A riveting memoir from the woman behind the major motion picture The Sessions— and an intimate portrayal of sexuality in the 20th century.
For the past 40 years, Cheryl Cohen Greene has worked as a surrogate partner, helping clients to form fulfilling sexual relationships. The men and women she works with have sexual phobias, disabilities, and problems with self-esteem. Often, her most important role as a surrogate is simply to show understanding.
In this candid memoir, Cohen Greene shares some of her most memorable cases, including that of Berkeley-based poet and journalist Mark O’Brien, confined to an iron lung after contracting polio at age six. She also tells of her own sexual coming-of-age — from a rigid Catholic upbringing in the 1950s, where she was taught to think sex was unnatural and wrong, and then through the sexual revolution of 1960s and 1970s, an open marriage, an encounter with cancer, and a rich and rewarding career as a surrogate partner.
An Intimate Life is more than the story of one woman’s career as a sexual healer — it’s a love story, a meditation on compassion and grief, and a tale of sexual and emotional awakening. Arresting and compelling, it gives an insight into this most unusual of professions, and those who take part in it.
‘A rare look at a worthy and fascinating subject ... demystifies surrogacy and debunks its creaky myths with an empowering sense of dignity and truth. Raw, brave, touching and, above all, unflinchingly honest.’
‘Bolder, more sensitive, more touching, more entertaining, more informative, and just plain more fascinating than I ever could have hoped.’
Isadora Alman, author of _Doing It: real people having really good sex_