Wednesday, August 22, 2007


That's the cover to the right.

I'm wondering if I have a copy in the attic. I first picked up OBOS at a women's health conference in 1972, and it was indeed my 18 year old introduction into a new way of thinking about my body and my sexuality. It is one of the few books that I can honestly say changed my life.

I was very proud when I was asked to contribute a small piece to the 2007 edition on religion and sexuality, and even prouder when my daughter was selected as one of their summer interns last year. It was indeed a feminist mother's dream.

Looking through the online copy brought me back to my teenage self and memories of the joys of discovery. Take a look. To my age mate readers, I'd love to post your memories of OBOS. To my younger facebook readers, what books have helped you understand your sexuality?


Alex Winnett said...

I am among the few and the proud who have gone through both Our Whole Lives (OWL) and the earlier curriculum, About Your Sexuality (AYS).

Both programs used Changing Bodies, Changing Lives--the watered down, co-ed version of OBOL. Which, even in my post adolescence has been a wealth of knowledge.

When many of my woefully miseducated friends were flapping their gums about things they didn't know, I was there to correct them. Thanks to my folks and the UU church.

Anonymous said...

It's funny. I was just thinking of getting rid of my copy from the 1990's. I bought it for my daughter, but I don't think she cracked it open once. It was so different with her and I and myself and my mother... I looked at books and my daughter just asked questions.

Anonymous said...

Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier
Introducing Body Theology by Lisa Isherwood and Elizabeth Stuart

Thanks for asking the question,
Suzanah Raffield

Anonymous said...

I just saw a clip of your 7/20/06 appearance on Bill-O's show. Thanks for allowing Bill-O to looking like a timid old spinster. You handled him well. Tip o da hat!


Anonymous said...

The most informative book to me about my own body and sexuality were The Art of Natural Family Planning by John and Sheila Kippley and also Breastfeeding and Natural Child Spacing by Sheila Kippley. I didn't discover them until I was 29 and I couldn't believe I didn't know more about how my body worked. I had been on the Pill for 8 years by then and had no idea even what cervical mucus was for!

After this I enjoyed and have recommended to many of my more secular-minded friends The Billings Method: Using the body's natural signal of fertility to achieve or avoid pregnancy by Dr. Evelyn Billings. (I think this is simpler than Taking Charge of Your Fertility...)

Pope John Paul II's Theology of the Body - or rather writings ABOUT it - I haven't gotten through the whole thing - has really helped me see my sexualtiy as something beautiful and good, and not shameful and embarrassing. I have had body images and issues related to shame for a long time and it wasn't until I come to study natural family planning and learn about the Theology of the Body that I came to see sex and my body as really good and beautiful. (I understand that Karol Wojtyla's earlier book for seminarians, written in consultation with married couples and dealing with sexology, Love and Responsibility, is a more accessible intro to this theology. This one is at the top of my reading list right now, actually.