'Sex surrogacy' is reportedly on the rise among women undergoing therapy for sexual-psychological problems
More women are turning to surrogate sex partners as part of treatment for physical intimacy issues, according to news reports.
'Sex surrogacy', a controversial practice not commonly prescribed by therapists, is reportedly on the rise among women undergoing therapy for sexual-psychological problems such as fear of physical intimacy, according to a report by Live Science.com.
A surrogate sex partner will be requested to work with a patient to build their confidence and comfort with physical interaction, which may include hand-holding, eye contact or sexual intercourse.
Vena Blanchard, president of the International Professional Surrogates Association (IPSA), claims requests for sex surrogates for female patients have steadily increased in recent times.
"There's been a steady increase in women taking ownership of their sexuality," Blanchard said.
"They don't just want sex therapy to please their partner. They want to make their own lives better for themselves."
While no laws technically prohibit sex surrogacy, many therapists do not endorse the practice and even consider it to be dangerous.
Sari Cooper, a couples psychotherapist and sex therapist in New York City, told Live Science.com she believes there is no legal distinction between surrogate partners and prostitution.
Cooper also believes the practice would not be effective.
"Even if you went to a surrogate and you were able to have sexual encounter or intercourse with them, it's not necessarily going to help you in developing a relationship with somebody because that person is being paid to do what they're doing," she said.
Cooper is also concerned about potential negative results arising from sex surrogacy.
"I think there's strong potential for a client to attach themselves to the sex surrogate, and fall in love with them and not be able to move on," Cooper said.
Surrogate sex partner therapy was first reported in the 1970s and mostly used by men, but has not been commonly used since.
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