Sex Surrogates Seem Like Prostitutes But Are Helping Hands

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"If he did well with the social adjustment, we would move on to something more sexual," she said.

"First of all, he needed a wardrobe adjustment -- basically he had dorky clothes," Krakower said. "She went shopping with him and went on dates to the movies and sat at his house and chatted."

A second patient had a musculoskeletal disorder and was confined to a wheelchair.

"His wife was divorcing him and he had a lot of anxiety about a new relationship," she said. "We thought a surrogate could help him jump start it."

After the first consultation, the man decided not to go further. "He was scared," Krakower said.

A third patient, a professional man in his 30s, was interested, but couldn't afford the surrogate.

"He was very good looking and very successful," she said. "He was a really good, good man with a great personality."

But he had suffered from a history of flagging erections since losing his virginity with his college girlfriend.

"She handled it poorly, making a mockery of him and laughing at him and he became gun-shy," Krakower said. "It had a huge snowball effect and he simply would not get involved with women."

But, like the Acid Queen in The Who's rock opera, "Tommy," who introduces the "deaf, dumb and blind kid" to sex, these relationships risk "breaking your little heart."

Sometimes the patient becomes attached emotionally to his teacher. The 54-year-old virgin fell in love with his surrogate partner, a phenomenon that is not uncommon, according to Krakower.

The relationship lasted four months but never landed in the bedroom, largely because of the virgin's "hard-wired" personality disorder.

"She was trying to get him to feel more comfortable with nudity and they got naked together, but it never went further than that," his therapist said. "He was absolutely terrified."

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