I Was a Sex Surrogate for 40 Years
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Or, well, I can’t ignore the fact that I have a mastectomy. I mean, I have a reconstructed breast, but I had breast cancer in 2006. I didn’t get a nipple made, it was another operation, I said the hell with it. So I had a glue-on nipple, and I’ll tell you a little story. I had this client and this therapist said to me, “He wants to explore dressing in women’s clothing.” This doesn’t happen all the time, but I thought, “Okay, fine, I’ll give him honest feedback.” And, so he was — we were in the living room and I said I’d get undressed in the living room with him, so I was sitting in a chair and he was crawling around on the floor towards me, and he had a little cheerleader skirt on and a little top, he looked kinda cute – no underwear — and I had my glue-on. And I look down at one point, and I saw this horrible thing on his knee, it looked like a huge wart. And I thought for a second, I looked down, and my nipple was on his knee. So I reached down and I peeled it off. And he said, “What’s that?” And I said, “Oh it’s nothing.” I slapped it back on. I said, “Isn’t it amazing that they can create these amazing devices?” [laughs] And we just went right on from there.
But, I mean, I’m always being vulnerable. People tell me, you know, therapists who feel uncomfortable with surrogate work – with surrogate practice – say that the client is so vulnerable. So am I. You know, like you said, the emotions that come up. No, I don’t have orgasms all the time. But when I do, they’re real. I promise clients I’m not going to lie to them, I’ll be honest with them, and if I have to give them feedback, I’ll try and do it in a way that is not scolding and they can hear. Because too many times when people get frustrated they scold each other in intimate moments, and boy does that take the wind out of the sails.
The quote for the night is officially, “I saw my nipple on his knee and peeled it off.” [laughs] So I was really fascinated to read that your second husband, your current husband, was actually a former client. How did that relationship transition from therapeutic to romantic?
You know, I always say that clients that I work with are not sick and broken people; they’re like every one of us. And what they need is somebody to sort of guide them, give them permission, give them accurate information, teach them how to notice their own bodies, and stop worrying about – the best lovers are not men who have had multiple partners or huge amount of partners; it’s men who listen.
When I met Bob, there was something special, and it just happened. And I have not had that experience again. We saw each other through the full, we had I think six or seven sessions, and when he was about to leave – I talked about it in my book – he brought me a camera. And I don’t accept gifts, and he had seen the camera I was using and he was always telling me what a piece of crap it was. [laughs] And he came up with this camera, I said, “I can’t take that.” And his eyes filled up with tears, he said, “I’m just not going to do anything with it, I’m going to give it away to somebody.” And he said, “I just want you to have something that you can take pictures of your kids with.” Because he knew I was married and had the kids, and I said, “Okay, then you’re going to have to show me how to use the camera.” And I saw a little gleam in his eye.