Sex Surrogacy – get the facts

It is a common misconception that sex surrogacy is another term for sex workers/ prostitutes. What you probably don’t know is that sex surrogates spend almost 90% of their time with clients on non-sexual activities!

Here’s a quick fact session for those who want the abridged version:

  • Research conducted on sex surrogates found that sexual contact only constitutes 13% of their total time spent with a client. Mostly, the sex surrogate is involved in teaching non-sexual touch and intimacy techniques as well as education about sexuality, body image, assertiveness and communication skills building for a romantic or sexual context.
  • Sex surrogates aren’t just for those with physical or psychological disability. Sex surrogacy has shown great success when used as part of a treatment plan for single men suffering from erection and ejaculation issues, and single women who suffer from painful intercourse.
  • Sex surrogacy can be used as part of a rehabilitation plan for individuals who have sustained physical and/ or psychological injury, maintaining the sexual identity of those who had previously prioritised their sexuality.


The Full Story

Every now and then, sex surrogacy comes into the public eye, and most recently this happened in July when Katie Price appeared on British talk show ‘Loose Women’, and discussed her thoughts on hiring a sex worker for her son Harley when he is 18. For those who don’t know Katie Price (formerly known as Jordan), she is the ex-wife of Australian legend Peter Andre. Katie’s son (not from Peter), suffers from a number of medical conditions including autism, Pradi-Willi syndrome and septo-optic dysplasia, meaning he may be unable to form personal and sexual relationships independently.

On the show, Katie disclosed her concerns that Harley may struggle to form intimate relationships in his life and as a result won’t experience sex. Whilst I applaud Katie for her openness and understanding that her son, like the rest of us, is a sexual being; I would like to flag that there is a difference between a ‘prostitute’ (sex worker) and a sex surrogate.

Where a sex worker’s focus is namely on gratifying their client’s sexual needs (usually as quickly as possible), a sex surrogate is an individual who is specifically trained in working with individuals on addressing physical and emotional barriers to intimacy, including sexual intimacy. Usually, accredited sex surrogates are university graduates in psychology or some form of physical science degree, who have seen and understood the importance of intimate relationships in overall wellbeing. They are both educators and teachers who cover across emotional and physical intimacy. Their sessions include anything from social skills training, body-confidence and support, non-sensual touch as well as sexual satisfaction and techniques training.

Just like any other profession, there is a governing body to ensure educational and ethical standards are met in relation to sex surrogacy. Sex Surrogates accredited through the International Professional Surrogates Association (IPSA) undergo training which includes both written and practical components. It considers sexuality as a part of overall wellness, and takes into consideration that many individuals (or carers) who seek out sex surrogacy do so in order to learn about their own sexuality, relationship and intimacy skills, as well as to work on functioning. Depending on the specific reason for involving a sex surrogate, the aim is usually not for to client to ‘get off’. Sex surrogates educate the individual so they understand their own sexuality and sexual pleasure, and learn skills to develop their own sexual and intimate relationships with themselves and others in the future. If considering a sex surrogate for yourself or someone else, it is important that you do your research to find the best surrogate for your need.


Does it work?

Sex therapy does not involve any physical touching in session. It relies on the client to complete home-based activities, both emotional and physical, as part of the treatment plan. These homework assignments often start as individual practice, however in most instances, the presenting concern relates to partnered sex activities. For individuals who do not have a partner who can complete the later stages of the treatment plan, there is evidence to suggest that sex surrogates can significantly increase success rates.

Single women who experience sexual pain (known as vaginismus) have a higher rate of success when a sex surrogate is (carefully) introduced under the direction of the treating therapist. Sex surrogates in this instance have quite literally been able to fill in the gaps in treatment for single women! Similarly, the success rates of treatment amongst single men with erection and ejaculation issues is higher when a surrogate is introduced at the final stages of treatment.

If you are interested in finding out more about Sex Surrogates in Australia for either yourself or someone you know/ care for, please click here to make an appointment to discuss further.