After 1960, the birth control pill and changing cultural mores promised women the freedom to explore and celebrate their sexuality. Yet decades later, women are still disappointed and dissatisfied sexually. Sex Matters for Women
promises to "help you succeed where the sexual revolution failed" in finding sexual fulfillment. The authors, all sex therapists, have packed this self-help guide with information, anecdotes, and exercises for women of all ages and orientations. They explain anatomy and sexual functioning in detail, but they also acknowledge that your sexual response is affected by more than your body parts. Your sexual history, body image, and the quality of your relationship play a huge role. You'll explore where your attitudes and difficulties come from and examine both the physiological and emotional components of your sexuality. Dozens of exercises show you how to start to make changes today that will enhance your quality of life as well as your sexuality. "You can spend your entire life capable of sexual response, pleasure, and enjoyment," promise the authors. "To what extent, and in what ways, you fulfill the promise of your adult sexuality is up to you." This warm and practical guide shows you how to get started. --Joan Price
From Library Journal
Sex therapists and educators at the University of Michigan Medical School, Foley and her coauthors present an overview of women's sexual development and dilemmas throughout the life course, followed by chapters about self-care. They discuss sexual response, body image, sexual relationships, and overcoming difficulties ranging from sexual dysfunctions to disabilities, STDs, and trauma, including sexual abuse. Coverage is comprehensive and accurate, with information about issues that are rarely addressed, e.g., the effects of incontinence on women's sexuality. More illustrations and sidebars would have helped lighten the text and dissipate the occasional sense that sex is so complex and ridden with minefields that why should one bother? Leiblum, a counselor/therapist/educator based at the Center for Sexual and Marital Health at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and Sachs (The Healing Power of Sex) also begin with a description of women's sexual experiences and issues. But somehow their book is more focused, interesting, and detailed than Sex Matters for Women. For example, readers will find more material about lesbians and even mentions of Muslim and Indian customs. After the overview, the book turns into a sex enhancement manual, discussing the net, biological/pharmaceutical remedies, restorative and cosmetic surgery, sex toys and equipment, masturbation, meditative practices, and sex therapy all approaches often given lesser coverage in other manuals. Unfortunately, there is no general background about sexual response, no illustrations, and nothing on handling STDs or abuse; and the resource section is less substantial. Both books are accurate and useful the first more comprehensive, the second a better "read" paying more attention to diverse backgrounds. Recommended as needed for public libraries, but don't forget some of the classics in this field: Our Bodies, Ourselves, The New Good Vibrations Guide to Sex (Cleis, 1997. 2d ed.), The Whole Lesbian Sex Book (LJ 1/00), and The Mother's Guide to Sex (LJ 3/15/01). Martha Cornog, Philadelphia
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.