Sex surrogacy: when a spade isn't a spade

Last week we discussed the (negligible) difference between a sugar daddy and a john. As Winston Churchill unfortunately didn’t say, it’s simply a matter of price. But this week we’d like to talk about sex surrogates who often – and unfairly, we think – get classified as prostitutes. A recent report by ABC News notes that sex surrogacy emerged in the seventies, went into hiding in the more conservative eighties (oh, there was that HIV thing, too), and is now starting to get a bit more respect, with surrogates working directly with therapists – and charging a professional rate (They’re trained and credentialed by the International Professional Surrogates Association.).

If you’ve been living under a rock (or in the eighties), a sex surrogate is someone who helps a client work through their sex issues in a more hands-on approach than a therapist. About as hands-on as you can get, in fact. Both men and women can be sex surrogates, though women are in the majority because performance anxiety tends to be more of a male problem. A common criticism is that it’s just an excuse to get a prostitute – but if you wanted to pay someone for sex, it would be a lot cheaper to simply hire a prostitute. And for the 53-year-old virgin who was seriously fucked up by a mother who told him his whole life that women were no good and he didn’t need anyone except her – well, a guy like that is going to need some serious hand-holding if he wants to approach the dating pool. And really, wouldn’t you rather he was working out his issues with a professional rather than responding to your profile on

To say that there’s no difference between a sex surrogate and a prostitute is like saying that there’s no difference between your doctor prescribing you some medication and your roommate lending you a bottle of something from her medicine cabinet. Sure, the medication might be the exact same thing, and you might even feel better after taking your roommate’s medicinal hand-me-down, but would you want to stake your (sex) life on it?


photo via flickr