Start: 7:30 pm
The inspiration behind The Sessions: In a riveting memoir, Cheryl T. Cohen Greene shares some of her most moving cases, and also reveals her own sexual coming-of-age. An Intimate Life opens with Cohen Greene’s work with Berkeley-based poet and journalist Mark O’Brien, who was confined to an iron lung after contracting polio at age six. His short essay “On Seeing A Sex Surrogate” was adapted by screenwriter/director Ben Lewin into a major motion picture titled The Sessions, with Helen Hunt portraying Cheryl and John Hawkes portraying Mark. For the past forty years, Cohen Greene has worked as a surrogate partner, helping clients to confront, consider, and ultimately accept their sexuality. Beginning with a rigid Catholic upbringing in the 1950s, where she was taught to think sex and sexual desires were unnatural and wrong, Cohen Greene struggled to reconcile her sexual identity. As the 1960s presented social upheaval and the Sexual Revolution, Cohen Greene found herself drawn to alternative sexual paths, and ultimately achieved a rich and rewarding career as a surrogate partner. Surrogate partnership as a profession was first developed by noted sex researchers Masters and Johnson in the 1960s, and since its inception has remained in the shadows. An Intimate Life offers a candid look into the personal and professional life of a surrogate partner, examining the cultural and emotional ramifications of pursuing something most people do not immediately understand “Cheryl Cohen Greene’s book allows us to share in her beautiful work. We read about sexual healing and we are healed ourselves. Give yourself the gift of reading this book and getting a glimpse of what is possible.” -- Helen Hunt “A rare look at a worthy and fascinating subject. At its core a love story, Cheryl Cohen Greene’s memoir demystifies surrogacy and debunks its creaky myths with an empowering sense of dignity and truth. Raw, brave, touching and -- above all -- unflinchingly honest.” -- John Hawkes "An Intimate Life is bolder, more sensitive, more touching, more entertaining, more informative, and just plain more fascinating than I ever could have hoped. This is a wonderful book on so many levels.” -- Isadora Alman, author of Doing It: Real People Having Really Good Sex Cheryl T. Cohen Greene has been in private clinical practice as a surrogate partner and Consultant in Human Sexuality since 1973. She was trained in the Masters and Johnson modality and was on the training staff of San Francisco Sex Information for 19 years. Cohen Green is a certified Sex Educator and Clinical Sexologist, and in 2004 she earned her DHS (Doctor of Human Sexuality) from the Institute for the Advanced Study of Human Sexuality in San Francisco. She is currently the Vice President of IPSA (International Professional Surrogates Association). She was one of the founders of BASA (Bay Area Surrogates Association). Cohen Green is a frequent media guest, and has been interviewed on Larry King Live, the the National Geographic Channel, the WE Channel, and CNN, among others.