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Video: Sexuality and Disability

June 1, 2016 by Justin Lehmiller

Sex surrogates are people who help clients deal with sexual difficulties by engaging in direct sexual activity with them. In addition, surrogates often help persons with physical disabilities more generally—many of whom report having difficulty establishing sexual relationships—to explore their sexual potential.

This practice is one that has been around for decades and actually dates back to the days of Masters and Johnson, who advocated for it as a part of some sex therapy programs; however, it remains controversial.

For a compelling look at the life and work of a sex surrogate, check out the TEDx Talk below by Cheryl Cohen Greene, who has been working in this profession since the 1970s. Some of you may have seen the 2012 film The Sessions, which is based on Greene’s treatment of a man with polio who spent most of his life in an iron lung and never had a chance to explore and develop his sexuality on his own. As you’ll see, Greene spends a bit of time talking about this particular case in her talk, but she also details her experiences working with other patients, what influenced her decision to become a sex surrogate, and what she has learned along the way.

Check out the full video and weigh in with your comments below. To learn more about sex surrogacy, check out this article.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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