An Intimate Life

Sex, Love, and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner

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9781593765064 | Paperback 6 x 9 | 272 pages Buy it Now

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Book Description

The real life behind Helen Hunt’s Oscar-nominated performance in The Sessions: “A provocative and unusual book about a provocative and unusual profession” (Booklist).

For the past forty years, Cheryl Cohen Greene has worked as a surrogate partner, helping clients to confront and ultimately accept their sexuality. In this riveting memoir, Cohen Greene shares some of her most moving cases, and also reveals her own sexual coming-of-age. Beginning with a rigid Catholic upbringing in the 1950s, where she was taught to think sex and sexual desires were unnatural and wrong, Cohen Greene struggled to reconcile her sexual identity.

In the 1960s Sexual Revolution, Cohen Greene found herself drawn to alternative sexual paths, and ultimately achieved a rich and rewarding career as a surrogate partner. Sex surrogacy 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 consider taboo.

The memoir 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 into the film The Sessions starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt as Cheryl T. Cohen Greene.

About the Authors

Praise For This Book

Praise for An Intimate Live

"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

"A rare look at a worthy and fascinating subject. At its core a love story, Cheryl Cohen Greene¹s 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

"A woman's compelling memoir of her unusual career...Baring it all in a sexually explicit but clinical, non-erotic way, Cohen Greene opens a door onto an intimate life... Her work with one handicapped man [Mark O'Brien] is the basis of the film The Sessions, starring John Hawkes and Helen Hunt. An illuminating revelation of the unfamiliar." --Kirkus

"For more than 30 years of our personal and professional association I have urged Cheryl Cohen Greene to tell her story to the world. Finally here it is. "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 I can honestlyrecommend it to anyone." --Isadora Alman, author of Doing It: Real People Having Really Good Sex

"An Intimate Life could easily fall into the realm of sensationalism that plagues most media depictions of Cohen Greene's career, but in Cohen Greene's memoir, there are no sexual freaks or failures. Her clients are everyday people with universal problems, and Cohen Greene confronts their sexual hangups with the frank assessment of a nurse." --Windy City Times