Sex is a popular topic everywhere, and “sex problems” have their share of airtime too. Whether it’s a classic movie or an Oscar nominee, sexual or relationship challenges are often portrayed in a humorous way, and sometimes mixed with embarrassment or schadenfreude. The movies usually get laughs, but for people experiencing the real thing, it’s no laughing matter.
For those who need it, sex therapy requires respect and compassion along with a sense of humour. And depending on the client’s needs, different styles of sex therapy are appropriate. For some, talk and diagrams are enough. For some, instructional videos are helpful. And some need the sexual equivalent of physiotherapy: a somatic sex therapist such as a Sexological Bodyworker or a surrogate partner, also called a sexual surrogate.
Some recent documentary series such as Sex & Religion and Strange Sex have shown how surrogate partners are able to help people in ways that traditional “talk therapy” can’t. Depictions of surrogates in movies have ranged from more drama and less realism to more realistic but fictional accounts, to something in between, to a documentary of real sessions with a surrogate that was reviewed in the New York Times.
A new movie showing in a few days at the Sundance Film Festival tells the story of a disabled man exploring his sexuality with the help of a surrogate. The idea of surrogates helping people with disabilities is not new, but surrogates and other somatic sex therapists – like physiotherapists – are able to help anyone with trauma recovery or simply learning to do things that will provide the quality of life they desire.
More and more, it’s becoming understood how our “body experiences” can shape our daily life, and can be a catalyst for change. While most surrogate partners are female, male surrogates are finding greater acceptance as women continue reclaiming their sexuality. If you’d like to know more, contact me below and ask for the informational DVD produced by the International Professional Surrogate Assocation.