From Sex Appeal to Self Appeal: One woman's journey to recover her body, her sexuality, her self
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What happens when a middle-aged scientist gets sober, then embarks on a second career—as a stripper?
This is the story of one woman’s sexual odyssey as she turns the microscope on herself and looks inward to determine what is real and what is not, what is merely dogma and childhood and cultural indoctrination.
Uprooted and shuffled around in a military family, Susan turned to drugs and boys. Although she was intelligent and beautiful outwardly, internally she was chaotic, confused, hollow, and disconnected. At 34 she sobered up. Then, desperate to escape her drab 12-year career in science and having bought into the culture’s fixation on appearance, sex, and money as a way to happiness, she became an exotic dancer. This is when “Vixen” was born and Susan’s real scientific journey began.
From Sex Appeal to Self Appeal chronicles Susan’s life as her sexually empowered, carefree night persona is pitted against her good girl, people-pleasing, repressed daytime self, and she confronts feeling and actions she always considered unacceptable. Her exploration grounds her in a morality and value system of her own choosing until her two selves merge. She learns how to stay grounded in and with herself and how to resurrect a relationship with her body, mind, and sexuality that will serve her well for the rest of her life. Susan’s story is a powerful and compelling memoir about sexuality, self-respect, and Self-Appeal.
From Sex Appeal to Self Appeal: One Woman's Journey to Recovery Her Body, Her Sexuality, Her Self, 354 pages
What Women Are Saying about From Sex Appeal to Self Appeal
"I recommend every woman who is struggling with self worth to read this book. It takes you on a personal journey of low self esteem to having what the author calls "self appeal." It will change your life. It changed mine."
Oleta Kay Ham, Author of Migrant Mother, the Untold Story
"What an amazing life story! Life lessons around every corner. I did not want to put it down!"
"Each woman's sexual development and experiences are unique to her, but all women can identify with the feelings and the needs bared so skillfully here, no matter how different their own sexual experiences may have been. I was both moved and inspired by the book, and I only wish I had read it in my early twenties or late teens instead of in my early sixties. With soulful honesty and a tender vulnerability, she shares the story of a young girl turned woman searching for love, acceptance and meaning in both a successful career and a series of affairs, only to find real healing and her true self in some very unusual places and ways. Both suspenseful and satisfying, this book may well end up being required reading in many Sexuality 101 courses throughout the nation, as well it should, for its gritty reality coupled with sweetness and hard-won insights reveal necessary truths to males and females alike. It liberates, empowers and heals women in so many ways, but could also hold the key to helping men relate more successfully to women as well."
Carol Pinckney, MJC English Instructor
"With superlative writing skill, this author opens my consciousness to a very different life than the one most women readers have lived. Her intelligence, courage and stalwart confidence in the life she cuts out for herself have lifted my awareness into a sense of feminine power I had not previously known. Hers is a story well told and a life well-lived!"
A magnificent journey that has gone full circle, proving that inner strength, diligence and discipline win over and over. There are so many wonderful life lessons – it doesn’t matter that her path was different from other women – what the author struggled with are what many of us struggle with at all ages, and we all can learn so much from this! Every woman (and men too!) should read this memoir.