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Help me to Feel: Sex Surrogacy and The Mating of Michael
The third book in my Sex in Seattle series comes out today, The Mating of Michael. This was a quite interesting book to research because my main character, Michael Lamont, is a gay sex surrogate.
Michael loves being a sex surrogate, but most of the people he meets seem to think sex surrogacy is akin to prostitution – like it’s prostitution’s slightly nicer younger sister who took a few medical classes.
Au contraire! I loved researching sex surrogacy, and I’ll give you some links at the end of this article in case you want to learn more. But a sex surrogate fulfills a very challenging and necessary role. Just as a physical therapist is needed when a person has an accident and is relearning how to walk, a sex surrogate can provide help to get someone ‘on their feet’ sexually.
Most of us don’t require a professional coach to learn how to have sex. After all, it’s a natural instinct like eating and breathing, isn’t it? We usually pick up all we need to know in our first few sexual encounters with a peer (not to say there isn’t A LOT we can learn later on, from those with slightly unusual tastes, but that’s another blog post).
But sadly, no, not everyone is that lucky. Some people have issues that require the help of a person who is a therapist specializing in intimacy and sexual response. What kind of person might need the services of a sex surrogate?
Did you know that in some countries, they are even discussing the possibility of adding sex surrogacy to disability benefits provided by the state? This is a great article by the New York Times on legislation under consideration in France: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/world/europe/disabled-people-say-they-too-want-a-sex-life-and-seek-help-in-attaining-it.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
All this raises an interesting question: Should access to a sex life be considered an inalienable human right, like food, shelter, clean water, and emergency medical treatment? The people at Expanded Horizons, my fictitional sex clinic in this series, think the answer is ‘yes’. It is, after all, a very basic primal human need. No one should have to live without love, touch, and sexual intimacy.
Being a male sex surrogate isn’t someone just anyone can do. It takes compassion, empathy, an ability to respond sexually in stressful dynamics, and a gentle spirit. Michael Lamont is very good at being a sex surrogate, and he loves his work. But in “The Mating of Michael”, when he meets the man who could be the love of his life, he has difficulty admitting to what he does much less explaining it. Can Michael’s boyfriend James learn to accept what Michael does or will it tear them apart? Can Michael’s training help him overcome the barriers James himself has put up to true intimacy?
Besides James, you’ll meet a few of Michael’s patients in “The Mating of Michael” and get to ‘attend’ a few of his surrogacy sessions. I hope you find it as interesting to read about as I did to research it!
Additional Resources on Sex Surrogacy:
“Sessions of a Sex Surrogate” by Joanne Ferro — on Kindle here: http://www.amazon.com/SESSIONS-Sex-Surrogate-Joanne-Ferro/dp/0985957859
“Private Practices” – documentary about surrogate Maureen Sullivan –on Amazon Instant Video here: http://www.amazon.com/Private-Practices-Unrated-Warren-Robert/dp/B0021ZLZL0/ref=sr_1_wsc1?s=instant-video&ie=UTF8&qid=1403991573&sr=1-1-wordsplitter&keywords=%E2%80%9CPrivate+Practices%E2%80%9D
IPSA – The national association that trains sex surrogates: http://www.surrogatetherapy.org/
There’s a film called “The Sessions” with Helen Hunt (which I didn’t watch because I didn’t want to be overly influenced before writing this book!)
New York Times article on sex surrogacy for the disabled: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/05/world/europe/disabled-people-say-they-too-want-a-sex-life-and-seek-help-in-attaining-it.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
You can find an excerpt from “The Mating of Michael” on my website (www.elieaston.com) or check out a free sample on iBooks or Kindle.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, an organic farmer and a profound sleeper, Eli is happily embarking on yet another incarnation as a m/m romance author.
As an avid reader of such, she is tinkled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of humor, melting hotness and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, three bulldogs, three cows and six chickens. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.
Her website is www.elieaston.com
You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Everyone admires Michael Lamont for being a nurse, but his part-time work as a gay sex surrogate not only raises eyebrows, it’s cost him relationships. Michael is small, beautiful, and dedicated to working with people who need him. But what he really wants is a love of his own. He spends most of his spare time reading science fiction, especially books written by his favorite author and long-time crush, the mysteriously reclusive J.C. Guise.
James Gallway’s life is slowly but inexorably sliding downhill. He wrote a best-selling science fiction novel at the tender age of eighteen, while bedridden with complications of polio. But by twenty-eight, he’s lost his inspiration and his will to live. His sales from his J.C. Guise books have been in decline for years. Wheelchair bound, James has isolated himself, convinced he is unlovable. When he is forced to do a book signing and meets Michael Lamont, he can’t believe a guy who looks like Michael could be interested in a man like him.
Michael and James are made for each other. But they must let go of stubbornness to see that life finds a way and love has no limitations.
Title: The Mating of Michael (Sex in Seattle #3)
Author: Eli Easton
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 30, 2014
Purchase Link: Dreamspinner