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Shameless: How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure...and Somehow Got Home in Time To Cook Dinner Hardcover – January 18, 2011

4.1 out of 5 stars 134 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


“I love this book as an adult book-group choice because it addresses so many issues familiar to women in our community's book groups: sex, marriage, motherhood, aging, weight, body image, identity, shame, fear, courage, risk.” ―PublishersWeekly.com / Shelftalker

“The edgy quirkiness of the story, combined with the author's honesty and character-saving ability to laugh at herself, make the book an engaging read...bold and surprisingly moving.” ―Kirkus Reviews

Shameless is enthralling, hilarious and incredibly courageous. A most heady--and sexy combination. Pamela Madsen is the living, breathing embodiment of the power of pleasure to transform one's life.” ―Christiane Northrup, M.D., author or Women's Bodies, Women's Wisdom

“If you've ever dreamt of becoming a real live sex Goddess Pamela Madsen will show you the way; with grace, integrity and joyful abandon! "Find true pleasure" with this liberating book chock full of adventures from the heart. This is the first of a whole new genre in sex education books.” ―Annie Sprinkle, Ph.D., Ecosexual Sexecologist and Artist and author of Dr. Sprinkle's Spectacular Sex

Shameless sex goddess Pamela Madsen treats us to an astonishing memoir of one woman's journey into her precious inner wildness. This brave suburban wife and mother unveils the secrets of an unbelievably expanded sexuality in which desire becomes a virtue, and sexual greed opens the gates to spiritual ecstasy and orgasmic revelations.” ―Dossie Easton, co-author of The Ethical Slut and Radical Ecstasy

“Pamela Madsen's new book about healthy sexuality, Shameless, reminds you to tell the truth about yourself, embrace the most challenging topics, surround yourself with supportive friends and family, and celebrate your inner diva.” ―Wayne C. Shields, President and CEO, Association of Reproductive Health Professionals (ARHP)

About the Author

PAMELA MADSEN is the founder of the American Fertility Association and one of the nation's most outspoken fertility and sexuality educators and advocates. She lives in Riverdale, New York
Writing the book with Pamela is ANNE ADAMS, a writer and editor living in Brooklyn, New York.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; First Edition edition (January 18, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1605291757
  • ISBN-13: 978-1605291758
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 1 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (134 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #491,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Why I wrote Shameless and a Little bit About Me:

Maybe it's a congenital disorder. Maybe it's something I learned as an itty-bitty baby. But when I find something wonderful or liberating or even mildly helpful, I can't keep my mouth shut. Even my mother, the original unfiltered talker, marvels at my compulsion to spill the beans whenever I'm on a mission.

Over the past four years, I took a pretty zany voyage from an honest-to-goodness repressed, monogamous, middle-aged, hyper-achieving, chubby woman with two kids to an honest-to-goodness monogamous, middle-aged, accomplished chubby "sex goddess" with two kids.

Once I owned up to my deepest, untapped desires, I discovered a wellspring of happiness and self-confidence inside me that extended to every part of my life. Whoa! I thought. This is incredible! Everyone should know they have the power to experience life in all its richness right now, just as they are. No diets, no plastic surgery, no nothing. Just intact, healthy sexuality.

If I can stop warring with my weight and workaholism, I think most people can. I know that when I stopped denying my hearty and normal sexual appetites, I started losing my uncontrollable urges to overeat, overwork and over-compensate. For the first time, I could relax in my own skin.

Admitting your desires takes a tanker-load of courage, and a rip-stop web of support. That's what I'm here to provide. That's my mission. That's why I wrote SHAMELESS.

Even if it's a bit outside the box for a respected advocate in the infertility field, I believe it is essential to speak up about healthy sexuality.

With few nonprofessional people willing to speak openly about the power of sensuality, the average sexually curious person is stuck with textbooks or fictional characters that they can enjoy but can't emulate. I ain't no "Cougar Town" Courtney Cox. Most men I know aren't starring in "Hung". But it doesn't mean we can't feel as sexy. And when we feel that sexy, that good about ourselves, when we feel we deserve pleasure, and lots of it, that's when so many things that seemed impossible can become our new reality. As Dr. Christiane Northrup so succinctly put it, "Pleasure is a life-changer."

Who better to write a tell-all about allowing pleasure to change your life than a woman who lived it and can't keep a secret? Yeah, I know. I'm shameless.

I am best known as a "pioneer" in fertility advocacy whose raw honesty, indefatigable will and sense of humor has helped lift "infertility" from a whispered curse to a pop culture cause célèbre. I leveraged her own struggles with and triumph over reproductive challenges into a national organization that successfully supported the family-building rights of all people.

Through my own story - I am trying to rallying women to live the full and integrated lives that are possible only when they embrace their sexuality. And I walk my talk, having worked with sexual healers and surrogates in the sacred intimacy underground. I have taken countless workshops and become a certified sexologist/somatic sex educator. Just as I did with infertility, I am committed to bringing a new focus on sexual behaviors and predilections, speaking and writing from my heart without judgment or hypocrisy.

My goal is to help emancipate women from the 'woulda's' and 'shoulda's' that have kept us in denial and darkness for thousands of years. I know it's possible for women to heal their sexual identities and embrace their bodies and desires in a safe, sane and consensual way--even within the bounds of marriage.

I am still very active in the field of fertility where my daily blog, www.thefertilityadvocate.com is a breakfast essential for reporters, writers and policymakers who want to know what is happening in the world of reproductive health and fertility.

I am the Founder and served as the first Executive Director of the American Fertility Association (AFA); my work and leadership have been honored by advocacy organizations including RESOLVE NYC and the New York City Chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays; I have given testimony at hearings for the National Institutes of Health, FDA, the President's Council on Bioethics and the Centers for Disease Control; and I have spearheaded the launch of World Fertility Awareness Month (WFAM), an international infertility public awareness movement that grew to more than 36 organizations from Africa, Europe, Latin America and Asia.

I have participated in more than 1,500 interviews with print, online, and broadcast media including appearances on Oprah, Dateline NBC, Today, and 60 Minutes. I currently live in the Riverdale section of New York City with my husband of 29 years with two sons.

Learn more at www.beingshameless.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Can we agree that it's not really possible to review the content of a book about someone else's therapy? I give this a 4 for being a fun read and for opening up some of the things we don't talk about, like the stark contrast between a contented, long-term marriage and a sexually-focused endeavor. "Endeavor" sounds a bit Edwardian but it's hard to know what else to call Madsen's forays into sexual satisfaction. Happily (I guess) married to someone who comes off as a cardboard cutout propped on the couch in prime baseball-watching position, she decided that her marriage lacked spark, but that her married friends' numerous affairs looked tacky and time-consuming. I was drawn to the book because, when my late husband was still alive but unwell, I faced a similar question: love or sex? For Ms Masden, the answer is in paid erotic massage which eventually morphs into involvement in BDSM (whether paid or unpaid isn't quite clear). I appreciated her frankness and laughed aloud a number of times, especially when her teenaged boys gently tried to suggest that Mummy keep the sex vids out of sight in the living room! While brevity is the soul of wit, there were areas in which I would have liked clarification. For example, her massage therapy went on for a year or so before she involved her husband; I wondered why. Similarly, throwaway references to spending thousands on massage and BDSM costumes while her husband remains oblivious, and to losing a 6-figure job by publicizing her adventures, seem like things that would resonate pretty deeply in one's marriage, but they are literally one-liners.Read more ›
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So I heard about this book months before it came out and had it on preorder with amazon. When the book finally arrived, I could not put it down. I took the book to the gym, kept it in the car, read as much as I could at each red light, took it in the dentist waiting room, and just about everywhere until I finished it. Normally I speed read but could not help but slow down and savor every experience Pam had as it unfolded. While I still don't understand the BDSM world, I related to the healing that took place in Pam with the use of sacred intimates. What a fascinating book and kudos to her husband for accepting that this was what Pam needed and not be jealous but rather encourage the changes that were taking place. Very interesting read, and just could not put it down until I finished!
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I really thought I would like this book. I wanted to like this book. Unfortunately, I found it very underwhelming and a bit dull.

What I thought would be a big riotous adventure with depth of soul (something along the lines of Tales of a female nomad Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World minus the travel aspect) turned out to be the somewhat dull and superficial details of one woman's mid-life crisis. Essentially, an early to mid forties woman is bored and restless so goes on a self proclaimed sexual experimentation adventure. Anyone who's had rich life experiences and adventures of their own will be bored with the telling of this story.

I'm all for empowerment, finding yourself, pushing limits and big adventure; and I have no ethical issues with sexual experimentation. But if you're going to write about it, please make it more interesting, add some depth and lose the detailed minutia.

overall the book felt a bit self-indulgent to me "See, look what I did...I'm cool!". I didn't feel any depth, any inner conflict or turmoil that tends to make up a good "finding yourself" type story. It truly read to me as if it were a high-school girl overly describing an experience to her girlfriends.... "And then I said this...and he did this...(giggle, giggle)...so then we did this other thing..." It felt very juvenile.

Perhaps it's my problem for expecting something humorous and entertaining with a bit more depth of emotion and intellectual stimulation. After all, if you're targeting women in their 30's, 40's, and 50's it's usually a given that you need depth and tension when writing for this audience.
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Format: Hardcover
Let me start by saying there is plenty of sexual and erotic content in this book - of many types. Whether its orgasms, spanking, or even raspberries - you'll have to read it to find out about that. But - anyone who said this book is only about sex, and maybe types of sex that make your uncomfortable, missed the point of the book in my opinion.

The author is a woman who is like many of us - she has battled her weight her entire life, she has people around her who mention he weight in a negative way, she's married to the man she fell in love with years earlier, she's only had sex with him, she has a career that she is very proud of - but there's something missing.

Actually, maybe I should say there are some things she needs to get rid of. You know what I mean - that baggage of uncertainty that we carry around about our weight, our appearance, those nagging doubts that challenge our self-confidence and there are also her best friends who are looking for more sexual fulfillment in a variety of way. But the book still isn't all about sex.

If you think the book is just about sex - go back and re-read the second paragraph on page 106. For those of you who haven't read it yet - "My sister Nadine didn't get it. Not really. I thought I'd been so clear about what my work with Markus meant to me, how many old injuries I was finally understanding and repairing. I'd explained how embracing my sexual, sensual side was making me whole in ways that no other therapy had been able to achieve."

Ladies - and the men and women who love them - if you know and love a woman who has these negative thoughts and past hurts that need to heal, you should get this book for her.
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