Here is the question: Am I being ambiguous by equating surrogate partners with sex coaches? What is the difference, really?
In a nutshell...
A sex coach is a trained professional who helps people with sexual issues.
A surrogate partner is someone who works with a licensed mental health professional, and provides the hands-on portion of the therapy sessions.
Let's break it down further.
There are two main types of sex coaching: experiential and talk.
In experiential sex coaching, the sex coach will teach you how to be a better lover through talking as well as hands-on practices. In experiential, hands-on sex coaching, the sex coach takes a more interactive approach. We guide our clients through exercises to help them feel more comfortable with their body, their sexuality, and intimacy. It begins the same way as talk-based sex coaching, where the coach gets a good idea of the client’s goals and includes talking about their issues and strategies for improvement. Experiential practices might include teaching the client breathing exercises, touch exercises, how to emit and share sexual energy, and how to connect deeply with a partner.
Experiential sex coaches point out that just talking often is not enough to learn new skills around sex and intimacy, in the same way that one can't learn piano, dance, or baseball from a book. Experiential sex coaches teach their clients embodied touch by touching and being touched by them. They give them feedback about how to touch and connect in a more present and sensual way.
Talk sex coaching is similar to life coaching. In talk-based sex coaching the client comes to the practitioner with a challenge. The client's issues could revolve around dating, sexual identity, sexual abuse, sex addiction, sex and aging, open relationships, communication skills, gender identity, sex in long-term relationships, and/or sexual dysfunction.
The coach then helps them figure out what steps they can take to overcome their challenge. The coach also works with the client to develop specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-oriented objectives. The coach gives suggested "homework" such as reading, videos, and exercises. Talk coaches typically do not have physical contact beyond hugs or handshakes. A coach may offer emotional support by placing a hand on their client’s back or arm when needed, but this is usually the extent of touch in a talk coaching session.
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