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(see REVIEWS below)

Secret Garden Publishing - Kenneth Ray Stubbs
Women of the Light
The New Sacred Prostitute

Edited by Kenneth Ray Stubbs, Ph.D.

To learn about our newly released documentary THE SACRED PROSTITUTE, see

Women of the night—women of the light:
the sacred prostitute,
the temple priestess,
the sexual healer,
the embodiment of the archetypal Goddess.

Who is she today?

Without a continuing lineage, without a temple, the contemporary sexual initiator/healer/teacher has many faces. Today she is

The Sex Surrogate
The Porn Star
The Tantra Meditation Teacher
The Visionary Artist
The Masseuse
The Group-Sex Hostess
The Call Girl
The Shaman
The Nurse

Nine women share their work, their lives, and their insights. Their personally written stories bring us to a deeper understanding of our sexuality and our humanity.

(to contact the women)

Secret Garden Publishing - Kenneth Ray Stubbs

Tantra: The Magazine
Worth reading . . . Thankfully, these women have the courage, energy, wisdom and capacity to assist others in their sexual and spiritual healing.

American Library Association's Booklist
This is a truly radical book, one that documents living women bringing together spirituality and sexuality in surprising and moving ways. It will, unquestionably, disturb those who wish to believe that spirituality can be expressed only incorporeally, but those who do find embodiment a spiritual condition will be challenged and excited by the stories in it, such as that of a nurse who helped a quadriplegic man to transcend his paralysis and experience his first—and only—orgasm and later attended his death, leading him through a similar release. Others who tell their stories—a masseuse, a sex surrogate, a call girl—are, to the conventionally minded, hardly spiritual leaders, but they and the other storytellers consciously regard sexuality as metaphysical as well as physical. A possibly controversial book for some libraries, but good enough to risk a hubbub.

Whole Earth Review
This fascinating and highly readable book makes the convincing case that sex work (that rather euphemistic job category covering everyone from strippers and call girls to sex surrogates and full-service masseuses) can be a source of sexual healing, psychological growth, and spiritual awareness. If this seems like an unlikely proposition, I simply urge you to read Women of the Light and think again.

The nine women who tell their stories recount numerous touching incidents (including that of a nurse who risks her career by helping a quadriplegic man to have an orgasm). Entering into temporary intimate encounters, while keeping the full humanity of themselves and their clients intact, these women embody the ancient role of the sacred prostitute, harking back to early Goddess worship, when sex was part of religious observance.

Jean Treloggen Peterson, Ph.D.
former Director, Women's Studies Program
University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign
The essays in Women of the Light remind twentieth century feminism of a largely neglected aspect of women's experience and power. Sexual healing and spiritual expression—the themes uniting these essays—are welcome contrasts to the dark, patriarchal characterizations that dominate so much of feminist discourse today. We can thank the editor for bringing together these empowering images of women's sexuality as a counterpoint to the vast literature on women as sex objects, victims of sexual violence, and incubators.

The Journal of Sex Research
Book Reviews
These life stories are profound teachings and will confront and enlighten the reader . . .

Typical images of the prostitute include the women of the street and the drug-addicted victims of oppressive economics. The women of the light clearly do not fit this stereotype. These sexually affirming stories sharply contrast with the repressive fundamentalist view widely held in our society. These authors view sex and sexual expression as a choice, as a right, and as consensual . . .

The life stories of these women will force you to think of the many women and men who are keeping our sexual expression free, honest, and positive . . .

The writing is straightforward and understandable. There is a refreshing lack of jargon and righteousness. It is difficult to find the unpretentious middle ground between the extremes of scientific writing and spiritual writing that these authors have achieved. The women of the light show that sexuality arises from a spiritual center, and their stories light the path for the journey.

New Age Retailer
Women of the Light is an incredible account of the modern history of loneliness and the fight against narrow-mindedness of all kinds.

Seattle Institute for Sex Therapy, Education, and Research
. . . an extraordinary book . . . could open doors to a deeper understanding and discovery of one's own wisdom, thus shedding some light!

To read the review:
Surrogates and Prostitutes: Sexual Saints or Sinners?

Women of the Light Contributors

Barbara Roberts:  The Sex Surogate - deceased

Betty Dodson:  The Artist

Carol Queen: The Call Girl

Carolyn Elderberry:  The Masseuse

Juliet Anderson:  The Porn Star

Jwala:  The Meditation Teacher

Kathryn:  The Nurse

Shell Freye:  The Group-Sex Hostess

Stephanie Rainbow Lightning Elk:
The FireWoman

Copyright © 2001. Secret Garden Publishing. All rights reserved.

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