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NEWS from Soft Skull

An Intimate Life: The story of the woman who inspired “The Sessions”

If you’re in tune with the film festival circuit, then you have surely heard of The Sessions. Based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O’Brien (John Hawkes), The Sessions tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined—at age 38—to lose his virginity. With the help of his therapists and the guidance of his priest, he sets out to hire a surrogate partner—Cheryl T. Cohen Greene (Helen Hunt).

An Intimate Life is the true-life story of Cheryl T. Cohen Greene who, for the past forty years, has worked as a surrogate partner, helping clients to confront, consider, and ultimately accept their sexuality. In this riveting memoir, Cheryl T. Cohen Greene shares some of her most moving cases, and also reveals her own sexual coming-of-age.

An Intimate Life opens with Cohen Greene’s work with Berkeley-based poet and journalist Mark O’Brien, who was confined to an iron lung after contracting polio at age six. His short essay “On Seeing A Sex Surrogate” was adapted by screenwriter/director Ben Lewin into a major motion picture titled The Sessions (which opens in limited release in the US on October 9, 2012).

Cohen Greene struggled to reconcile her sexual identity, often at conflict with her rigid Catholic upbringing in the 1950s, where she was taught to think sex and sexual desires were unnatural and wrong. As the 1960s presented social upheaval and the Sexual Revolution, Cohen Greene found herself drawn to alternative sexual paths, and ultimately achieved a rich and rewarding career as a surrogate partner.

Surrogate partnership as a profession was first developed by noted sex researchers Masters and Johnson in the
1960s, and since its inception has remained in the shadows. An Intimate Life offers a candid look into the personal and professional life of a surrogate partner, examining the cultural and emotional ramifications of pursuing something most people do not immediately understand.

Please contact Maren Fox @ publicity@softskull.com for additional information or to request an interview with Cheryl T. Cohen Green on her book

 

 

Advance Praise for An Intimate Life

“A rare look at a worthy and fascinating subject. At its core a love story, Cheryl Cohen Greene’s memoir
demystifies surrogacy and debunks its creaky myths with an empowering sense of dignity and truth.  Raw, brave, touching and—above all—unflinchingly honest.”

—John Hawkes

“Cheryl Cohen Greene’s book allows us to share in her beautiful work.  We read about sexual healing and we are healed ourselves.  Give yourself the gift of reading this book and getting a glimpse of what is possible.”
—Helen Hunt

An Intimate Life is bolder, more sensitive, more touching, more entertaining, more informative, and just plain more fascinating than I ever could have hoped. This is a wonderful book on so many levels.”

—Isadora Alman, author of Doing It: Real People Having Really Good Sex

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