The term sex therapy applies to a diverse range of therapy-type activities related to sexual dysfunction. The basic principle is the underlying goal of any kind of psychotherapy: it is designed to help address people address challenges related to sexual satisfaction – emotional, mental, and physical. A fulfilling sex life is natural, normal and healthy. Although, many people report some reservations with achieving sexual fulfillment.
Sex therapy addresses various sexual dysfunctions due to a number of reasons such as:
- trauma from their past
- lack of confidence
- shameful thoughts about their body
- low libido
- overstimulated libido
- medical concerns
- inability to reach orgasm
- loss of a partner
Sex therapy works much like any type of therapy does: there is a discussion of past and present feelings, thoughts, stressors, and emotions surrounding the challenge. Sex therapy often takes place as most therapy sessions would, over the phone, virtually, or in an office, the therapist guides their client through understanding, processing and addressing their situation with clothes on in much like a clinical setting at a doctors or therapists office.
A sex surrogate offers the hands-on part of sex therapy.
Sexual surrogates and sex providers
Sometimes hands-on therapy may be a more preferred option and that is where sexual surrogates and sex providers (escorts, sugar babies, dominatrices) come into play. A sex professional may operate in a similar fashion as a therapist, they may consider your needs, history, and desires, then develop a treatment plan with you to work towards your intimacy goals, some of which could be to learn how to touch and receive touch, establish personal boundaries, become more aware and accepting of one’s sexuality and body. These activities are explored and practiced between the client and the sex professional.
Some of the different types of sex providers are:
- Sex surrogate
- Intimacy coach
- Cuddle Partner
- Tantric lessons
Some of the reasons someone might hire a sex provider are:
- to rebuild intimacy after rape
- to build trust after childhood trauma
- because they are not comfortable after a debilitating accident
- they have a disability
- fear of rejection
- uncertainty about sexual orientation
The International Professional Surrogates Association provides a database of trained and licensed sexual surrogates, history of the practice, and in-depth discussions about the process and what one can expect.
Which is right for you?
A sex therapist can help you understand the underlying causes of your challenge and mentally and emotionally work through them. Whereas, a sex surrogate is still clinical and takes it a step further, involving a physical aspect. A sex provider, such as an escort, is based more on entertainment, and a dominatrix touches on power and the loss of control.
All of these are professionals with the goal of helping to work through emotional or physical aspects surrounding sex and a professional helps eliminate the uncertainty and unhealthy behaviors that can rise when such challenges are attempted to be resolved through traditional relationships.