"I show women how to have orgasms," says Philadelphia-based clinical sexologist Susana Mayer.
Mayer is a petite middle-aged woman with an oversized personality and a complete lack of fear when it comes to discussing issues that typically don't leave couples' bedrooms. For several years now, she's been counseling women on how to improve their sex lives by encouraging them to take control.
"It's their responsibility to create a sexually satisfying session," she says bluntly. "In the end, if you're not satisfied, you need to take responsibility for that."
Mayer says her life work is to understand why women aren't enjoying sex and to help them obtain the mindset and tools to make sex fun. She says the first step to better sex is to first clear away the shame that so many women feel and help them open up to new forms of arousal. To that end, she hosts a monthly erotic literary salon, which she started on a whim, but has come to realize that the gathering is a tool for healing for many of her patients.
As a sexologist, her approach is education-based, she says, "I'm not the one you want to see if you're in need of therapy to deal with sexual trauma."