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This essential book explores how women experience and express their sexuality from childhood through old age. Moving beyond a traditional focus on sexual functioning, the book emphasizes the complex interaction of psychological, social, cultural, and biological influences on the creation of individual sexual meanings--meanings central to each woman's experience of herself as a sexual person. The author shows how these meanings are often problematic and contradictory, causing many women to feel disconnected from their bodies and from their needs and desires. Demonstrating how problematic myths and messages can be challenged, the book outlines ways that women can be empowered to create a more comfortable and self-defined sexuality throughout life.