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Parting the Curtains: A Woman’s Handbook of Sex and Sexuality

A practical, reader-friendly guide, with up-to-date information and a good dose of self-respect that will help every woman age 25 and older navigate her sexual journey. Whether you use this book as a reference, an educational tool, or a preventive manual, our aim is that it will answer your questions in a way that embraces female sexuality without medicalizing or sensationalizing it. This book can also be used by mental health and medical professionals, as well as by members of the clergy, for counseling individuals and couples grappling with sexual difficulties.

Release date: August 1, 2015, First edition

  • Print (soft cover ) ISBN 978-0-9700298-6-7
  • Kindle ISBN 978-0-9700298-7-4
  • ePub ISBN 978-0-9700298-8-1

In the words of Rachel Miner, Actress in Sons of Anarchy, Supernatural, Californication, Bully, Diary of Anne Frank:

This book contains the wisdom every young woman deserves to have before she embarks on her journey toward sexual maturity. The content is refreshingly agenda-free, and without sensationalized attempts to pander to a given demographic. It gets straight to the point, and yet does so with a non-judgmental inclusiveness. It counters myths, misconceptions, and mortifications about the female body and female sexuality, thus empowering every woman to take ownership of her sexuality, and her life.”

The printed book (softcover) is available for purchase from

eBook is available for purchase from

Reviews to date:

  • Posted on Amazon.com by a physician: I am an obstetrician and gynecologist, and this book has become a “go-to” for many of the patients I take care of. The calm, rational, and informative explanations of everything from anatomy to relationships, from birth control and menopause have provided women with a wealth of knowledge and an excellent reference to keep forever. Thank you for empowering women everywhere, and making my job a bit easier!!!
  • Posted on Amazon.com by a (male) clinical sexologist: The author’s years of research, teaching and treating women with sexual challenges comes together in a well written, clear, practical and informative book. I have already sent a copy to my sister and niece. While the subtitle is A Woman’s Handbook of Sex and Sexuality, it’s a wonderful read for the men in their lives as well. This book will be a supplementary book for the Human Sexuality courses I teach. Bravo to Katz & Tabisel.
  • An email we received from a religious woman: I just finished reading your new book “Parting the Curtains.” Having received it today in the afternoon, I completed reading it in (almost) one sitting. I found the book modestly written yet chock full of practical information.
  • From a 68-year-old menopausal woman: My friends are very happy for me, and we all agree that we have never before talked so much about sex! I loaned your book to one of my girlfriends and when she is done reading it, I will pass it along to the other one. We are all enjoying our “second chance.”
  • An email received from a reader: I (finally) read “Parting the Curtains” and couldn’t put it down. I finished it in one day 🙂 It’s like a mixture of big sister/mother/doctor to answer all your questions in a factual unbiased and easy read. I recommend to EVERYONE!!

Table of Contents (192 pages):

Introduction / xi

CHAPTER ONE: Getting to Know Your Body: The Basics / 1
Do I look normal down there? * Meet your vulva and vagina *
What about the hymen? * Explore * Kegel exercises * Myths and facts * To shave or not to shave? * (Very) Personal hygiene * Constipation and sex * Managing PMS * Tampons tips * leading an active lifestyle * Preparing for your gynecologic exam * A guide to gynecologic care * Breast awareness * What if I have an abnormal Pap? * An infection or an irritation? * Urethral chafing * A guide to vaginal products * Sexually transmitted infections * When to see your healthcare provider

CHAPTER TWO: The Fertile Years: Contraception, Pregnancy, and Beyond / 31
Contraceptive options * Emergency contraception * What you need to know about the Pill * Sex and pregnancy * Kids: to have or not to have * Facing postpartum depression * Miscarriage: confronting your loss * Choosing to terminate (abortion) * The challenge of infertility * When to get help

CHAPTER THREE: The Myth of Perfect Sex / 51
Am I doing it wrong? * The first time * Sex and the media * Surgery and the quest for perfection * Porn and relationship * When Porn becomes an addiction * Does watching porn means he is cheating on me? * Embracing reality * Where are the condoms?

CHAPTER FOUR: The Sexual Menu: Exploring Your Options / 67
The sexual menu * The in’s and out’s of intercourse * Choosing a position * Making modifications * Your orgasm * Is is okay to have intercourse during period? * His erection and you * What if he loses his erection? * Guiding the penis * What if I bleed? * His orgasm * Do women ejaculate? * Masturbation: sex just for you * Manual sex * When you’re not in the mood * Dry sex * Oral sex: do or don’t? * How to have oral sex safely * Oral sex: for her * Oral sex: for him * Anal intercourse * Lesbian and bisexual sexuality

CHAPTER FIVE: Beyond the “Oohs” and “Aahs”: Owning Your Orgasm / 95
Arousing the clitoris * How do I know if I’m having an orgasm? * What if I can’t have an orgasm? * The myths of vaginal orgasm * The quest for a ‘good’ orgasm * Why can I have an orgasm by myself but not with someone else? * Is it okay to fake it? * How log should it take me to reach orgasm? * The vibrator question * Can I become addicted to my vibrator? * Am I supposed to be an actress? * Should I use a lubricant? * Killing an orgasm * The Intimate Zone

CHAPTER SIX: Your Body, Your Relationship: Negotiating Sexual Compatibility / 111
Sexual templates: hers and his * Does size matters? * Medical matters * Why can’t a hug just be a hug? Conflict, communication, and make-up sex * I’m just not interested: the busy mind * I’m just not interested: sexual boredom * I’ve lost my libido * Always the giver: the danger of ‘absenting’ ourselves * Moving past conflicts * To tell or not to tell? Learning what you want and how to ask for it * Why suffer in silence? * Intimacy and honesty

CHAPTER SEVEN: It’s My Turn Now: Growing Through Menopause / 133
What is menopause? * I think I may be perimenopausal but I’m not sure. Aren’t I too young? * A time of changes * I’ve lost all interest in sex. What can I do? *Am I still a woman?*What can I do about my hot flashes?*
Sex and the menopausal woman * What do you need to know about hormone replacement therapy * Tips for a healthy and active sex life through menopause and beyond * I feel like I just woke up * I’ve been steadily gaining weight ever since I started menopause. Help! * Building support

CHAPTER EIGHT: When Sex Hurts: Understanding Vaginismus, Dyspareunia, Vulvodynia, and Vulvar Vestibulitis / 149
Vaginismus: a vagina in panic * You and your partner * Primary and secondary vaginismus * Anxiety and vaginismus * Myths and facts * Vaginismus and pregnancy * Finding treatment * Vaginismus as a gift * Understanding dyspareunia * Understanding vulvodynia * Understanding vulvar vestibulitis

CHAPTER NINE: Healing the Sexual Scars of Cancer / 167
What your healthcare provider may not tell you * Why me? The emotional challenges of cancer * Sex and cancer * When your partner has cancer * Vaginal wellness: tips and suggestions * The search for the silver lining

Epilogue / 179

Resources / 181

Index / 183

About the Authors / 185