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An Intimate Life: Sex, Love, and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner [NOOK Book]


For the past forty years, Cheryl Cohen Greene has worked as a surrogate partner, helping clients to confront, consider, and ultimately accept their sexuality. In this riveting memoir, Cohen Greene shares some of her most moving cases, and also reveals her own sexual coming-of-age. Beginning with a rigid Catholic upbringing in the 1950s, where she was taught to think sex and sexual desires were unnatural and wrong, Cohen Greene struggled to ...
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An Intimate Life: Sex, Love, and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner

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For the past forty years, Cheryl Cohen Greene has worked as a surrogate partner, helping clients to confront, consider, and ultimately accept their sexuality. In this riveting memoir, Cohen Greene shares some of her most moving cases, and also reveals her own sexual coming-of-age. Beginning with a rigid Catholic upbringing in the 1950s, where she was taught to think sex and sexual desires were unnatural and wrong, Cohen Greene struggled to reconcile her sexual identity.

As the 1960s presented social upheaval and the Sexual Revolution, Cohen Greene found herself drawn to alternative sexual paths, and ultimately achieved a rich and rewarding career as a surrogate partner. Sex surrogacy as a profession was first developed by noted sex researchers Masters and Johnson in the 1960s, and since its inception has remained in the shadows. An Intimate Life offers a candid look into the personal and professional life of a surrogate partner, examining the cultural and emotional ramifications of pursuing something most people do not immediately understand.

The memoir opens with Cohen Greene's work with Berkeley-based poet and journalist Mark O'Brien, who was confined to an iron lung after contracting polio at age six. His short essay "On Seeing A Sex Surrogate" has
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A woman's compelling memoir of her unusual career. Being a surrogate partner is not a profession most people would choose, but as Cohen Greene points out in this moving account, it's not uncommon for someone to require a surrogate's assistance. "My ultimate aim," she writes, "is to model a healthy intimate relationship for a client, and that involves much more than intercourse." First developed by William Masters and Virginia Johnson in the 1960s, surrogate partners help men and women, singles and couples, with sexual issues. Whether it is premature ejaculation, lack of desire or experience, a poor body image, or a lack of knowledge regarding genitalia, surrogates help a person "address some of the most deeply personal, anxiety-provoking issues that they…face." Over a series of six to eight visits, a surrogate uses deep breathing and relaxation techniques to help a person reconnect with his/her sexual self. As the two become more intimate, hands-on exercises eventually lead to sexual intercourse. Growing up Catholic, where her frequent masturbation and sexual activity at age 14 were major topics during confession, Cohen Greene had some major hurdles to cross before becoming a surrogate, but coming-of-age during the sexual revolution of the 1970s and a move to the San Francisco Bay area helped. The author adroitly twines stories of her own life with tales of compassionate care for a wide variety of clients, including the physically handicapped and a 70-year-old virgin. Baring it all in a sexually explicit but clinical, non-erotic way, Cohen Greene opens a door onto an intimate life of some of the more than 900 partners she has worked with over the course of four decades. Her work with one handicapped man is the basis of the film The Sessions, starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt. An illuminating revelation of the unfamiliar.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593764968
  • Publisher: Soft Skull Press, Inc.
  • Publication date: 11/13/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 917,523
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Cheryl Cohen Greene has been in private clinical practice as a surrogate partner and Consultant in Human Sexuality since 1973. She was trained in the Masters and Johnson modality and was on the training staff of San Francisco Sex Information for 19 years. Cohen Green is a certified Sex Educator and Clinical Sexologist, and in 2004 she earned her DHS (Doctor of Human Sexuality) from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. She is currently the Vice President of of IPSA (the International Professional Surro¬gates Association). She was one of the founders of BASA (the Bay Area Surrogates Association). Cohen Green is a frequent media guest, who has been interviewed on Larry King Live, the the National Geographic Channel, the WE Channel, and CNN, among others.

Lorna Garano is a freelance writer and publicist.
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Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from An Intimate Life

I slowly lifted off the blanket that covered him. His frail body was in a red, long-sleeve, button down shirt and a pair of black sweatpants. Slow and gentle, slow and gentle, I said to myself, like a mantra. “Let’s start with your shirt.” I undid the first button and then worked my way down the column of buttons. When I was finished I undid the button at the wrist of his left sleeve. Then I folded his shirt over his arm as much as I could. The collar rested off his shoulder against Mark’s salt-colored skin. I briskly rubbed my hands together to warm them up and then slid one under the shirt. I slowly brought Mark’s delicate arm toward me while inching the sleeve off of his shoulder. As I continued to peel it away I brought his arm gradually back down toward the bed. The sleeve was almost completely off when Mark screamed—loud. Oh my God! Had I hurt him? “What’s going on?” I said in as calm a voice as I could muster. “My nail, you caught my nail in the shirt,” he said. “Okay, okay…Let me see.” I freed his fingers from the shirt that was now clustered around his hand. “Mark, I need to know when something doesn’t feel good, but yelling isn’t sexy. I know we need to be very careful with your body, so don’t ever not tell me if you’re feeling uncomfortable or worried about getting hurt, but try to do it in a calmer voice. Remember, part of what we’re doing here is modeling how you’ll communicate with a partner and that could really scare someone and kill the mood.” Sure scared me, I thought. I realized that I had goose bumps on my skin that I hoped that Mark didn’t notice. “Do you need some oxygen before we go on?” To my surprise he didn’t. After I had freed his left side from his shirt I went to work on the right.

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Table of Contents

foreword ix

introduction xiii

1 heavy breathing: mark 1

2 the sin under the covers 23

3 irreconcilable differences: brian 31

4 sex maniac 48

5 no magic: george 61

6 no virgin mary 66

7 better late than never: larry 73

8 westward 81

9 past perfect: mary ann 102

10 becoming a surrogate 114

11 more than a client: bob 130

12 a second family 141

13 what if?: bradley 155

14 a frightening new disease 161

15 going oral: kevin 174

16 isn't that your daughter? 174

17 the fantasy: derek 188

18 monsieur reaper 196

19 sex and the senior girl: esther 210

20 still cooking 216

recommended resources 234

acknowledgments 237

about the authors 239

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2013

    highly recommended

    Perfect quality and a very interesting story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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