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Fancy Tickles: An Interview with Sadie Allison

by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Sexy Sadie Allison

Sadie Allison is a young writer who turned her interest in masturbation and helping her friends enjoy their sex lives into her book Tickle Your Fancy: A Woman's Guide to Sexual Self-Pleasure, published by her own Tickle Kitty Press. Tickle Your Fancy covers many masturbation techniques for women as well as giving information about orgasm, anatomy, and debunking some of the negative cultural beliefs about masturbation. Clean Sheets spoke with Allison about her first masturbation experience, writing Tickle Your Fancy, and how she'll be spending National Masturbation month.

RKB: When did you first become interested in sex and masturbation?

Sadie: I became interested in sex and masturbation at a young age. I was naturally curious, comfortable with my body, and experimental. And growing up in the 70s with hippie parents exposed me to things that contributed to my sexual development at an early age.

RKB: Do you remember when you first masturbated and what that was like? Was it a life-changing experience for you?

Sadie: I learned how to masturbate in a Jacuzzi, when I was about 9 years old. I was playing, bouncing around the edges with both feet up on the sides, and my hands in the center holding on to the rim. As I happily bounced my way around, I noticed a neat, tingly feeling "down there" when I passed the jet. So naturally, I backed up, and just "hung out" there for a while...I even orgasmed! At the time, I didn't realize what I was doing was a sexual act. I just knew it felt good, so I did it. Just being a normal curious kid.

When I entered junior high, I learned what "masturbation" was and more about sex. I then reflected back to the Jacuzzi experience and all those nights in my bed, when I would give myself orgasms from touching myself. The Jacuzzi experience was life-changing because once I learned to masturbate, I included it in my daily life. It was private, it was me, and it made me feel good. It brought moments of pleasure whenever I wished.

RKB: When did you decide you were going to write a book, and how did you decide to write about masturbation?

Sadie: It's an interesting story the way this all came about. The truth is I never set out to "write a book." I had always coached girlfriends in high school and college about different techniques for various sexual activities. This was fun for me and I was good at it. After years of helping friends have better sex lives, and learning that so many women didn't know enough about their own bodies to successfully masturbate and orgasm, I decided to write a manual -- for fun. I wanted to help more women out there -- beyond my circle of friends. Then after three years of research, this idea for a small manual evolved into a 100-page book with 30 techniques and 60 illustrations and is now helping thousands of people across the country.

RKB: You talk a little about this in the book, but what qualifies you (other than frequent practice!) to write a book about masturbation?

Sadie: That's a good question. First, I am not a porn star. I am not a doctor. I do not claim to know everything. I am the girl next door. And I never considered myself to be an expert. Over the years I became very good at sharing and helping others -- my "calling," if you will. I even picked up the nickname "Little Dr. Ruth"! When I decided to put what I knew down on paper, I began researching everything I could on the subject of masturbation to see what else I could learn. I read many books written by wonderful authors such as Betty Dodson and Joani Blank, surfed the Web for endless hours, and interviewed hundreds of women -- from high school girls, to college kids, to 30+ single women, to housewives in their 40s. I continued to self-discover and explore new sex toys. What I bring to the table is more than 20 years of experience, a strong desire to help others who wish to help themselves, and a valuable tool -- Tickle Your Fancy -- that can get anyone started in the learning process.

RKB: What was the process of writing the book like? How long did it take you?

Sadie: It was such a challenge! I bet any first-time author and self-publisher would tell you the same! This little "arts-'n-crafts" project I set out to do evolved as time went on. As I was doing research, I learned that there was so much more great information with regard to the female anatomy and techniques that I didn't even know -- and knew that this book would be an invaluable resource to many when it was all done. That's when the small manual idea started to grow and grow. While working full time in corporate marketing, I worked on Tickle Your Fancy for 3 years in my free time before it was finally sent off to the printers.

RKB: You self-published Tickle Your Fancy on your own Tickle Kitty Press. Why did you choose to go that route, and what are some of the obstacles you've faced?

Sadie: I come from an entrepreneurial family and always wanted my own business. I would brainstorm all the time, trying to pull from within what I saw myself doing, or what kind of business I wanted to run, or what kind of product I could manufacture. All the while, I had been having a blast coaching friends on masturbation, and then started writing the how-to manual. As fate and destiny had it, once I decided to self-publish the book, I became a publisher. And with that comes all the normal business activities of marketing and selling a product. This all evolved before my eyes, out of pure desire, and without really knowing that I was building my little empire. Now it's my full time job and I love it. I am very blessed.

RKB: What was your main goal or message with Tickle Your Fancy?

Sadie: First, I wanted everyone to know that masturbation is OK. And that if one can get past the old taboos and insecurities, a whole new world of sexual pleasure and self-love can be achieved. It's sad that some women deprive themselves of this type of self-love and nurture. In my book, I dedicate an entire chapter called "Masturbation is Healthy" to share with women all the emotional, physical and psychological benefits of masturbation, and hope they may think further about exploring. And once someone is in that space, my book can help guide them in the journey.

RKB: What kind of feedback have you been getting from readers?

Sadie: I've had more positive feedback than I could have ever expected. It's such a wonderfully fulfilling feeling to read e-mail from women, men and couples -- how my book has helped them feel better about themselves and improve their sex lives. Not only do women buy it for themselves, but many of my customers are men, looking to learn new ways to please a woman.

RKB: What positions or toys would you recommend to women new to masturbation?

Sadie: Since the clitoris is the primary source for orgasm and pleasure, I recommend newcomers in masturbation to start by getting to know their clitorises and vulvas. This would mean starting simply with a little lube on her fingertips while lying on her back. It's important that women get comfortable with themselves and understand how the female anatomy works. Once someone had a good feel for things and can hopefully achieve orgasm with their fingers, I'd introduce small, non-intrusive vibes such as a silver bullet, Pocket Rocket, or Fukuoku.

RKB: Why do you think there's there still so much opposition to and silence about masturbation?

Sadie: For so many years, it was such a "bad" thing. Strong religious factors, myths, and negativities floating around for centuries contributed to that. With these types of long-held influences and instilled thoughts, it's a challenge to educate people to learn and think differently. But I believe things are changing and that we're in a sexual revolution. Sexuality over the past several years has become so much more prevalent in society, it's amazing. When we watch shows like Sex and the City, it's very clear that everyone is opening up to the reality of sex and what really goes on. We still have a long way to go with sex and masturbation, but I do see a light at the end of the tunnel.

RKB: How will you be celebrating National Masturbation Month (May)?

Sadie: Aside from enjoying an orgasm-a-day, I'll be kicking off the month by attending Book Expo America in New York and begin a radio interview tour from there. I will do in-studio radio interviews in New York, and then fly through designated cities as I work my way back to California. I'll be spreading the knowledge, so the self-loving can begin! My slogan is "You Are Your Best Lover". I also let people out there know of my "Masturbation Jumpstart Kit" which is a newcomers' sexual paradise. I cherry-picked a group of toys and products to bundle with the book, so women and couples who aren't so familiar with masturbation and sex toys can indulge, without going through the overwhelming process of finding the right starter toys. People love it because it's very reasonably priced, filled with high quality toys, and it comes with an instructional guide that shows you step-by-step how to enjoy them.

RKB: What's next for you in your work as a sex educator and writer?

Sadie:There's so much opportunity with helping others have better sex lives. I'm excited at all the opportunities that have presented themselves. But as of now, the hot projects on the table are 2 more how-to books and a coaching/seminar program for those wishing to further develop their masturbatory skills.

RKB: Do you have any final comments or advice for Clean Sheets readers?

Sadie:Your body is your own private amusement park. And your clitoris is the epicenter of orgasm. Have fun and enjoy yourself, for orgasm is the greatest gift of all time!

For more information about Sadie Allison and Tickle Your Fancy, visit this Web site or e-mail Sadie.

©2002 by Rachel Kramer Bussel

Reader Comments

Rachel Kramer Bussel lives in New York City. She writes the Lusty Lady column at Check This Out!, the Tight Spots column at, and Rachel's Kiss and Tell, an erotic gossip column at Erotica Readers & Writers Association. She is an Editorial Assistant at On Our Backs, Reviews Editor at Venus or Vixen?, and a Contributing Editor here at Clean Sheets. Her writing has been published in The San Francisco Chronicle, Curve,,, BUST, Hip Mama, Rockrgrl, and the anthologies: Starf*cker, Best Lesbian Erotica 2001, Faster Pussycats, Hot & Bothered 3, Tough Girls, and Best Bisexual Erotica volume 2. She is co-author of the forthcoming Erotic Writer's Market Guide (Circlet, 2002) and Reviser of the forthcoming Lesbian Sex Book (Alyson, 2002). Visit her Web site.


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