• SEX LIFE - Dr. Pamela Stephenson-Connolly

    Dr. Pamela Stephenson –Connolly is a sexologist and clinical psychologist. She has been a psychotherapist for 17 years. If like me you associate the Stephenson- Connolly name with ‘Not The Nine o’clock News’ etc. and as a result expect a comedy type book you will be surprised by the content.

    I start by giving you her credentials because this is a genuine study of sex and the myths, guilt and mystery that surround it. Dr. Stephenson has drawn on hundreds of intimate interviews with ordinary people of all ages, backgrounds and sexual orientation. She has ordered them chronologically to produce a series of chapters taking us from conception to end of life, painting a detailed picture of our sexual selves.

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    It took me a while to ‘get into’ the book, I found the first two chapters Conception to Five and Six to Puberty quite difficult to read as it looked in detail at the sexuality of young children. Not being a person who has ever thought of a child as being a sexual being I was uncomfortable with the concept. However written objectively, these chapters were not written to ‘titillate’ and I accept that we cannot look at our sexual orientation as adults without considering the progression that took us to that point.

    I found the rest of the book easy to read and entertaining. I was interested in the personal testimonies and statements; in many cases it is difficult to tell if the experience being related is that of a male or female; heterosexual or homosexual endorsing the idea that we are all individual sexual beings and our desires differ accordingly. This book shows there is no such thing as ‘normal’ and that anything goes as long as it is safe, sane and consensual.

    Guilt around sex is dismissed, the idea that (safe, sane, consensual) sex is in any way shameful is also dismissed ,many of the resentments and trust issues around sex are explored. It was interesting to read about others peoples angst over mistakes made especially as teenagers. Interesting also to read how sexual repression as a young person can shape (or distort) the sexual being we become as adults. Many are relieved to learn that there is a rich and broad tapestry of human sexual experience, reassured to learn that (as long as it’s safe, sane, consensual ) anything goes.

    It is an interesting book. It validates sexual desires and dispels many myths, it is a study of sex rather than a manual! It is informative, entertaining and at times shocking, however it is also very enlightening.

    I would give it 4 winos


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