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The Pleasure Plan: One Woman's Search for Sexual Healing Kindle Edition
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Betty Dodson, PhD, sexologist, Netflix Sex Educator, bestselling author of Sex for One
“Laura Zam’s work is passionate, witty, psychologically astute, and filled with wisdom and good healing karma."
Susan Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Unhooked and Five Men Who Broke My Heart
“In each of us, there is a quiet, bright voice, insisting on a life of pleasure and aliveness. This is the voice Laura uses to write this book — along with some wicked humor."
LiYana Silver, coach and author of Feminine Genius: The Provocative Path to Waking Up and Turning On the Wisdom of Being a Woman
“Laura’s healing is beautifully woven together in this memoir using humor and wit. So many people need to read this book to increase sex education, awareness, and hope for more pleasure in their life.”
Rachel S. Rubin, MD, urologist, sexual medicine specialist, national health advocate
“Reading The Pleasure Plan feels like going on the ride with Zam and exiting the off-ramp wiser, much more hopeful, and, above all, more human.”
Rosalyn Dischiavo, author of The Deep Yes, The Lost Art of True Receiving, founder of Institute for Sexuality Education & Enlightenment
"An empowering journey helping women navigate their bodies, their bedrooms, and their health. Gorgeously told.”
Nina Lorez Collins, author of What Would Virginia Woolf Do, founder of The Woolfer --This text refers to the paperback edition.
About the Author
- ASIN : B07Z42ZRX7
- Publisher : Health Communications Inc EB; 1st edition (5 May 2020)
- Language : English
- File size : 4156 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 287 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 803,927 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Top reviews from other countries
The Pleasure Plan is part medical memoir, part self-help book. Zam tells us her story of healing from sexual trauma and her experiences of vaginismus, a physiological condition that makes vaginal penetration difficult or impossible, due to the body’s reaction to fear instigating muscle spasms.
This is such a personal story and I really commend Zam in writing it. It can’t have been easy, and the prose is well-written and the story insightful. She examines various medical professionals’ views toward female sexual experiences and sexuality, also examining the agency needed when one seeks out a diagnosis. She also explored her celibate year and what her sexuality means for her.
This book is so, so personal. I think that’s one thing that really surprised me. It recounts some very intimate moments in her search for sexual healing, and in doing so, Zam makes herself vulnerable. This book reveals her bravery.
But this book isn’t just about sex. It’s also about her marriage and her husband. It’s about the experiences that shaped her, the childhood sexual abuse she suffered, and how assault is about power. It’s an examination of her past relationships and patriarchal cultures. It’s also a story about her family and friends too, those who support her, and how they’ve been subjected to the negatives of patriarchal culture. It’s about Zam’s work as a playwright and the one-person play she also wrote on this topic. It’s about her examining her pain from many different angles as she seeks to heal herself.
The Pleasure Plan is a very feminist text. Zam encourages women to take control of their bodies and shows them that their pleasure is important. It’s the feminist slant that I was really able to engage with. As an asexual, I didn’t really identify with Zam’s desire to “fix” her sexual problems, not on a personal level, but I did find it really interesting. Particularly the examination of sexual drive and Zam’s year of celibacy. (I was also really pleased to see it called celibacy as often it’s mistakenly referred to as asexuality—but right from the start, Zam tells us she’s a sexual being and doesn’t identify as asexual, so I was really pleased about this distinction.) Zam tells us of the many professionals she consulted and one of them—one of the first in the book—did say it is fine to have no libido. I really appreciated this—as so often asexuals are treated as if there’s something wrong with us that needs fixing. We’re often viewed as “broken.” And so when Zam questions the idea of being broken at the start—“what if I’m just broken?”—this was something that really engaged me and that I was able to relate to, albeit Zam was talking about the painful sex she experienced, and not identifying as asexual and being perceived as broken because of others’ views on asexuality.
But when you look at Zam’s experiences without focusing on sex and her quest for sexual healing, you see the statements that she’s also making about female health care. And these are universal things. Zam shows us how female health is often seen as of lesser importance than male health. It seems women are expected to endure some pain—and often female pain isn’t taken seriously or it’s just seen as “normal”. At one point in the book, Zam tells us of how she hides her pain, feeling ashamed to talk about it, only to discover she’s actually got complications from appendicitis and is at risk of becoming septic. The doctor tells her she must have a high pain threshold and I think this is a part that really spoke to me. Because this memoir highlights female resilience in a society where female pain isn’t talked about and thus female resilience is often overlooked or ignored.
The writing itself is really good—and it’s clear Zam is a writer. All the other people in her book have great descriptions and characterisation, and Zam is at times analytical in how these people’s behaviour is shaped by their own experiences. These people feel real.
The workbook/self-help sections did throw me a little. Each chapter ends with a little section where the reader is invited to work on healing from their own sexual trauma or dysfunction so they can enjoy sex. Obviously I am not the target market here, but I have never seen this format before in a medical memoir. It made it fresh and new, even if I was surprised at first. But for those reading this book because they also want sexual healing, I can really see how these parts will be helpful.
Overall, this is a thoughtful and insightful memoir that I’m sure will have significant value to many women seeking sexual healing.
Laura Zam has married her true love a little later in life, and always questioned her pain and unhappiness in the bedroom. Laura visited gynecologists, physical therapists, sexual therapists, emotional therapists, and so many more, to research how things could be better for her.
I appreciate Laura's candid and honest approach to what is going on. Laura does write and journal everything, and also suggests that readers keep a log and answer certain questions of how they feel and respond. There are resources that are mentioned.
Laura also discusses how sexual abuse at an early age, could have played a traumatic part in her reaction to her sexual pleasure. Laura also had spent an excessive amount of money on lingerie and other things. Some of these visits for her private research were expensive.
"The Pleasure Plan" is based on essays that Laura Zam wrote, and an Off-Broadway Production about this. I would recommend this book for those readers who appreciate self-help advice.