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The New Feminism Now Includes "Hands-On Sexual Healing".

Women Stake Claim on Sexual Pleasure for Health and Healing

NEW YORK -- Sexual frustration among women is at the tipping point. Despite decades of lip service given to "liberation" and the press-hot notoriety of sex kittens and their older sisters, the sex goddesses, real women are aggressively seeking outlets for pent-up sexual energy or fix-its for their low libidos. In increasing numbers, women are finding answers in the hands of professional sexual healers. Though it remains a subterranean phenomenon, sexual healing is breaking through the frozen ground of taboo.

On the cutting edge of this trend, sex educator Pamela Madsen has taken her experiences with sexual healers above ground in a pioneering, fearless and funny memoir, SHAMELESS: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home In Time To Cook Dinner (Rodale: January 18, 2011).

Dr. Christiane Northrup, physician, best-selling author and internationally renowned women's health expert commented, "Up until very recently, hands-on sexual healing has been cloaked in secrecy, shame, and misunderstanding. But a bold new group of courageous pioneers such as Pamela Madsen is leading the way toward a deeper, richer understanding of women's sexual pleasure as a force for health and healing that positively affects all areas of their lives. The new feminism includes embracing our erotic power, and hands on sexual healing in the right setting can be a very effective way to accomplish this."

Madsen, an unlikely avatar of desire and pleasure, is Everywoman - a plump, middle-aged housewife, married with two kids, living a middle class life in the Bronx. But with her new book, she's opening the floodgates of a new national dialogue about integrated female sexuality and well being. She has emerged as the only client of sexual healers to speak publicly about the transformational and healing power of one-way touch and sensual pleasure. Since she has taken the unprecedented step of "coming out" with frankness and humor in popular blogs, interviews, and even pre-publication galleys making surreptitious rounds, hundreds of women have reached out to Pamela, hungry to learn how they too can own and harness their sexuality.

Pamela's recent blog for Psychology Today on body shame and self-loathing hit #1 in reader popularity: From the overwhelming response, Pamela is learning just how many women feel shut down and cut off from their own bodies and want to taste the freedom of pleasure again--or maybe for the first time. She frequently hears from women trapped behind the barbed wire fence of shame, guilt, fear and resentment as they struggle to break free. They want to know how to find safe sexual healing with an experienced professional without ditching their lives.

Even before she went public, Pamela knew she wasn't alone. She was meeting other women like her at workshops and conferences. It made her wonder how widespread sexual healing was becoming. Since there were no official studies, Pamela reached out to sex therapists, women's health specialists and family therapists to find out if in fact, their patients were approaching them with questions about "hands-on" sexual healing. These practitioners confirmed that not only were women coming to them - they wanted referrals.

Clearly, hands-on sexual healing is slowly seeping into the mainstream. After all, HBO has the hit series Hung. Ray, the protagonist, may call himself a gigolo, but he usually winds up providing a profound experience that most of his clients crave.

"Once I got over my shame - and lived to tell about it - I discovered that desire is natural and pleasure is transformational," says Madsen. "Allowing pleasure into your life isn't narcissistic, id-driven or the function of a personality disorder. It is, in fact, a path to wholeness. Pleasure helps mend many wounds from body image and depression to the infamous low libido. Sometimes all we need is an expert guide to lead us to the mine of gold we already have inside of us."

"In my world," says Madsen, "they're called Sacred Intimates, Sexological Bodyworkers, and Dakas. HBO may have 'Happiness Consultants'. Whatever the name, paid sexual healing services are in increasing demand. Maybe if a doctor could write a prescription, it wouldn't be underground anymore. But based on my own informal research, I can tell you, it won't be sub rosa much longer."

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Publication:Business Wire
Geographic Code:1U2NY
Date:Jan 19, 2011
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