From Madness to Mindfulness: Reinventing Sex for Women

Jennifer Gunsaullus. Cleis, $17.95 trade paper (316p) ISBN 978-1-62778-296-8
In this helpful guide, sociologist and sex coach Gunsaullus (The Sexual Creativity Game for Couples) introduces readers to mindfulness practices meant to improve women’s sexual confidence and reduce feelings of bodily shame. She explains and synthesizes current research regarding personal confidence and shame, which reveals that shame inhibits one’s vulnerability out of a fear of being unloved: “Having the courage, compassion, and connection to practice vulnerability is the only way to build worthiness.” Gunsaullus clarifies that the “madness” from the book’s title does not refer to women’s emotions, but instead reflects the confounding and contradicting social expectations women face, including expectations that base women’s worth on their physical beauty while shaming women who flaunt their body, or the expectation that women should be pleasing to men yet fiercely guard their sexuality. In response, Gunsaullus proposes mindfulness practices—meditation, breathing exercises, mindful eating, and daily gratitude rituals—meant to mentally attune women to their thought patterns, emotions, and bodily sensations. She also unpacks complex and destructive aspects of modern society—such as heteronormativity, rape culture, and patriarchy. In a final section, she addresses feeling more comfortable and secure in romantic relationships with helpful communication strategies for partners. Gunsaullus’s mindfulness practices and analysis will appeal to any woman interested in practical approaches for maintaining emotional and sexual health, as well as to readers confronting and dealing with shame. (Aug.)
Reviewed on : 06/05/2019
Release date: 08/01/2019
Genre: Nonfiction
Ebook - 272 pages - 978-1-62778-509-9
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