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Madison, Amber 1984-

Madison, Amber 1984-

PERSONAL: Born 1984, daughter of Roger Madison (a neurobiologist) and Jane Leserman (a professor of sociology). Education: Graduate of Tufts University, 2005.

ADDRESSES: Home—Somerville, MA. E-mail[email protected]

CAREER: Writer. Worked in Boston-area bars.


Hooking Up: A Girl’s All-Out Guide to Sex and Sexuality, Prometheus Books (Amherst, NY), 2006.

Wrote column “Between the Sheets” for the Tufts University newspaper.

SIDELIGHTS: Amber Madison, who grew up in a communal environment with very open-minded parents, wrote a sex column for the Tufts University newspaper while studying community health, for which she took a human sexuality class. What she discovered while penning “Between the Sheets” was that there were huge gaps in her peer group’s knowledge of the subject and that they seldom had someone in their life to whom they could go for information. She then wrote Hooking Up: A Girl’s All-Out Guide to Sex and Sexuality, a guide for teen girls and older, but which is also a good resource for boys and even parents. She begins with basic anatomy and then covers subjects that most similar books will not, such as why girls should take control of their own sexuality, what constitutes rape, the right time to lose one’s virginity, and same-sex attractions.

In a Boston Globe interview and article, Mark Shanahan wrote that the book “is equal parts how-to and how-not-to, a mix of straightforward information and personal anecdote.” Madison told Shanahan: “We are so ridiculous about how we approach sex and sexuality in our culture. We have tons of media that is all about sex all the time—if it’s a car ad, it’s about sex; if it’s a perfume ad, it’s about sex—but when it comes to actually talking about sex, people just won’t do it.”

A News & Observer contributor noted: “Using examples from her own life, as well as interviews with other young women, Amber writes about everything from contraception to sexually transmitted diseases to virginity to pregnancy and sexual assault. Depending on the situation, she sometimes uses slang terms for body parts and sexual practices. She wants the book to reflect ‘how people really talk. Not how doctors talk.’” “Sensitive issues are approached with humor and realism,” commented a Publishers Weekly reviewer. “This is the book you wish you’d had as a teenage girl.”



America’s Intelligence Wire, September 20, 2006, Kristen Casazza, review of Hooking Up: A Girl’s All-Out Guide to Sex and Sexuality.

Boston Globe, September 12, 2006, Mark Shanahan, “Hooking Up with Amber: At 22, She Graduates from College Columnist to Author with Some Frank Talk about Sex” (interview).

Cosmopolitan, March, 2003, Alexandra Robbins, “Meet the ‘New Sexperts,’” p. 206.

News & Observer (Raleigh, NC), October 3, 2006, Matt Ehlers, “Sex Is Her Subject: And She Wants Other Young Women to Know All about It, Too.”

Publishers Weekly, July 24, 2006, review of Hooking Up, p. 55.


Amber Madison Home Page, (February 3, 2007).

Play, (September 20, 2006), Jon Cooper, “Hooking Up with Amber Madison” (interview).*

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