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Sexual Surrogacy (SS) and Body Work (BW). Dr Margaret Redelman Sydney Men’s Health Bondi Junction 5 th Sexual Dysfunction Conference Queenstown, 4.2012. Sexual Surrogacy and Body Work. Contentious topic Regularly comes up in media Relevant to our work

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Sexual surrogacy ss and body work bw

Sexual Surrogacy (SS) and Body Work (BW)

Dr Margaret Redelman

Sydney Men’s Health

Bondi Junction

5th Sexual Dysfunction Conference

Queenstown, 4.2012

Sexual surrogacy and body work

Sexual Surrogacy and Body Work

Contentious topic

Regularly comes up in media

Relevant to our work

Opportunity for collegiate discussion and ? “expert opinion” consensus position

Sexual surrogacy and body work1
Sexual Surrogacy and Body Work

Session rules

  • No personal attacks

  • Differentiate personal religious / ethical position from the therapeutic utility

  • Separate therapeutic utility from governance/ lawfullness positions

Sexual surrogacy and body work2
Sexual Surrogacy and Body Work

  • Unregulated

  • Self proclaimed gurus

  • Self interested individuals

  • Various backgrounds

  • Various motivations

  • Varying levels sexual and psychological education

  • Varying levels of supervision


  • Sexual surrogacy

    IPSA “ A surrogate is a member of a 3-way therapeutic team(therapist, client, surrogate) who acts as a partner for a dysfunctional patient in experiential exercises involving sensual and sexual touching as well as social and sexual skills training”

  • Body work

    “somatic sex educators, assisting individuals, couples and groups deepen their experience of embodiment”

IPSA = International Professional Surrogates Association


Australian groups
Australian groups

  • SSEAA (Somatic Sex Educators Association of Australia)

  • ACSB (The Association of Certified Sexological Bodyworkers)

    Courses $6000

    genital touch but ? no intercourse

Dr Brian Hickman opened clinic in Melbourne 2004 Australian law.

Limited supporters:

? $600/session

power imbalance

patient ‘feelings’ for surrogate

regulation and control

Sexual surrogacy and body work3

Sexual Surrogacy and Body Work Australian law.

Masters & Johnson in 60s

Explosion in 70s

AIDS, Viagra, explosion of sexual information, mainstreaming of sex therapy → ↓ surrogacy

Sexual surrogacy and body work4
Sexual Surrogacy and Body Work Australian law.

Surrogates problematic - respectability

Issue of surrogacy “just about split AASECT board. Could not get a consensus. Worried about legal implications. AASECT never adopted a formal policy and debate relegated to the shadows.”

Dr Howard Ruppel academic dean Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality 2009

AASECT = American Association Sexuality Educators Counsellors and Therapists

Dr Stephen Conley executive director AASECT 2009

Rationale for surrogates
Rationale for surrogates Australian law.

Single individuals who don’t have “study buddies” to

do “homework”

“can only teach how to ride a bike for so long before giving them a bike”

Reality- we teach children most important things by:



allowing to practice with correction

On the spot ‘teacher’

Sexual surrogacy and body work5
Sexual Surrogacy and Body Work Australian law.

  • No rigorous studies testing whether using a surrogate is any better than other forms of therapy

Efficacy for women
Efficacy for women Australian law.

  • Ben Zion et al, Surrogate vs Couple Therapy in Vaginismus was accepted for publication in JSM 2007.

  • 100% of the women who were treated with surrogate succeeded vs 75% of the women who were treated in couple therapy

Sexual surrogacy
Sexual Surrogacy Australian law.

Sexual surrogacy is not a contract for sex.

It is a contract to work on a problem that requires emotional and physical intimacy and practical sexual skills.

Intent behind ss separates it from sex work

Safe environment to practice

Difference between surrogate and prostitute
Difference between surrogate and prostitute Australian law.

  • Surrogates are professionals

  • Surrogates receive supervision for every session.

  • Sessions focus on the therapeutic goals set by the therapist for the client/patient

  • Sessions focus on the SF exercises + a variety of intimate/social skills

  • The patient never pays the surrogate

  • Most time is spent on non sexual activities

  • It is a process of 12-20 sessions

  • Completed when therapeutic goals have been met

Special circumstances
Special circumstances Australian law.

Disabled – learning difficulties

Disabled – rehabilitation

Experience in shared physical intimacy while working with client’s sexual self concept and body responses

Modelling for sexual closeness and social skills

Genital – genital contact may be minor part

In vivo adaptation to patent’s abilities

In vivo encouragement

What is well trained
What is “well trained”? Australian law.

International Professional Surrogate Association (

Mare Simone – calls herself a “sex surrogate” has had penetrative sex with 1,500 men

10,000 clients

took a 4 day course in sex therapy

sex with husband in front of wife to show them


Interesting ? Australian law.

  • Young couple who wanted to learn more about themselves and each other

Training surrogates in israel
Training surrogates in Israel Australian law.

  • Ads in newspapers or professional journals. Each candidate interviewed. Comprehensive information about proposed role. Biographical information.

  • Battery of psychological tests.

  • Interview by sex therapist with full sex history.

  • 50 hour training program for surrogates

    3 workshops:

    • SAR

    • Touching workshop

    • Nudity workshop

  • Lectures on: Australian law.

    • Anatomy, physiology of sexual organs, human sexual response, sexually transmitted diseases, sexual dysfunction in men and women, treatment of sexual dysfunctions, role of the surrogate in sex therapy, code of ethics for surrogate partners, case studies.

  • Rules of conduct agreed on for duration of surrogate therapy

    Dr Ronit Aloni

  • Aloni R. Katz S.;2003; Sexual Difficulties After Traumatic Brain Injury and Ways to Deal with it, Charles C. Thomas, Pub. Springfield USA, chapter 9, pp,153-190.

  • (Aloni R., Dangur N., Ulman Y., Lior N., Chieger M.; A model for surrogate therapy in a rehabilitation center, International Journal of Adolescent Medicine and Health, vol. 7, no. 2 1994.)

  • Apfelbaum B; The myth of the surrogate, Journal of Sex Research, vol. 13, no. 4 pp.234-249, Nov. 1977.

  • Ben Zion I, Rothschild S. Chudakov B. Aloni R. "Surrogate versus Couple Therapy in Vaginismus" JSM Vol. 4, issue 3, start page 728-33 may 2007

  • Blackerby, W.F. (1988,1994). Head injury rehabilitation: sexuality after TBI. The HDI Professional Series on Traumatic Brain Injury.10, Houston, Texas. HDI Pub.

  • Blackerby, W.F. 1990; A treatment model for sexuality disturbance following brain injury, Journalof Head Trauma Rehab. 5(2) pp. 73-82.

  • Brown P.T. Jan. 1986; Comment, Surrogate Therapy, British Journal of Sexual Medicine, pp. 5.

  • Cole M, March 1982; The use of surrogate sex partner in the treatment of sex dysfunction and allied condition, British Journal of Sexual Medicine, pp. 13-20.

  • Dauw D. Brain Injury and Ways to Deal with it, Charles C. Thomas, Pub. Springfield USA, chapter 9, pp,153-190. Nov.19, 1983 ; Re evaluating the surrogate assisted sex therapy: Myth, experiences and research findings, Society for the Scientific study of sex, 26th annual meeting,

  • Davis D. Schnieder L.K. 1990; Ramifications of traumatic brain injury for sexuality, Journalof Head Trauma Rehab. 5(2)pp. 31-37

  • Dunlap D. Roberts M.B. June1984; Surrogate partner therapy, clinical, ethical and legal concerns: A 1984 update, AASECT/SSSS National conference, Boston MA

  • Johnson W. and Kempton W., Sex education and counseling of special groups, Charles C. Thomas Pub., pp. 224-231, Springfield, 1981.

  • Joseph Robert; A case Analysis in Human Sexuality: Counseling to a man with severe cerebral palsy, Sexuality and Disability, vol.9,No.2, Summer 1991

  • Kilman P.R. Mills K.H. 1983; All about sex therapy, Plenum Press pp.67-69

  • Herbert d'H. Lee; Surrogate wife; Dell NFpub.

  • Len M. Fischer J. Feb.1978; Clinicians' Attitudes toward and use of four body contact or sexual techniques with clients, The Journal of sex research Vol. 14.No. 1 pp. 40-49.

  • Lief H.T. 1981; Sexual problems in medical practice, American

Sexual surrogacy and body work6
Sexual Surrogacy and Body Work Brain Injury and Ways to Deal with it, Charles C. Thomas, Pub. Springfield USA, chapter 9, pp,153-190.

Thank you


Dr Margaret Redelman