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Patients With Benefits

Meet the real sex surrogate from "The Sessions"

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  • Cohen Greene and I meet at her Monday morning Pilates class in Berkeley, California. While 40 years of nonstop sex with some 900 partners (by her estimate) appears to be an excellent anti-ager—at 68, she has glowing skin, and there's a slink to her step, a certain sparkle in her eye that reads as sensual—Cohen Greene's body is square shouldered, maternal looking. “I'm no porn star,” she says right off the bat. “I've had my breast removed. I've had reconstruction. I had my nipple removed. It looks like somebody came at me with a saber here [she lifts her shirt to reveal a scar], and I've had my hip replaced.” She's also a survivor of lymphoma, which nearly killed her. “I never did get a fake nipple put on. I don't make a big deal about it to clients,” she says. “I mention it as we're getting undressed the first time. Then we move on and explore our bodies.”

    ON ELLE: Can Singles Ultimately Be Happy Alone?

    There's a reason many of us had never heard of sex surrogacy until The Sessions came along: In the world of mainstream therapy, it's widely considered to be an experiment better left behind in the freewheeling '70s—at best unorthodox and at worst irresponsible or even unethical.

Patients With Benefits
Meet the real sex surrogate from "The Sessions"
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