Books by Gina Ogden

Released: May 1, 1994

Freely reconstructed conversations between a feminist sex researcher and women who love sex and love talking about it. Ogden (When a Family Needs Therapy, 1976) conducted hundreds of interviews over a 20-year period with ``easily orgasmic'' women. The identities of many are combined into three composite women, called Alice, Maya, and Iris. Ogden, whose own love of sex led to her career in sex therapy and research, depicts herself in deep conversation with these composites as they candidly, even proudly, discuss their experiences and share their views on lust, satisfaction, and extragenital stimulation. Other women, who are apparently not composites but whose identities have been altered, converse similarly about sexual nurturing, intimacy, and imagery- induced orgasm (called ``thinking off''), a phenomenon on which Ogden conducted laboratory research. Occasionally their statements strain credulity—``I'm orgasming in my throat chakra,'' gasps one participant in the laboratory study—and sometimes Ogden appears to be pushing her own ideas, not theirs. Essentially, her theme is that sexuality has too long been narrowly defined by men in male terms, whereas a broader, more human view sees it as central to the entire quality of life. Ogden's celebration of female sexuality places her in the tradition of Lonnie Barbach (For Yourself, 1975), Shere Hite (The Hite Report, 1976), and Betty Dodson (Sex for One, 1987), and fans of those books will probably find much to like here. An appendix includes the questionnaire used in interviews and a transcript of the guided imagery tape used in her laboratory research on imagery-induced orgasm. Male readers intrigued by the title may feel misled, for these are not sex kittens but opinionated, articulate, and uninhibited feminists sounding off to each other. (B&w drawings, not seen) Read full book review >