Amie Harwick, M.A., is the author of the bold guide to sex for today’s womEn, recently released on Quiver Books, The New Sex Bible for Women (NSBW). It does not shy away from topics typically considered taboo, it seeks to encourage women to embrace their sexuality without the shame and stigmas of yesteryear. As a sex therapist, with a masters in clinical psychology, and working in a private practice, Amie’s perspective is that of an educated and liberated female who is unafraid to explore feminine sexuality with honesty. We got the chance to speak with Amie about her path to publication, and find out what we can expect from her highly-anticipated book.
WS: Tell us about your background and how you found your path as a Sex Therapist?
AH: I have my M.A. in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University. I had wanted to work as a psychotherapist for many years, and [I] also had an interest in the field of sexuality, but was unsure if it was something that I would have an ability to work in as a career. I noticed that throughout my education to work as a marriage and family therapist, there was a lack of information about sexuality in general—specifically sexual problems that clients would come into therapy with. My own interest and knowledge base caused me to become the point person for peer therapists when their clients discussed issues related to fetishism, masturbation, or the use of porn. I quickly saw a need for therapists that are more competent in sexuality related issues. I built on my knowledge and became a part of the Kink Aware Professionals (or KAP), a network of professionals that are knowledgeable and non-shaming when it comes to sex, lifestyles, and gender identity.
How did writing The New Sex Bible for Women come about for you?
I was fortunate to have the opportunity to write NSBW last year. The logical assumption is that this came to me through my intricate network, or through therapists and academics. However, I got this position due to knowing the amazing photographer, Holly Randall. I met Holly through a job in entertainment in the past and she mentioned to me that she works with a publishing company that often looks for therapists and experts for their books. She kindly connected me to them and I wrote a proposal for NSBW with a therapeutic, sex positive, and feminist tone. I waited patiently with my fingers crossed and was shortly approved to write the book; Holly ended up shooting my book. I am so grateful for our friendship and her referral. Sometimes great things come from someone just giving you a chance, making a referral, or opening a door for you to walk through.
What can a reader expect to find in NSBW?
A reader can expect to find all of the basic information that they will need to know about a woman's sexuality—for it to have been as comprehensive as I would have liked, it would have needed to be a series of encyclopedias! This book is a great basic reference guide, or resource, for women. It covers anatomy, self esteem, and ideas and exercises for you—both alone or with your partner.
What is one overall message you want women to take away from NSBW?
The overall message that I want a reader to take away when reading my book, is that there is a large range of normative behaviors, and to accept yourself for your body shape and size, your relationship type and style, and the way that you have sex. Sex is a natural and healthy part of the human experience, so sit back, relax, read a book, and get it on.
What was the most surprising aspect of writing your first book?
The most surprising aspect of writing NSBW was the overall support from my publishing company, Quiver Books, and my friends that contributed quotes and information on a very tight deadline. I was told by other writers that the writing process [when involved with a publishing company] would be frustrating, and a constant battle to keep your integrity. My experience was amazing and met with a few compromises that I could live with. I called on friends and peers for quotes for the book, including asking my friend in her 70's about her orgasms, a porn star friend about how she gives oral sex, and even my own mother about her experience going into menopause. Surprisingly, I had people that were normally more guarded about sexual conversation open up to me, happy to contribute to the sex positive education of other women.
How has writing this book impacted your perspective on sex personally?
Personally, I learned that while being very busy writing a sex book, you are too busy to have sex.
Many people have assumed that because I have a certain knowledge base and have been published in the field of sexuality, that I must engage in a lot of sex, and highly skilled sex for that matter. Being sex positive and a feminist, I reserve the right to have as much or as LITTLE sex as I feel works best for me in my life. My perspectives about sex have not changed, but I am more aware about the judgment or assumptions that people can make on professionals that educate about sex.
(Full self disclosure: my cat was my main man during my writing process.)
Amie Harwick, M.A.
Amie Harwick has her Masters in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy. She is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Human Sexuality. She is the author of The New Sex Bible for Women and is the monthly sex columnist for Iron Man Magazine. Amie has also written for Playboy, Elite Daily, Viva Glam, and WildSpice Magazine. She has been an expert on Fox News. See more of her work here and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.
Read Amie’s Previous Contributions to WildSpice: