Monday, 23 November, 2009
Meet the sexual healer who has slept with 1,500 men
Mare Simone, 54, calls herself a "sex surrogate" and has devoted her working life to helping men, women and couples overcome problems in the bedroom. As a qualified sex therapist, she has given lessons in love to more than 10,000 clients over the past 23 years.
And while she estimates she has had penetrative sex with 1,500 of them, she insists there is nothing illegal about what she does. Mare says: "I earn my living by sleeping with other women's husbands or boyfriends. But I am in no way a prostitute as sex surrogacy is legal, as long as it is done in a therapeutic and healing atmosphere.
"People are paying for counseling and to cure their problems - not sex.
"I am helping improve and change the sex lives of thousands of men, which means I am also helping improve the sex lives of their wives and girlfriends.
"Some women become baby surrogates because they want to help women who can't have children. In the same way, I feel drawn to helping others have an intimate sex life.
"My job is so fulfilling and enjoyable. Seeing my customers leave with a new-found sexual confidence is a wonderful sight."
Single Mare, from Chelsea, West London, holds around five sessions A DAY and sees people from all walks of life. She says: "My clients are all ages, shapes, sizes and professions. They have either been recommended to see me by a sex therapist or former client or they seek me out through sexual surrogate organizations.
"The men generally need help with erection and premature ejaculation problems or have been sent by their wives because they weren't pleasing them in bed. Before they see me, they all have an STD test, and must always use a condom when seeing me.
"I also have some women come to me. Their problems are usually that they can't orgasm or have had bad lovers. I show them how to pleasure themselves and make them love their bodies.
"Some visit me for a few sessions, while others have around 12, depending on the extent of their problems.
"All of my sessions start in the same way. We start by chatting while I caress their hands to make them feel relaxed and confident with me.
"During the next few sessions I move to giving them back and shoulder massages, so the client relaxes further while talking about their problems.
"Following that, we do a mirror exercise. This is where the client and I will both take off our clothes and look at our bodies in the mirror.
"Usually, they feel very timid about their bodies and find it difficult to look at themselves. But when they realise I am not judging them, they begin to open up and feel confident.
"At that stage I move on to front body massages. I take over 'down below', showing them how they should be touching themselves.
"Finally, it's time to put everything into practice. This is the stage of lovemaking, so they can learn how to control themselves and solve their sexual problems.
"My job is basically to make people realise their problems are not just physical. They are in the mind and have a lot to do with self-confidence."
Mare has not always been so sexually open. At the age of 19, she was raped by a male friend after accepting a late-night lift home from a party.
Too afraid to report the attack, she lost her confidence in men and sex. When she married her first husband, Victor, ten years later, she still could not bear to be touched intimately.
She recalls: "My fear of sex put a huge strain on my marriage and I knew deep down it was due to the rape.
"Overnight I went from being outgoing to being introverted. When I did date, I found making love scary and traumatic.
"When I married Victor, our sex life was never great and after four years we divorced but we have remained friends.
"It was then that a friend recommended I start reading about tantric sex and sexual surrogacy.
"Learning about this unknown world of sexual healing made me feel that there was hope for me to get my sexual confidence back."
Mare decided to take a four-day course in sex therapy, where she learnt about tantric sex, an ancient Hindu practice that concentrates on a slower form of sex. "It was fascinating and during the course I also realised, for the first time, that the rape I had endured a decade before was not my fault. I could enjoy sex without feeling dirty, ashamed or guilty."
Now, Mare spends most of her time working in the US, where she is inundated with clients.
She says: "I see about four or five people a day and charge around £100 for a session.
"Sometimes I will have sex with a husband in front of his wife, to show them both how to be more sensitive lovers. Often, couples find just talking openly to a stranger about the problems in their love life helps in the bedroom."
Although she is proud of her job, she still finds it difficult to tell friends and family about her work. She also does not discuss it with any potential boyfriends.
She says: "I usually tell them I am a yoga teacher, until I trust them enough. Some can't cope with it and run a mile, while others simply find it fascinating and are impressed.
"A few trusted friends know what I do but my family would be horrified to hear about my daily life.
"As part of my work, I regularly do sexual surrogacy tours, travelling the world, helping people with their most intimate problems.
"The last time I was in London I saw 30 clients, some who had booked me months in advance.
"It's amazing how many people in the UK desperately want help with their sex lives, but have no idea where to turn.
"There are many sex surrogates in the US but they are extremely rare in the UK.
"People have to understand that intimate sex sometimes has to be learned. It does not come naturally to some people.
"The stress of modern life can cause problems and it's my job to fix that.
"Since I started surrogacy work, I have seen more than 10,000 clients and estimate that I have had penetrative sex with around 1,500 men. I continue to see clients weekly.
"Witnessing the men and women I help make huge improvements and feel confident about their bodies is wonderful.
"In the 20 years I have been doing this job, I have never felt miserable about going to work. I love what I do and have no plans to retire within the next ten years.
"I am a sexual healer and so proud and happy that I found my dream job."