Shai Rotem, the founder of The Center for Professional Clinical Surrogate Therapy in Los Angeles, is paid to help women unlock their sexual potential so that they can have healthier relationships with men. Since 1997, he has worked as a surrogate sex partner, which can include intercourse.
Rotem says that he has worked with women who have vaginismus (which makes sex painful), virgins in their 40s or 50s and women who have experienced sexual trauma. Rotem told CBS News: "More and more women are now claiming their birth right to either have an orgasm, or healthy relationship or have sexual satisfaction."
The practice is controversial, and most sex therapists don’t work with surrogate partners. Some even question its legality, although no laws specifically prohibit surrogate partners, according to the International Professional Surrogates Association (IPSA).
This special kind of 'therapy' comes with baggage, including the risk of the patient becoming attached to her surrogate partner. Surrogate therapy began in the sexual liberation days of the 1970s, but has dwindled.
Rotem said sessions are planned and less anxiety-provoking for patients than real world sex, where anything can happen. He begins with eye contact and hand-holding exercises. Intercourse, when it happens, occurs later in the therapy. Rotem says that every woman is different, but most of his patients require intercourse as part of their treatment.