The Pleasure Plan
One Woman’s Search for Sexual Healing
by Laura Zam
Published May 5, 2020
by Health Communications Inc.
About the book
Based on popular essays in New York Times’ Modern Love column and Salon, The Pleasure Plan is a memoir and call to action, inspiring women to claim pleasure as a priority. It’s also a love story.
Fifty percent of adult women have some form of sexual dysfunction at some point of their lives, preventing them from enjoying vibrant, soul-satisfying sex. Such was the case with Laura Zam, who suffered the blame, shame, and embarrassment of feeling bedroom broken.
For her, delving between the sheets meant physical pain, zero desire, and emotional scars from being molested in her early years. However, in her late forties, after meeting and marrying the love of her life, Zam was determined to finally fix her sensual self.
The Pleasure Plan is what happened when she decided to challenge her hopelessness. In partnership with her initially reluctant husband, she visited 15 healers and tried 30 pleasure-enhancing methods: from dilators and dildos, to hypnosis and hosting a sex brunch, to cleansing chakras, to making love to her husband in front of a geriatric Tantric goddess.
Packed with humor, heart, and a healthy dose of prescriptive advice, this book chronicles Zam’s insights as she confronts many issues—from mismatched libidos to female erection enlightenment. Throughout this journey, she and her husband grow as individuals and as a couple, both in and out of the bedroom.
Fearlessly honest and full of inspiration, Zam peels back the layers—or covers—and exposes her foibles, insecurities, and eventual wisdom as she excavates past traumas, accepts and embraces her worth, and claims her right to be completely alive.
Today, Laura works as a sexuality educator, wellness coach, and speaker helping other women who suffer from sexual dysfunction, the effects of trauma, or those who would simply like more pleasure (of all kinds) in their lives. She also consults with health care providers so they may better assist their clients in achieving sexual well-being.
While The Pleasure Plan is Zam’s personal narrative, it demystifies pervasive taboos, encouraging women to make pleasure a priority, while teaching them how to claim (or reclaim) the power of their sexual selves. It also shows men how they can support their partners in this #Metoo era.
Healthy, sultry intimacy is a right; it is time for women to learn—through glorious trial and error—how to embrace the sensual side of themselves. . . exuberantly and unabashedly.
“Zam is funny, smart and one hell of an educator. All women need a Pleasure Plan.”-Betty Dodson, PhD, sexologist, Netflix sex educator, bestselling author of Sex for One”
“Laura Zam’s work is passionate, witty, psychologically astute, filled with wisdom and good healing karma” -Susan Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Unhooked and Five Men Who Broke My Heart
“…beautifully woven together….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
“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…”
-LiYana Silver, coach & author of Feminine Genius: The Provocative Path to Waking Up and Turning On the Wisdom of Being a Woman
“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
I always say memoirs are the hardest to review.. I was so intrigued by this book, and of course anything medical, but I was scared going in. What was I going to be reading? Was it going to be all sexcapades? Was it going to be all medical? Would it be full of emotions? What about answers, will this help others? I had no clue, but I went in anyway.
For Laura sex has been painful and unenjoyable. She has no desire, and physical intimacy is just not pleasurable in any way. But when Laura, now in her 40’s finally meets and marries her dream man, she decides she needs to get to the root of this problem, and find out once and for all what is wrong, and how to fix it.
Laura laid it all on the line in this beautiful, funny, quirky, and emotional roller coaster of a memoir by sharing her most intimate details in the most readable way. Her ability to discuss her trials and tribulations with this “taboo” issue made me feel like I was sitting on a couch with her sharing coffee and just chatting about life. And Laura let no holds barred. She discusses in detail very intimate personal moments in order for the readers to understand her experiences and to learn and grow from them. As Laura continues on her journey seeking medical and professional help, we take those journeys with her, learning with her as she goes. She talks about her childhood trauma, her relationship difficulties, her current relationship journey with her husband, and everything in-between.
Laura Zam made writing this review easy. This is probably one of the best medical memoir/self help books I have ever read. There is no dry medical jargon, no boring “how to” steps, and no preaching on how to change your life. What there is, is an open and honest personal conversation, with a woman who was willing to share her stimulating journey in order to help herself and others. The best part is that through all the trials and tribulations, Laura was able to make this a laugh out loud, comical read, that takes the edge off any uncomfortable feelings you may start to have. It’s an honest chat with a good friend.
No, it wasn’t all sex, it wasn’t just all medical, and it wasn’t just an emotional journey, it was a combination of them all, with true and valuable insight to help others who may be experiencing the same. Do not be afraid to pick up this book. There is no shame. We are all sexual creatures, and sometimes things go wrong. I highly recommend this one.
I just would like to thank Laura Zam , Suzanne Leopold of Suzy Approved Book Tours and Health Communications Inc. for the copy of this book for my unbiased and honest opinion for review.
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About the Author
Laura Zam is a Sexuality Educator, Certified Trauma Professional, wellness trainer, award-winning solo performer, HuffPost blogger, TEDx speaker, and workshop leader, whose work focuses on sexual healing. Her writing appears in The New York Times (Modern Love), Salon, HuffPost, SheKnows, NextTribe, the Forward, in international journals, and in five book anthologies. Her solo pieces have been performed in New York at The International Fringe Festival, The Public Theatre, the United Solo Festival (Off-Broadway), and others. National venues include The Kennedy Center, The National Theatre, and the U.S Holocaust Memorial Museum, as well theaters, conferences, schools, libraries, and universities across the U.S. and abroad. Laura has been awarded numerous grants, including a Tennessee William’s Fellowship and five Artist grants from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. She has also taught at a number of universities including Brown University and UC Berkeley.
You can find more about Laura at: www.laurazam.com
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