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31 of 36 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon April 28, 2011
Format: HardcoverVine 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. Judging the book on its own merits, it's not rigorously scholarly, doesn't bring into play any science for or against the "Divine Intimacy" school of therapy and so on, but it does convey with the verve and pep the value a soi-disant "loud-mouthed, opinionated Jewess" found in remaining technically faithful to her husband while finding a different manner in which to enjoy her sexuality. The most problematic issue for me (and this says MUCH more about me than the writer) is that she started off 70 lbs overweight, "ditched the diet," and dropped 30 lbs...which if my math is right leaves her 40 pounds overweight. As we all know, this is more than enough to have some extremely negative health effects, but she doesn't seem to worry about it now that she knows she can find some (paid, usually gay) man to make her feel attractive. I don't mean to be grouchy here and really hope things work well for the writer, but at times the book did come off like a 250-page apologia for finding intimacy outside one's marriage when it might very well be available inside if one were to give it a fair shot. Just saying...I think the book gives the reader a solid grounding in one option when one's in a long-term, less-than-sexually-spectacular marriage; I don't think it's the only or perhaps the best answer, but Ms Masden never claims it is. She found something that works for her and she explains it frankly, humorously, and with an appealing lack of pretense. Good for her!
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2011
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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56 of 71 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVine 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) 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. Instead it felt like a very superficial romp targeting women who've led sheltered lives and never had adventures of their own, therefore they're less likely to notice the emptiness of the storyline.

Summary: If you've led a sheltered life you may well like the story. If you've had a rich, adventurous life and expect depth, tension and intellectual appeal, you'll be quite bored by this juvenile telling of a mid-life crisis story.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 2011
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. I was in a similar place as the author - a couple of years ago - and while my love coaching training was the catalyst for my journey to self-discovery, it also gave me a much more positive outlook on life and made me feel whole for the first time.

Did I mention that this self-discovery is also a fantastic way to get in touch with your sexual, sensual side? That doesn't mean you have to do things sexually that don't appeal to you and it doesn't mean that you forget your current partner and relationship. But you can feel good about you - the mother, wife, daughter, and the sexual woman that may be buried deep inside.

The final thought I want to share is that however you take your personal "shameless" journey - read this book, understand the deeper message and do this for yourself. Like the commercial says - "You're worth it".
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 25, 2012
Format: HardcoverVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The title/subtitle of the books didn't quite prepare me for what I found in Shameless. I assumed this was going to be a story about a harried modern lady that comes to a place of comfortable body acceptance. It is that, but also a lot more. The author takes a unique path to e,bracing her sexuality and advancing past a history of body shame. but she approaches it through a highly unusual path of sexual massage and BDSM. She sees it as an alternative to cheating on her husband, and views the experience as therapy, not fooling around. It does wonders for her psyche and brings her to a certain level of peace. It's not a path I would take, but I respect her for getting in touch with her feelings. Where the story seems lacking is in her relationship with her husband,who by her report is more understanding and accepting than most men I know. When she reveals her experiences to her husband, he takes it very well and even makes a slight attempt to join her, but ultimately can't embrace her new lifestyle, which seems to break her heart. In the end, she seems to be like lots of wide-eyed newbies who I have met who undergo some major lifestyle transformation, such Alcohol Anonymous or adopting a new religion, or submerge themselves in a new hobby. She becomes so steeped in her new discovery that she seems to loose her balance and it appears to consume her. It would be interesting to see where she is in another 5 years, and how the ending of this book might be different.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on April 23, 2011
I could not put this book down. Pamela's wit and transparency had me laughing and shouting YES with the turn of every page. For centuries, through the spoken and unspoken rules of society, women have been conditioned to believe that "nice girls don't". By opening the diary of her exploration, Pamela has shown us that nice girls AND smart girls do! Through her words and wisdom she has taken the power of a woman's sensuality out from under the covers and into the light.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 30, 2011
Whether or not you'll enjoy this book really depends on how you feel about sexuality in general. If you think that your sexual self is something worth exploring and looking at without fear or shame, then you'll get a lot out of Madsen's writing. If you believe that examining and exploring your own erotic nature is indulgent or unseemly, you won't. This book isn't about infidelity or prostitution. It's not even about sex, really. It's about a woman who decided that she is beautiful and alive, and deserves orgasms, and set about getting them as efficiently as she could.

Whether her choices would be our choices isn't really the point, it's the fact that she decided to make them that really stands out. This is a pretty big deal for women, who have been told for generations that they're not entitled to pleasure on their terms, especially women who're older, married moms. The message they get is that their lives don't really belong to them anymore, nor do their bodies. One day, Madsen decided that wasn't good enough for her, so she took control of her sexuality.

I found the book to be funny and brave, and I really began to understand how something like loving, trained touch can help you free yourself of self-hatred and judgment, which can only make you more loving and compassionate to the people around you. I think it's well worth the read, even if you do have objections to how she goes about things. My only real problem with the book is the parsing of erotic self-discovery in New Age-y language, which always makes this kind of thing sound a little silly. It's message, though, is great: you are beautiful, and you deserve to be loved and to love, and to do so without shame.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on February 10, 2011
I was prepared to be entertained by Pamela's book. And I was not disappointed! What I had not expected was how important I found her message to be. Underneath all of the stories of Pamela's adventures is a woman searching for more self love, self acceptance, and less shame about her feelings and desires. And isn't this search going on in minds,hearts and bodies of most women in our society? For me, a woman who spent decades at war with her body and her desires, I laughed and cried and was filled with gratitude for Pamela's willingness to share her story. My particular path was not exactly like hers, but the elements I needed along the way were very similar. Each of our journeys will be unique, but Pamela's message is universal: discover our truth, release our shame, find support and live a much fuller (and sexier!) life!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2011
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and I don't think it deserves the negative reviews it's getting here. I applaud Pamela for having the courage to do what she did and to write about it. She wanted something more in life and she figured out a way to get it without being unfaithful to her husband. Good for her! But the reason I loved this book so much was reading about people telling her she had a beautiful body. We live in a culture where even near-perfect bodies are picked apart in the media. Finally, a book that helps women accept their bodies and says it's okay to tap into what makes you feel good inside your body.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2011
I started reading this book with a "how can Stella get her groove back" mentality. Mrs. Madsen went above and beyond what I imagined. Her activities are not my cup of tea. I enjoy the intimacy of the sensual touch from my husband only, but she has opened my mind to learning new things that could bring a whole lot of pleasure to our lives. I do feel better about my body and sexual self because of having read this book. She has inspired me to explore more.
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