PERSONAL: Children: Roxanne. Education: Stanford University, B.A.
CAREER: Writer, business owner, and advocate. Has worked at two women-run sex toy businesses.
WITH CATHY WINKS
The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex, illustrated by M.B. Condon, Cleis Press (Pittsburgh, PA), 1994, revised third edition published as The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex: The Most Complete Sex Manual Ever Written, 2002.
Sex Toy Tales, Down There Press (San Francisco, CA), 1998.
The Woman's Guide to Sex on the Web, HarperSan-Francisco (San Francisco, CA), 1999.
The Mother's Guide to Sex: Enjoying Your Sexuality through All Stages of Motherhood, Three Rivers Press (New York, NY), 2001.
The Many Joys of Sex Toys: The Ultimate How-To Handbook for Couples and Singles, Broadway Books (New York, NY), 2004.
SIDELIGHTS: Writer, business owner, and sex advocate Anne Semans is the author, with collaborator Cathy Winks, of a number of books encouraging the unabashed enjoyment of sex in all its forms. Pointing out on AnneandCathy.com that, "Yes, those are our real names," and that she and Winks are "not lovers. Just very good friends," she enthusiastically admits that "yes, I do like sex too. How else could I have spent most of my adult life educating people about its wonders?"
The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex: The Most Complete Sex Manual Ever Written, which has evolved through three editions since its first publication in 1994, contains detailed advice on sexual practices, the use of sex toys, the importance of fantasy in a sexual relationship, and much more. The guide also addresses a number of topics people are sometimes too shy or too afraid to broach, such as sex after pregnancy, sex after age sixty, teen sex, sex and disability, gay sex, and S&M as part of a normal sex life. The book provides an "excellent opportunity to look behind the closed doors of other people's bedrooms," noted a Publishers Weekly contributor. T.L. Cowan, writing in Herizons, observed that the guide "is appropriate for every sexual being. It makes no assumptions about the orientation of its readers. In fact, Winks and Semans make only one assumption: that everyone has the right to a pleasurable sex life," Cowan remarked.
The Many Joys of Sex Toys: The Ultimate How-To Handbook for Couples and Singles approaches another topic that is often considered taboo: the use of sex toys and mechanical devices as sexual stimulators, performance enhancers, or substitutes for a partner. Semans and Winks cover basic issues of sexual anatomy and response, the importance of safe sex, and the need for partner communication during the use of any sexual devices. The authors include tips for smart shopping when it comes to sex toys and provide a detailed list of resources covering all aspects of the topic. The book also includes ten stories highlighting the use of sex toys. Library Journal reviewer Martha Cornog called the book "substantial" and"the best for beginners."
The Mother's Guide to Sex: Enjoying Your Sexuality through All Stages of Motherhood offers advice and inspiration to mothers who contemplate maintaining an active sex life even during pregnancy or after they have children. Semans and Winks offer advice on the basics of female sexuality; sex during all stages of pregnancy; sexual issues once one has become a parent; and raising sexually healthy and aware children. The authors offer "truly excellent chapters on self-esteem and self-love from which every woman can benefit," commented a reviewer on the HerDesires Web site. The topic of sex and motherhood is a "sorely underdone subject here treated comprehensively, accurately, warmly, and sophisticatedly," remarked Cornog in another Library Journal review. The HerDesires online reviewer concluded that "if you've been looking for the ultimate reference on the subject, this is the one you want."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Herizons, summer, 2001, "Sex and Motherhood Come Together at Conference," p. 7; winter, 2005, T.L. Cowan, review of The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex: The Most Complete Sex Manual Ever Written, p. 43.
Library Journal, March 15, 2001, Martha Cornog, review of The Mother's Guide to Sex: Enjoying Your Sexuality through All Stages of Motherhood, p. 97; September 1, 2004, Martha Cornog, review of The Many Joys of Sex Toys: The Ultimate How-To Handbook for Couples and Singles, p. 173.
Publishers Weekly, June 27, 1994, review of The Good Vibrations Guide to Sex, p. 74.
Anne Semans and Cathy Winks Home Page, http://www.anneandcathy.com (June 18, 2005).
Erotica-Readers.com, http://www.erotica-readers.com/ (June 18, 2005), William Dean, "Good Guide to Good Sex" (interview).
HerDesires, http://www.herdesires.net/ (June 18, 2005), review of The Mother's Guide to Sex.