I was at Coco de Mer yesterday to do a reading of my book Shameless. It is a very sexy and very expensive little shop. I went early because I wanted to do a taping of one of my inspirational and educational video guides. I wanted this one to be about how we can use lingerie and sex toys to not only jazz up our sex lives - but to turn ourselves on at any age or any size.

I could not get over the store when I walked in - it was fabulous. So sexy. The lingerie was mind blowing. I felt like a kid in a candy shop. I couldn't wait to play. But I was sized out again. They had nothing over a size 10. We shot the video anyway - with me doing my best to put on a game face. But afterwards, I felt so frustrated for myself - and for so many other women who are trying to get their sexy back. I also felt like a fraud - trying to convince my audience and myself - that everything was okay.  It really wasn't.

I can't help myself, but think about Oprah. Last year Oprah outed herself publically over gaining weight. She appears on the cover of her magazine - her thinner self looking at her fatter self. It is kind of like Oprah's walk of shame. My first reaction as someone who has dealt with weight issues my entire life was relief. Okay - if Oprah can't do it - how could I?

After all, who has the resources to put towards this the way Oprah has? She has the best of the best. Oprah has Dr. Oz! She has trainers and personal chefs! She lives in beautiful places where no doubt she can take long walks. She probably has beautiful places to meditate! Let's face it - Oprah has money to throw at this problem - way more than the usual fatty. Way more than...well me!!! And I was struggling too. I had recently lost forty pounds - and I too was having issues in keeping to the plan. So, it was also rather comforting to know that I was not weak - that this is hard.

And I keep going back to this place of wondering if I need to lose weight to get my sexy back? And if weight issues was really what this was about at all. After all, I have skinny friends who struggle with self image - and friends who are dealing with life altering surgeries that change their bodies forever. So is it about how others view our bodies - or is it about how we view our own selves?

A great example of sexy from the inside out, are a series of photographs that Leonard Nimoy of Spock Fame made news with a few years ago when he photographed FAT women! And not just fat women....but fat naked women!!!! Oh My!!! Can you imagine that? He had the nerve to do something as controversial as see women who were fat as beautiful? Through Leonard Nimoy's lens....you see beautiful...sexy....women of size...dancing! Smiling into the camera...almost daring us to truly see them! They seem to be saying to us that they exist - that they are not invisible and more than that...that they feel beautiful. What was stunning to me was that they were!

It made me wonder about Oprah's walk of shame. Did she really need to feel shameful about her body size? Did I?

So much of how we feel as sexual beings does not come from the inside out - and that is where it needs to come from. Instead we are so badly influenced by the media of our times that we often do not see what is before our eyes. In "The Full Body Project", Mr. Nimoy challenges us to do just that. To simply see and feel. I challenge you not to see beauty and wanton sexuality in these images....

When was the last time you felt sexy? I mean really sexy? It's not just weight that can bring us down it also can be life struggles. It can be anything from trying to conceive and having our efforts not work, to a disease such as breast cancer, or losing a job. So much of what we struggle with in life can affect our own sense of femaleness or maleness.

We can get our sexy back. But we have to make time for it. I did it - and wrote a book about my journey - and now I am touring the country talking to both women and men about the journey. Yes, in mid life - over weight and over wrought I did get back my own feeling of free flowing sexuality back. In fact - I am living it at 50 and a size 14 like I never lived it before.

I want us to stop punishing ourselves about our "packaging". You are beautiful even if think you are too fat or too thin. You can have pleasure in your life right now!

I am not a therapist - I am a sex and fertility educator and a pleasure advocate.  But I have felt the pain and have tried to deal with it on my own terms. My terms were to stop the negative images and replace them with positive images.My terms was to allow pleasure into my body just as I was - and then I got to watch my life transform.

Perhaps we should invite Oprah, and we should all be like the women in "The Full Body Project" and dance naked!!! For the joy in ourselves comes from a place deep inside of us. It is there just look at their faces. None of us are broken.

About the Author

Pamela Madsen

Pamela Madsen is the author of Shameless and founder of The American Fertility Association.

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