Book Review posted by a Reader:
Monet refers to herself as a scientist and in this hankers back to the post Kinsey sex surrogates that used to work in the 70s side by side therapists and marriage counselors, before the lawyers and the Internet put most of them out of work. Monet's book made me think of sexual healers of old, such as Carolyn Elderberry and Juliet Anderson (of blessed memory), interviewed in Women of the Light: The New Sacred Prostitute by Kenneth Ray Stubbs (Sept. 1994). As to the spiritual and theological side, I especially enjoyed Monet's studies and practices learned from Tantra and how she brought these ideas into a context that is delightful in her writings.
It's not quite fair to review a book as I have when you've had the personal treat to meet and talk with the author face to face. A book should stand on its own. And some have criticized Monet for not including juicy vignettes from her days as a high class working courtesan. But that's just it. Because she knows about love, and the human spirit she doesn't kiss and tell. Because she loves and respects people--almost as a pastor of souls. Yes, this woman is a pastor of souls.
Maybe her bisexuality helps, as she says she loves women. But because the paying for it part of sex is a man's business, she learned to love and respect her male clients perhaps far more than the average wife loves and respects her husband. She definitely believes sex is a god thing, starting each session with a prayer and a heart chakra hug that not only screens out people she will not work with, but sets the tone and spirituality of the encounter at the outset for those she chooses as clients.
Monet is all about the depth and quality of the personal connection in her work and book. I find her as much a priestess as courtesan in Sex Secrets. She reminded me of another favorite book I liked, Nancy Qualls-Corbett's The Sacred Prostitute: Eternal Aspect of the Feminine (Paperback, 1988). Qualls-Corbett's historical look takes in the spiritual calling of the Sacred Prostitute of centuries past and the heat they took then from the high horse piety of uptight Christians and Jews and Muslims of old. No secret why Monet cannot use her real name now. Her previous professon remains illegal in most states, as does sex surrogate work and probably couples coaching, too.
It occurred to me towards the end of her Sex Secrets that, like many men who are taught falsely to believe that males are born smart about sex, that I'd read a hundred plus books on what women want sexually and otherwise. But until this book I'd never read a title by a woman aiming to teach other women what men might like erotically. I find it rather remarkable that a bisexual woman can be so caring for men. Nice.
The world is a richer place because of the retired and semi retired sex workers who have turned educators, sex counselors and relationship coaches. I've long thought it stupid for married couples to spend thousands of dollars on cerebral marriage counselors when often what the couple really seemed to need was simply to be sent straight to bed without their supper and told do the nasty slow by candle light and a little Enya on the boom box.
Much is said in this book about the sacramental healing available in the old fashioned business of simply getting it on and working through relationship issues at a body level. Yes, Monet's book for me was not unlike the books and seminars of the therapist, David Schnarch. (Passionate marriage: Keeping Love and Intimacy Alive in Committed Relationships, paperback, 2009.)
Read this book. And meet this author when she comes to town for a lecture. And then go out and love somebody. As the Italians say, "love is poor man's opera". Take singing lesions then and read this book.
Dan E. Nicholas, CLU, CLTC, LUTCF
Long Term Care Solution Specialist