How working with a sex surrogate completely changed my life
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PART 1: A life lived in fear, is a life half lived
Ican’t believe I’m actually here, doing this. This is crazy! I don’t do crazy things like this. What the hell am I doing?” These were the thoughts that kept running through my head as I sat on an overstuffed sofa, drinking homegrown tea with a man I had just met.
This man was to be my sex surrogate partner — a kind of “practice partner” when it comes to sex. A man who devoted himself to helping women become empowered with sex in a practical setting. Working with them through issues such as struggles with past abuse and trauma, or something like my issue — being a woman in her late 30s who had only recently lost her virginity, and who was in desperate need of some major help in the sexual arena, having arrived so completely late in the game.
I was a woman who was in desperate need of some major help in the sexual arena, having arrived so completely late in the game.
You see, I grew up Mormon. I mean really Mormon. I was like the Hermione of Mormon girls, a rule-follower all the way. And when it came to rules, anything in regards to sex outside of heterosexual marriage was completely off limits. More than that, it was considered a sin next to murder. Yep, murder. Which is quite a frightful filter to view the world of sex through.
Growing up, the fear surrounding sex was palpable. Parents and church leaders were afraid that if they spoke too much about it they would be arousing “strong and powerful emotions” which could lead us youth to sin. The approach to sex ed was more of a head-in-the-sand approach. The few talks and lessons surrounding sexuality aimed to suppress natural instincts, for fear that they would become uncontrollable.
Instead of teaching us how to set appropriate boundaries, we were warned to never be alone with anyone of the opposite sex. Masturbation was referred to as “self-abuse” rather than recognized as a way to explore our bodies and relieve our biological needs. And if any arousing thought broke its way through, we were urged to sing a hymn, or distract ourselves with exercise or some other “wholesome” activity. Anything, anything to keep our minds off sex.
Unfortunately, growing up I did think about sex. A lot. What’s worse, I was a girl. Thinking about fucking. That just wasn’t normal. Now, even though we were warned about the damnation surrounding sex, it was expected that the boys couldn’t help being horny as hell. But girls were treated as if we were completely asexual. We were supposed to desire marriage and to be stay-at-home mommies — but never sex.
Since girls were merely the objects of sexuality there was no need to talk to us about any thing of a sexual nature within our own bodies. Our only responsibility in regards to sex was to be “pure, pure, pure.” We were the
inanimate objects precious flowers that simply needed to wait until marriage for this super-sacred event called “sex” that would bring us children, and help us love our husbands more.
That couldn’t happen soon enough in my book, thanks to those pesky hormones. I felt my sexuality, and I felt it keenly. There was a sexy tigress inside of me chomping at the bit to express herself. She was wild, and she was powerful. And that scared the shit out of me.
There was a sexy tigress inside of me chomping at the bit to express herself. She was wild, and she was powerful. And that scared the shit out of me.
Because try as I might to avoid it, I couldn’t prevent my body from getting aroused. My desire was often so close to the surface I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to contain it — that one day it would explode and I’d end up a washed-up hooker with some crazy STI, prowling for sex anywhere I could get it, and no amount of hymn singing could prevent it. In my mind it was all or nothing. And nothing was losing.
So I took extreme measures to control my tigress, turning off everything of a sexual nature within myself — my body, my emotions, my thoughts. The unfortunate side effect was that I also inadvertently closed myself off to relationships. I became a serial dater, who never made it past three dates. Boyfriends were enigmas. I just didn’t know how to open myself up to another person without my tigress breaking free and running rampant as well.
This approach really put a cramp in my pre-planned life. My one purpose of getting married so I could finally have “God-approved” sex became more and more elusive. I kept the tigress at bay though, until I found myself still unmarried in my 30s, with no prospects in sight.
As the years progressed it became practically impossible to keep my libido check. I was worn down and starving for connection. That led to a perfect storm of sexual emergence followed by an extreme dose of guilt. I wound up one night with a really hot guy (Aussie, oh yeah!) who knew I didn’t want to go all the way, but sure knew how to make the most of everything else before that final consummation.
All of a sudden my hibernating sexuality awoke, and it felt incredible! I was amazed at what my body could actually do and feel. But coming face to face with the “erotic creature” inside of me confirmed what I knew all along — that keeping her locked away all these years was the right thing to do. I could barely contain her once she came out to play, and if I didn’t stop her now, I would lose control completely.
The guilt I felt for not being able to restrain myself came on stronger than ever. I was supposed to be better than this. I had disciplined myself for years to hold back those feelings of desire. But one night with a hot guy and I threw all my principles to the wind? I was so ashamed of myself. I tried to drive my sex-beast back into her cage, but the hold was tenuous at best.
Attempting to escape the guilt and shame for what happened, I doubled-down in my efforts to stay sexually pure by throwing myself deeper into my religion. On the outside people saw a talented, vivacious woman, who served cheerfully, consoled those who were down, and was always ready to bolster others with stories of faith and perseverance. But in reality the hole in my soul, instead of being filled by my faith, just kept getting bigger and bigger.
The hole in my soul, instead of being filled by my faith, just kept getting bigger and bigger.
What’s more, I seemed to be unable to accomplish what appeared, from my isolated perspective, to come very naturally to others — having loving relationships and ostensibly incredibly fulfilling sex lives. The harder I fought to avoid my hurt and pain and natural desires, the more I only saw my inadequacy and lack of love in my own life.
That’s when I really began to lose hope of ever finding fulfillment within my religion. Over thirty-five, with a very real probability of never getting married, I was facing a future of being alone while constantly fighting my sexual needs. Masturbation was my only outlet, and not even a guilty pleasure at that. After every “incident” my feelings of guilt at not being able to control my body surfaced anew. I vowed I would conquer my tigress and escape my needs and desires once and for all. But those vows were hollow, because how could I escape myself?
PART 2: Getting the hell out of the rabbit hole
Finally, I couldn’t take living like this any more. I was tired of being ashamed of my body, tired of being afraid of its needs. Tired of being stuck in this perpetual limbo — awaiting the promise of a full and happy life, yet being completely miserable in the here and now.
I was tired of being ashamed of my body, tired of being afraid of its needs.
As it happened, one day I was watching one of my favorite movies, Chocolate. Now, I’ve seen this movie plenty of times before (I mean, we’re talking primo Johnny Depp here, hello!), but with everything that had been going on amid my struggles with my faith and sexuality it was as if I was seeing the story for the first time.
In the movie, a woman arrives at a small French village that is in the middle of Lent, and opens up a chocolate shop. The mayor of the town is furious at the blatant temptations she offers, and even enlists the town priest to incite the town against her, equating chocolate to sin. Yet ultimately, even the mayor can’t hold back his hunger, and he breaks into the shop devouring all the chocolate in sight.
The next day the mayor awakens to his great shame in the window display of the shop, with the owner and the priest looking in. But the neither condemn him, and he realizes how unreasonable he’s been, fighting against something that is just a wonderful part of life.
The movie ended and I was in tears. This story was my life, and I was the mayor! All my life I had been fighting and fighting. I realized that I was creating a battle where there didn’t need to be one. I finally understood I didn’t have to fight against myself anymore. And giving up the fight didn’t mean giving in. It really just meant letting go. Letting go of my fears, my limiting beliefs. Letting go of trying to fit myself into a one-size-fits-all mold that wasn’t serving me at all.
Once I recognized that, I realized I could finally move on with my life. I wasn’t doomed to a lifetime of waiting for happiness. I could embrace my sexuality without fearing retribution, because I didn’t want to believe in a religion or a God that made me feel so debased for having perfectly natural desires — desires that that same God had supposedly created within me.
Understanding this finally freed me from my desperation, my guilt, and my feelings of being unworthy. I was free live my life the way that was best for me, and that could include sex (what a relieving revelation)!
I could let the flow of my sexuality happen naturally. Just because I wanted to masturbate, read dirty books, or watch porn didn’t turn me into a sex addict or make me a horrible person. My sexual feelings and desires only made me one thing — human.
My sexual feelings and desires only made me one thing — human.
I started flirting with the edges of sexuality. Not actually having sex quite yet, but learning about it. Asking questions. Becoming as educated as I could — listening to podcasts about sex, reading books about sex, watching movies about sex. Beyond education, I let myself feel turned on — masturbating, reading erotica, and watching porn — all without guilt. I even went to a sex shop and got my first vibrator!
However, with the door of my sexy beast’s cage now wide open, I was clueless on how to proceed. I craved sex, but how on earth was I going to get it? Let’s face it, my options were limited. I was a surface dater who never had a serious boyfriend. My primary goal in every encounter with men had always been to keep sex off the table.
The thought of entering the dating world as a virgin was outright humiliating. By my age most woman had one (or even two, eek!) decades of sexual experiences under their belts. What would men think if they found out I was almost a 40-year-old virgin?
It was a catch 22 — I needed to have sex to lose my virginity, yet I didn’t want to have sex until I lost my virginity. That’s when the idea of going to sex surrogate came to mind. I had heard about sex surrogates almost as a passing curiosity years before, on seeing a preview for the movie The Sessions. It was an intriguing idea — the thought of a person, as it were, giving someone sex lessons.
Of course, at the time I didn’t think too highly of it. Now, desperate times called for desperate measures, and the idea — crazy as it seemed — became a lifeline. It was just what I needed, I thought. Someone to show me the ropes, in a way that was healthy and safe, and without judgement. The more I thought about it, a sex surrogate seemed to be the perfect solution.
As I started my research into sex surrogates there was not a lot of information out there, and much of it was pretty negative. The main contention being that sex surrogates were nothing more than glorified prostitutes. Even from my limited sexual background I knew that reasoning was ludicrous. This was more than about getting laid. I could hire a prostitute, sure, but a prostitute would not truly have my best interests at heart, or be able to give me what I really needed — an emotionally supportive sexual experience by someone actually trained to help someone with such a special situation.
I discovered that male sex surrogates are a bit of a rare breed, however, and it took some searching before I found one. After reading through his website I decided to reach out to him. What could it hurt, right? It was a bit of thrill when I hit send on the contact form on his website. It seemed anonymous enough, so I was surprised when he actually contacted me within a couple of days. He wanted to schedule a call.
Now things were becoming a bit more real. It was one thing to play with the idea of working with a sex surrogate. But this was where the rubber hit the road. I had been isolated from sex for so long, I needed real answers and talking with this man seemed like a step in the right direction out into the world of sex.
Talking to a sex surrogate was both terrifying and validating. I felt like the biggest idiot in the world as I revealed to him my background, including the embarrassing fact that I was a woman in her late 30s and still a virgin. I felt like such an anomaly. I was so ashamed that my life had been so void of relationships that I didn’t even have anyone to experience sex with now that I had given myself permission to stop denying myself.
Yet, at the same time talking with this man was very heartening. For as broken as I felt, I wasn’t a hopeless case. In fact, he told me mine was just the sort of situation for which surrogacy was made to help. He gave me some practical advice about helping my body move forward in sex. We talked about masturbation and ways to masturbate. How to move beyond just cliteral stimulation into more vaginal penetration.
However there was one thing that kept me holding back, and it was such a simple thing — the cost. I couldn’t really afford to do such an intense program. And was this really what I needed? He gave me great tips to get started on my journey, but I wasn’t sure if I needed this man beyond that. I could do this without a sex surrogate, surely. I didn’t need to spend all that money. Instead, I decided to venture out on my own.
I started to date, but things went just as disastrously as before. Dating was still awkward as I found myself between feelings of intense desire and a desperation to have sex, while still being scared of what my tigress might do now that there were no locks on her cage.
I thought I could venture out on my own without using a sex surrogate — and I found myself woefully ignorant on how to handle sexual situations.
The first time I had sex was filled with uncertainty as I entered uncharted waters. I was on a date with a man I had met online, and he was cute enough that I agreed to go home with. Things quickly escalated from making out to pile of clothes on the floor and I found myself woefully ignorant on how to handle the situation.
The evening was filled with hesitant consent. I just wanted to finally have sex, but was this really the way? Disclosing the bomb that I was still a virgin made for a bit of a bump in the road, and after a brief discussion if a one-night stand was the way I wanted to lose my virginity, a “compromise” of sorts was reached. Meaning anal sex was served up instead, making my introduction into the world of penetrative sex awkward and uncomfortable.
After that awkward experience, I found a sex positive group in town through Meetup, and found solace in talking to the group leaders about my situation. They encouraged me to attend some events where sex would be more openly talked about, and where I could ask questions and learn and share in a nonjudgmental environment. When I attended an event however, I didn’t find the answers I was seeking. I felt like it was mostly the blind leading the blind.
In attending that event I discovered an amazing thing. Though people were fucking right and left, having sex didn’t make one an expert on it at all. Outside of any religious confines sex was a bit of a free-for-all, and nobody seemed to actually know what the hell they were doing.
Though people were fucking right and left, nobody seemed to actually know what the hell they were doing.
Sex education seemed to come from crazy sex stories, porn, and rom coms. Not really enlightened instruction. I heard stories of people’s sexual exploits gone wrong. Some were funny, but some were scary. I discovered that for many, sex was just as rife with shame, embarrassment, assault, manipulation and pressure as it had been in my religion. Everyone seemed to be at a disadvantage when it came to sex. How on earth was I going to learn about sex, or even have it, in a healthy and safe way?
My next couple of experiences with sex were a slight improvement over the first — but I was still moving forward into uncharted territory without any clue where I was going or how I was going to get there. Though the men I went out with were more open to my situation, and wanted to help me out (of course!), they couldn’t really handle (nor did I trust them to handle) the raw emotions that were bubbling to the surface. I saw new obstacles that I had never encountered and didn’t know what to do about them.
That’s when I knew. I couldn’t navigate these waters alone. I needed real, professional help.
I wanted to direct the story of my sexuality. I was tired of it being out of my hands.
I wanted to take back control. I wanted to direct the story of my sexuality. I was tired of it being out of my hands. It was my body after all. Sex didn’t have to be like this, did it? There had to be a better way. So I decided to stop wasting time. It was time for me to do something about it. It was time to actually see my sex surrogate.
PART 3: The pot of gold at the end of the rainbow
I called up the sex surrogate I had been speaking with, Shai Rotem, and told him I was finally ready. We scheduled a time for me to come out and see him. We worked out a payment plan that would allow me to cover the costs of the program, which was one of my biggest concerns. Once the ball was rolling I felt a great sense of relief. I was finally going to get the help I really needed. Shai and I had a couple of Skype sessions before I was to fly to California where he was located. That definitely helped to ease my mind. At the same time it made what I was about to do very real.
(Read more about the details of how the Surrogate Partner Therapy (SPT) Program works, see answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and more.)
When the day finally came for our first session my emotions were all over the place. Nervous. Excited. Relieved. Anxious. I couldn’t believe I was actually doing this! Me, the guarded Mormon girl, meeting a man who was going to teach me all about sex — and have sex with me as part of that process. Before I arrived at Shai’s home office I tried to stay calm. I gave myself permission to leave at any time if I felt unsafe or uncomfortable in any way. And with that I went to meet the man who would change my life.
I gave myself permission to leave at any time if I felt unsafe or uncomfortable in any way. And with that I went to meet the man who would change my life.
Sitting with Shai on the sofa in his home office drinking his homemade tea was a bit surreal. But I played it cool as we chit-chatted a bit about my flight to California, and my family who lived down there whom I was staying with. (They were of course, completely unaware of this part of my visit. I merely told them that I was attending a specialized therapy program to help singles with relationships. Telling them — telling anyone — would naturally bring too many questions. And too much judgement. And that’s what got me in this predicament in the first place.)
As we chatted, Shai lightly rubbed his hand on my leg. Yet, it didn’t feel creepy, or even sexual. It just felt like connection, and for me it immediately broke that sometimes-uneasy barrier that stands between our conventions of politeness and our need to communicate deeper through touch. It made me feel safe, especially since this was what this program embodied — physical connection.
During the first session touching was limited to this level. Holding hands, lightly stroking each other’s arm, hugging. Just taking the time, in a non-sexual way, to physically get to know each other. Part of me thought, Well yeah, I hug people all the time, I love hugging; this is not a problem — when do we get to the meatier stuff?
However, the lesson to be learned was not how to hold hands, or hug, or even how to feel comfortable doing those things. It was deeper, and the foundation for everything we would do from that point on. The lesson was a lesson in mindful physical exploration and discovery — of myself and of another.
In these simple exercises Shai brought something to my attention that I never really thought about: How does it feel for me to touch someone? How do I get pleasure out of physically touching someone, even in an act as simple as holding hands? What sensations do I experience? How does it feel, physically, emotionally, when I am touched? In becoming more mindful of touch, I was establishing a mind-body connection, not just with myself, but with another person — connecting my mind to their body.
The session finished and I drove to Beverly Hills to meet with my sex therapist, Shemena Johnson, which was a vital part of the program. Shemena was a beautiful woman that exuded confidence and kindness. I immediately felt at ease with her. Yet, as was my habit, I began our session with my mask of false confidence on. Although we spoke about the session with Shai, soon she was uncovering issues surrounding my faith crisis and eventual faith abandonment, and my walls came crashing down. With each crack in my facade Shemena was so intuitive in validating feelings that I had kept locked away for years. Feelings of having to put up a front of being the perfect Mormon girl, of never being able to show any negative emotions, of always feeling like a complete phony. Having to want things I didn’t want. And wanting things I wasn’t supposed to want. Feeling things that were labeled “bad” all while trying to be “good”.
Then, she asked me if I was aroused when I was with Shai, and if I wanted to have sex with him. Whoa — that question threw me for a loop. I wasn’t ready to deal with that quite yet. I didn’t know. I did, and I didn’t. But as I thought about it I realized I didn’t have to know right away. And she gave me the space to be unsure.
The next day was more of the same with Shai and Shemena. Although on the surface the exercises seemed simple and innocent enough, under the surface my emotions were in tumult. I was a pond filled with muck, but I had become adept at keeping that muck deep down, so the surface looked clear and still. Yet, just a couple of sessions into my SPT program it was as if a river of fresh water was being flushed into my pond, stirring up all of the things I had kept dormant and out of my mind. Of course, the path to healing often stirs up old thoughts, old hurts, in order to purge them — but that doesn’t mean it’s comfortable.
I lay in bed feeling raw and exposed. I wasn’t sure if I was up to this. I felt myself shrinking under the weight of my own baggage.
The second evening of my stay I lay in bed, feeling raw and exposed. I wasn’t sure if I was up to this. I was having to look at myself in a way I had never looked before. I felt myself shrinking under the weight of my own baggage. One doesn’t get to 39 as a virgin without carrying some hefty baggage around. But I didn’t want my fear to control me. I decided I needed to make this short time count. I was spending time and money on this, and goddammit I wasn’t going to waste it! I was investing that in myself, so I wanted to make it worth it. I decided I had to change how I was reacting to my pond cleaning — I had to acknowledge it might be a bit uncomfortable, but in the end it would be worth it. And I reminded myself I was safe, and I didn’t have to rush things. I could still take things at my pace.
The next day as Shai and I drank our customary homemade tea I laid out my thoughts to him. I didn’t want to be at the mercy of my fears anymore — I wanted to be more in charge and direct what we worked on, in a sense. It was time to stop pussy-footing around and make some leaps. I was tired of feeling caged, timid, and afraid. I wanted to move on and felt ready to get to more intimate touching. I wanted to kiss him. And I wanted to take some clothes off — not everything mind you — but some.
Shai chuckled at my change of demeanor, and he told me that what I was asking him fell right in line with what we would be starting to address. I was actually tuned in to how things needed to progress. As usual, he asked how I wanted to commence with our next exercise — kissing. Although on the surface it seemed weird to ask how you want to kiss someone, again it was relieving to not wonder and bumble around awkwardly. And kissing was so nice! (You don’t maintain your virginity for so long without acquiring some other skills!).
It was now time to take touching to the next level, and we stripped down a bit. With our tops off, Shai explained a new exercise, “May I/Will you.” The rules were simple — you can ask to touch the other person or ask for the other person to touch you, in any way you can think of. The one being asked has the option to say yes or no. If the answer is maybe, then it’s a no. And if the answer is no, it’s not personal. And, whether receiving a yes or no the person asking says thank you. The point of this exercise was to learn about each other’s boundaries and show respect for them.
The main thing running through my head when Shai explained this was, “This is FUCKING BRILLIANT!” I never knew that if I wasn’t sure I didn’t have to make up my mind, at least for right now. How come no one ever told me that before?! It was so simple. And in that moment I learned more about consent than I had anywhere else.
At that moment I learned more about consent than I had anywhere else.
Shai started. He wanted to give me kisses on my neck. Sounded fine to me. Nice enough. But then it was my turn. Oh shit, I thought. I have no idea what to ask for! Yet, Shai gave me the space to think. I realized there was no wrong thing to ask for. If Shai said no, he said no. No big whoop. This was just a safe place for me to figure it out. As the session progressed I was able to feel more comfortable, and not so embarrassed about the things I asked for.
At first, the things I asked for seemed silly and insignificant. One of the first things I asked for was just to be held, to feel skin to skin. Then I wanted my breasts touched. I love that feeling, and when I dated they were just bi-passed for the big V. And just like with my sessions with Shemena, where my feelings and emotions were valued and validated, my physical desires weren’t judged. They were respected.
I also learned that if I wanted something that Shai didn’t want to do I didn’t have to take it personally either. It was just an exercise in learning about the other person — and that took the hurt of rejection out of it. I also didn’t have to worry that if I said no I was hurting his feelings, which was what really made this exercise so powerful!
As our sessions advanced, we progressed to being completely naked. Now, it’s one thing to be naked with a stranger in the fumbling throws of “passion,” in a darkened room. It’s quite another, in the light of day when you are standing there, looking at each other. Quite frankly, I was embarrassed, and ashamed of my body. What’s worse, Shai wanted me to be curious and look at him all I wanted. Really look. Not glance and avert my eyes. And then touch. Touching someone in a non-sexual way, to just explore, and get comfortable — now that’s truly being naked.
At first, I was very self-conscious — for Shai! Then, I thought about how I felt as a little child, at a time when I took baths with my siblings and we wandered around naked not thinking anything of it. Before shame, before imposed squashing of natural curiosity. Because in reality, a body is just a body. Boobs are just boobs. Cocks are just cocks. Feet and hands are just feet and hands. When did I become so afraid of them? And as an extension, of myself?
Combining exploratory touching with “May I/Will You” exercises, naturally lead to the touching becoming more arousing. Shai asked if he could performed oral on me, which I was more than happy to receive, but I wasn’t ready to reciprocate. Yet, I felt it wasn’t the goal of him performing on me — so that I would then give him a blow job. Although the touching was sexual it wasn’t given with expectations, or as a means of exchange — I’ll do this for you, if you do this for me. It followed the same principles of mindfulness and consent that we had been working on all along. The level of trust and me being able to let down my walls without compromising my boundaries was freeing. More than freeing — it was empowering.
One of the things I really loved about my experience was learning in real time, per say. One session started out with anatomy books, and going over the stages of arousal. Then, viewing our real-life anatomy. Although I was still a bit embarrassed, Shai’s lack of embarrassment helped. I was able to identify the male anatomy and see through my touch how an erection happens. Then we took out a mirror and went over my own anatomy and how arousal worked for me with that anatomy. As silly as it sounds I didn’t really know what was going on down there. Then Shai explored the different ways I could become aroused. It was both practical and pleasurable! And when Shai was able to give me an orgasm I was so relieved! I had learned to be able to give myself one, but had never had one when I had sex before, and it was great to be with someone who cared and took the time to discover with me how my body worked. I learned that is a very important component in my relationships that I look for.
I also had homework. Shai gave me videos to watch from Betty Dodson, Tristan Taramino, and others. I learned how to put on a condom. I studied how to give oral. I watched different women masturbate and gained some new ideas and techniques. We went over different sex toys and things that they can do — spots they can arouse. Once my emotional walls were down, we could focus more on techniques.
The more we worked together on practical exercises, the more I realized sex is just as much about learning skills as it is about working through emotions. They go hand in hand. Shemena’s support throughout this process helped me immensely on the emotional, and even the practical side. As a woman she could also talk to me about the different feelings I could expect, or look for, with different types of orgasms. She helped me discover what sexuality looked like inside of me. The more my body was waking up I knew exactly what it was — a tigress, strong and powerful, yet elegant.
The more my body was waking up I knew exactly what my I was — a tigress, strong and powerful, yet elegant.
Then, at long last I was finally, finally time for the big IT. Time for SEX! I was nervous. Penetration wouldn’t happen until I asked for it. But boy was I as ready as I was ever going to be. I was nervous that penetration would be uncomfortable as it had been before. Sex hadn’t been the glorious thing I had hoped in my past experiences. As Shai entered it was uncomfortable at first. I stiffened up, but Shai coached me to “just feel.” Feel why it was uncomfortable. Don’t panic. Just take a minute and feel what was going on inside my body. BEST ADVICE EVER.
Then it clicked. Move a leg up. Open up your pelvis. A little adjustment here, a bigger one there. Then like interlocking pieces of a puzzle things physically and mentally fell into place. It felt comfortable! More than comfortable. It felt good. Really good. As I understood how mine and Shai’s body fit together, I wanted to try different positions. It just became another exercise in discovery. How do I and another partner fit together?
Although I didn’t orgasm the first time I had penetrative sex with Shai, things still felt really good. My body was still getting used to all of the new sensations. Neurons were being awoken. I realized that sex could still feel good without always reaching climax. Again, all of these stages were okay and perfectly natural.
Mid-way during the week I discovered a scary truth. I was falling in love with my surrogate. This was more scary than the sex. Being at that vulnerable place was something I had shielded myself from for years. Many people who are against surrogacy therapy cite this as one of their main concerns. But, this was a very necessary part of my healing, atually. Sex was one thing. But intimacy, true intimacy could only be achieved if I allowed myself to be completely open.
Reaching that vulnerable place was a huge turning point. Being able to connect on a deeper emotional level opened my eyes up to using physical connection for things other than just sexual pleasure. Getting out of my head, and back into my body was another key for me to emotionally open up. One thing I’ve always loved was dancing. It was my form of meditation for me, of flow, of being present. I can lose myself very easily in the moment when I’m dancing, so that’s what Shai asked me to do — to dance. While this prospect might send others into fits of terror, I had studied dance and often performed in front of others, so I felt right at home.
Once I connected to my body through dancing I became the tigress. She wasn’t just some small compartmentalized part of me. She was me and I her. I invited Shai to dance with me (always romantic!), and as we connected on that level Shai was inspired to have us try another new position, with Shai sitting on a chair and me straddling him. This position gave me the control of the pace of things, and was a great position for me to really use my pelvic muscles (which were in great shape thanks to my dancing days). In that position the tigress took over and my body knew just what to do. I didn’t even have to think, and my body just started orgasming. And orgasming. And orgasming. Whoa! My body really did know what it was doing. I was turning into a sex goddess!
After these breakthroughs the rest of the week was expanding on more tips, techniques, and learning more skills. One tip that helped was using clitoral stimulation during sex (using a vibrator) while I was in a comfortable position (which for me was usually me on top), which helped my brain connect the stimulation from my clit to the stimulation of other parts of my vaginal muscles, and even my cervix, giving me yet another way my body could orgasm. Not just with orgasms in succession, but with multiple spots being aroused at the same time. Oh yeah baby! I was discovering more and more why people go bonkers for good sex!
All too soon the week ended. As I sat with Shai the morning of our last session we reflected back on the week. It felt more like a couple of months in terms of all the things I learned and the emotional healing and growth I had experienced. I had gone from being walled off and guarded, to someone that was able to ask for things she wanted without feeling self-conscious or apologetic… someone that could explore new things with enthusiasm instead of trepidation. We were both amazed at my transformation.
I had gone from being walled off and guarded, to someone that could explore things with enthusiasm.
Although I had made great strides during my time I knew that it was just the beginning of a new path for me. Surrogate Partner Therapy had simply opened the door and given me the tools to move forward with confidence. Am I perfect at sex now? Of course not. But I have a foundation of understanding myself, and understanding what to ask for. To know how to communicate. To ask for trying new things. To realize that sexual needs and desires don’t always match up. And to realize that sex is not a one-sided experience, that there are no winners and losers, but only human beings exploring the wonders that this physical way of connecting to each other brings.
At the airport leaving California my flight was delayed an hour, but I could care less. I was already flying. I had let go of the fear and guilt and shame I had built up over the years about my sexuality. During the week I spent in the SPT program I was finally able to explore who I was really was. The tigress was now free. She wasn’t afraid of herself anymore. Or of what might happen. In working with a sex surrogate I gave myself the biggest gift — the gift of being okay with being me. Every part of me. Sexual tigress and all.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this story of my journey to find sexual healing. If you’d like to learn more please feel free to explore this site, or contact me.