Sometimes, we need to practice. A dry run, so to speak. For, if we throw ourselves in before we are ready or even worse, with the wrong partner, we might leave the experience more harmed than nurtured. And then, we are less likely to want to dive in again or when we do, we carry with us the damage done.

This is why I am a newly converted advocate of surrogacy. Yes, you heard me. I may need to use someone else in a safe and controlled environment  to give me an experience I cannot get on my own. I may need to ask for a kind volunteer stand-in to best prepare myself for the real deal.  Some place where I am willing to afford risk.

In psychotherapy language, at its finest, we call this group therapy. Throw a bunch of strangers together in the same room. Tell them to put their thoughts and feelings into words towards one another as they are having them in the moment. And, boom. They become mirrors and objects by which all members learn and grow, feel and change. Without being explicit, the group members sign-up to use and be used.

Yet, here’s the problem … which later, becomes the solution … they are doing so in the context of a real human interactive experience. Remember the movie, The Sessions, with Helen Hunt in full frontal? A handicapped male virgin hires a sex surrogate to grant him a human experience that he has yet to partake. The Helen Hunt character is clear – no feelings, just sex. This is going to be strictly transactional. Thankfully, Hollywood got this one right. Not only does the “client” develop real feelings for his surrogate but she also engenders genuine feelings for him. Damn, if the heart just can’t stay out of it.

Group therapy is exactly so. We come together to treat each other as practice. And despite our smarter selves, we fall in love. We tumble into attached relationship. And in a truly intimate relationship, objectivity cannot be sustained. Yes, for a moment, I am using you and you are using me for pleasure and self-gain. But when the height of orgasm has passed, within the totality of the emotional and relational bubble, we return to relationship. We come home to the created emotional space of reciprocal generosity and empathy.

And there is nothing wrong with this scenario. In other words, no guilt allowed. I am not a thief who is robbing you blind. I am a human being with wants and needs. And I have the right to ask for those wants and needs to be attended to, just as do you. Not in a tit-for-tat way but from a place of abundance.

And by taking such a risk in a safe environment, we open the possibility for more. We become ready to go back out into the real world prepared, resilient, free and hungry for every bit of good stuff that life offers.

Have I titillated your interest? However you can, come out and play.  Even a surrogate will stir your feelings.  Just start.  Wherever you are, just start.