life altogether. Indeed, despite the controversy, there are no specific laws that prohibit a sex therapist from having sex with their patient as a treatment. Many therapists argue that sex has a place in the therapy because it is able to give a safe environment for the patient, in way that no other place. Indeed the therapists say that sex is the right kind of therapy in a number of cases.
The sex therapists often work with patients firstly by giving them a broader understanding of sex and normal sex that perhaps they had never received before. Then they using techniques to build up their communication skills and self-confidence, as well as finding ways to help the patient feel more comfortable with physical intimacy. This can then move on to very light physical contact, such as holding hands or long embraces – in fact, sexual intercourse, if it happens at all, would occur a very long way into the process and only with the right kind of patient who would benefit from it.
There are dangers for the therapist as well as the patient. There is always the possibility that the patient will become too attached to the therapist after the therapy is complete, and will consider the therapy to actually be a relationship in which the therapist might love them. This can obviously cause very serious problems.
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