Book Review: Shameless

Posted On: March 12, 2011

This review first appeared on the Good Vibrations Magazine.

Book Review: Shameless – How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure… and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner by Pamela Madsen

I fell in ‘like’ with Pamela Madsen even before I heard about or read her first book Shameless. It happened when she shared her blog post ‘My Mother and The Gift of The Traveling Red Panties’ on Facebook. I instinctively felt that she was a woman who is honest, has a good sense of humour, and ‘gets’ what embracing her sexuality was all about.

As the publicity for her book Shameless started, I heard more and more about the book, and desperately wanted to get my hands on it. After all, it promised to not be just another sex book: “Shameless is also an account of how Pamela’s journey healed her issues with food and body image and most important, helped her weave the many roles that she played—daughter, friend, partner, mother—into one fully integrated person. It is a story about a woman falling in love with herself and a call to other women to do the same.” I asked for and received a review copy.

I could not wait to plunge myself into the book, and boy, I was not disappointed. I knew Shameless is a memoir – a brave one, but it could have read like the adult-version of Nancy Drew where the fictional character by the same name was off on one good adventure after another. Instead, this was Pamela being honest (by this, I mean, being laugh-out-loud funny because she was being so brutally honest!) and bearing her soul and the most intimate details of her personal life to us, the readers.

I learned that Pamela is married to the man she fell in love with at 17, the mother of their two sons and is now 43 years old. She is also a nationally-known advocate for fertility issues; which led to her embarking on a quest to get more in touch with her sexuality. Every heroine needs a posse. Pamela calls on her sisterhood of four: Beth, Sophia, Olivia and Vicki as she embarks on her sexploration.

In riveting detail, she shares a blow-by- blow account of what she experienced at the hands of her sexual healers, men who gave her untold pleasures, taught her how to have unimaginable love for herself, and showed her how to embrace all that life presents. This is a woman who dared go where many dared not before. Pamela went on to attend countless workshops before becoming a certified sexologist/ somatic sex educator herself. She wants to bring a new focus on sexual behaviors and predilections, speaking and writing from her heart without judgment or hypocrisy. In short, she walks her talk.

Read this book even if you haven’t the foggiest idea what a sexual healer or somatic educator does. Just as you think you know and have seen everything, this is a woman who will show you the way to experiencing life with greater authenticity, courage, and zest. Cheer her on, because we all wished we had a little bit of ‘Pammy’ in our lives.

Dr. Martha Lee is Founder and Clinical Sexologist of Eros Coaching. She is a certified sexologist with a Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She provides sexuality and intimacy coaching for individuals and couples, conducts sexual education workshops and speaks at public events. For more, visit or email


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