A Woman’s Touch is a thriving woman-owned and operated sexuality boutique based in Madison, Wisconsin, USA. We are one of a small number of stores that focus on women’s perspectives on sex and sensuality in the Midwestern United States, and the only store that offers our unique combination of expertise in sexual health *and* pleasure.
Because we promote knowledge of sexual health, sexual education, and healthy pleasure we are asked a variety of questions almost daily (sometimes hourly), so be sure to check out Ask Dr. Myrtle and Ask the Sex Counselor for the answer you’ve always sought. We hope you enjoy your visit, and hope that if you like what you see, that you’ll let friends and family members know about us.
Ellen Barnard, M.S.S.W., is an entrepreneur, long range planner, sex educator and sex counselor. Ellen spent the first 15 years of her career supporting people with developmental disabilities, and helping them find a way to live in their (own) homes in their community. Her specialization was in finding ways to fill in the gaps so that un-met needs could be addressed.
She began this business this way:
"In 1995, while I was trying to decide what I wanted to do next in life, I realized that the Midwest didn’t have a comfortable place for women to celebrate and explore our sexuality. Upon telling my grandmother this, she replied ’...well, get working on it, because I can’t wait to tell my friends that my grandaughter runs a sex store!’ Although my grandmother died a week before we opened, she always believed in me, and was proud of what I was doing. So, this store is for grandma Ruth, and all the great, feisty women like her."
Ellen is interested in cooperative business ventures (networking again, is she?), and increasing the total quantity of pleasure in the world. She enjoys spending her free time cooking, playing with her Newfoundland dogs, and community organizing to make her neighborhood a better place for everyone to live.
Myrtle Wilhite M.D. M.S. is the physician scientist artist of A Woman’s Touch. While she spends much of her time answering people’s questions about sex, she also is an organic farmer planning an urban farm, does all the financial management for 5 different businesses, and consults with health care providers of all kinds to help them provide information to their patients about sexuality and sexual health. She also developed a user-friendly model for something called "Prevention Case Management"--so that assessments of an individual’s sexuality can happen respectfully, and supportively. It’s a great application of sex positive thinking in the real world.
When asked how she got into this venture, she says:
"Sexual health and sexual pleasure can happily coexist together. I enjoy explaining the details of women’s and men’s anatomy and sexual health because, in addition to being relatively straightforward, it is so often not talked about or presented in formal education. For me, this is what health education, and preventive medicine is. Besides, unlike Joycelyn Elders M.D., I can keep my job as long as I talk to people about masturbation...."
Myrtle has also been doing every sort of art you can imagine for years, and loves the chance to express herself creatively. Her favorite thing to do in the morning is to take a long walk with many big furry dogs. Her favorite cup of coffee is a mocha (light on the coffee) with organic milk.