Making Out Like a Virgin: Sex, Desire, and Intimacy After Sexual Trauma

Edited by Catriona McHardy and Cathy Plourde. Animal Mineral, $16.95 trade paper (186p) ISBN 978-1-944568-00-9
This collection of 17 essays from survivors of sexual abuse in childhood or young adulthood points to an optimistic endpoint for the "journey to a happy and healthy sexuality" (in the words of one contributor), making it a powerful resource for those on the path to recovery who need to connect with models of success. These personal narratives are straightforward, conversational, and everyday, told by people who are not in the habit of writing out stories but have an important experience to share. No individual piece stands out from a literary perspective, though the editing is light and the frank, vulnerable, and courageous voices of the authors are distinctive. The writers are of various genders and sexual orientations; several are therapists and educators, but none of the essays sounds preachy. Many address post-trauma periods of transactional, disconnected sex, times of personal growth, and intentionally finding a way to reconnect with one's own body, sometimes alone but often with the support of a patient and understanding partner. McHardy and Plourde harness the power of sharing stories of trauma to serve healing in this celebration of survivors rediscovering hope, love, and joy in the sensual, sexual self. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/24/2016
Release date: 10/01/2016
Open Ebook - 184 pages - 978-1-944568-01-6
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