Cover image for Sex matters for women : a complete guide to taking care of your sexual self
Sex matters for women : a complete guide to taking care of your sexual self
Foley, Sallie.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Guilford Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
viii, 376 pages : illustrations ; 27 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
HQ29 .F65 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



When it comes to matters of sex, women today are trapped in a reality gap portrayed by the media as confident and fulfilled; yet struggling in everyday life with sexual myths, self-doubt, and "embarrassing" questions. Now women can find the answers they need to take charge of their sexuality both in and outside of the bedroom. This book presents solid, science-based information on the topics that everyone is talking about and those that aren't talked about enough, from how to have more satisfying sex, to questions about hormones, anatomy, STDs, body image, relationships, sexual orientation, and more. Also included are thought-provoking exercises for self-discovery and sexual growth. The book concludes with an extensive listing of suggested books, websites, and organizations. For readers of all ages, this essential reference provides up-to-date advice on the many ways that sex matters in women's lives. [FOR PROFESSIONAL USE, ADD: It will also serve as a useful text in advanced undergraduate and graduate-level human sexuality courses.]

Winner--Society for Sex Therapy and Research (SSTAR) Consumer Book Award

Author Notes

Sallie Foley, MSW, is a certified sex therapist, educator, and supervisor. She is a Senior Clinical Social Worker at the Sexual Health Counseling Services of the University of Michigan, where she is also on the faculty of the Graduate School of Social Work. Recognized for her expertise in couple and sex therapy, she writes and lectures nationally and is frequently interviewed in the media.

Sally A. Kope, MSW, is a certified sex therapist, supervisor, and couple counselor in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and serves on the faculty of the University of Michigan Medical School. She has written and lectured widely, and is frequently cited in the media.

Dennis P. Sugrue, PhD, a clinical psychologist and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Michigan Medical School, is the current President of the American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors, and Therapists. Dr. Sugrue is an expert in human sexuality who has been featured in media including Ladies' Home Journal, Parents, and Glamour.

Reviews 1

Library Journal Review

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 (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Table of Contents

I Knowing Your Sexual Story
1 Every Story Has a Beginning
2 Adult Sexuality: A Lifelong Story
II Understanding Your Body
3 Your Body
4 Sexual Response
5 Reproduction and Beyond
III Making Peace with Your Body
6 Body Image
7 Illness and Disability
8 When Sex Causes Pain
9 Sexually Transmitted Diseases
10 Trauma
IV Creating a Better Sexual Relationship
11 Male Sexuality
12 Taking Care of Your Sexual Relationship
V Overcoming Sexual Difficulties
13 What to Do When Sexual Problems Arise
14 Overcoming Low Sexual Desire
15 Overcoming Low Sexual Arousal
16 Overcoming Orgasm Difficulties
17 Sex Therapy
Appendix: Exercises for Sexual Growth
Ways to Know Your Sexual Story
Ways to Understand Your Body
Ways to Make Peace with Your Body
Ways to Create A Better Sexual Relationship
Suggested Resources