Sexual surrogacy is a highly controversial form of sex therapy introduced by Masters and Johnson in which a surrogate has sex with the client as a means of helping them through their sexual dysfunction. Typically they are one part of a counselling team including a conventional therapist. It has been used as a treatment for erectile dysfunction diseases in which sex is painful and intimacy issues to name a few.
The upcoming new film The Sessions chronicles the experience of a man, who is incapable of moving save for being pushed around on a stretcher, and his desire to loose his virginity. He accomplishes this with the aid of a sexual surrogate
I’m not exactly sure how typical a patient he would be for sexual surrogates as they deal primarily with patients who have psychological problems not physiological ones.
Dr Winters, a psychology and human sexuality professor at the University of British Columbia makes this good point about sexual surrogacy and prostitution:
One comment: After hearing from women who have done sex work, I think it’s somewhat problematic that Helen Hunt’s character draws a distinction between herself and a “prostitute,” as if what she does is more legitimate or commendable. She’s still providing sex and intimacy for money, which is nothing to be ashamed of. And if you talk to sex workers, at least the ones that aren’t survival sex workers, they’ll tell you that many of their clients work through the same sort of issues with their sex worker providers as clients would with their sex surrogates. It’s just not in the context of official therapy.