Susan Bremer O'Neill

"If there is ignorance around pleasure, there will be ignorance around pain."

— Susan Bremer Oneill

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Keynote Speaker
Self Appeal® Founder
Body-Confidence Coach

I never had much self esteem and confidence … But then I was forced to look at things I repressed and denied….
— Quoted in Alameda Times Star

My Story

I created Self Appeal® as a way for women to feel beautiful and confident in their bodies so their personal relationships are successful.

After working with women for twenty years, I find that most women struggle with thinking they don’t measure up in others’ eyes. What they really want is to be honored, valued and loved exactly as they are. I show them how to do this through the self-appeal process I developed and teach in on-line classes, in-person workshops and personal coaching.

Based on my unique stage experience, knowledge from having worked with women of different shapes, sizes, and ethnicities, and hard-won skills navigating my own relationships, I teach women to become self-assured and attractive in all areas of life. This belief and trust in themselves empowers them to speak up and be heard so they get their innermost needs met. They stop people-pleasing and comparing themselves to others. They become authentically whole, grow positive self-care, develop happy, loving, supportive relationships and experience more joy in life.

Although I’d gained a prestigious technical degree and stood toe to toe with professional engineers, physicists, CEOs, and managers for twelve years, I didn’t know how to be heard, didn’t feel “smart,” had no confidence in my appearance or my skills, had personal relationships that were strained and romantic relationships that always failed. I was chaotic, confused, hollow, and escaped myself through drugs and alcohol. After getting sober at thirty-four, I continued escaping through exercise, work, food, and men.

It was only after standing confidently on a stage although feeling insecure inside and learning to grow my esteem from the inside out, that I am now able to walk with self-assurance, feel and treat my body well and interact in relationships so they’re fulfilling and happy. After having no relationships that lasted longer than a year, I married at the age of forty-eight and have been married for over ten years.

What I learned as a successful older exotic dancer and after talking with thousands of men, I began teaching women in the San francisco Bay Area. Based on those well-attended classes sponsored by The Leaning Annex, Good Vibrations and the San Jose Metro, I created the global DVD, Striptease for Real Women, that featured ten real-women students. Touted as the “newest trend in body awareness therapy,” on Bay Area Magazine, I took this empowering message and fun event to women through giving bachelorette parties and teaching them sexy playful strip routines for their partner in the privacy of their own home. Longer dance classes and workshops evolved through student demand and women from eighteen to eighty enrolled. Many felt, as one young woman said, “this is the most empowering thing I’ve ever done.” 

After working with and hearing from thousands of women, these artful fun events evolved into greater Self Appeal® philosophies, and I began speaking to business women about growing their internal validation for greater professional gain. Discovering that professional women often put themselves last, I offered classes such as “Eliminate Your Inner Critic,” “Positive Habits, Positive You,” and “Relationship Building Blocks for Smart Savvy Women,” all with an internal focus because confidence grows from the inside out. While compliments will temporarily make us feel good, they will not sustain our esteem and confidence for continued relationship or life success.

With a focus on empowering women, I’ve spoken at San Francisco State University, UC Berkeley, CSU Stanislaus Panhellenic Society, a local chapter of the National Organization of Women, women’s retreats and business groups. I’ve appeared on Fox News and been interviewed in San Francisco Bay Area media. My writing has appeared in Gauntlet and Men’s Health Magazines and an anthology, Flesh for Fantasy, Producing and Consuming Exotic Dance. My memoir, From Sex Appeal to Self Appeal: Stripping Barriers to Recovery—Leaving Addiction, Returning to Body and Mind chronicles my unique journey away from approval-seeking and external validation to one of internal validation and self-respect. In my TEdx Wilmington talk, Self Appeal, Not Sex Appeal to Embrace Your Sexual Body, I illuminate my journey and advocate why it’s important that all women own their bodies.

I currently live on the East Coast with my husband and six rescue animals.


About the Book

I recommend every woman who is struggling with self worth to read this book.  It takes you on a personal journey of low self esteem to having what the author calls “self appeal.”  It will change your life.  It changed mine.
— Oleta Kay Ham, Author of Migrant Mother, the Untold Story 

About Working with Susan

My confidence increased so much I could easily attract into my life not only the kind of job I wanted but also the kind of partner!
— Amanda G., Berkeley, CA, Former Student
This was really an eye-opening experience for me. It was a whole paradigm shift, a way of looking at yourself that I never ever thought of. It made me realize how blessed I am the way I look now, even though I still have things that I want to change. Everybody should experience this.
— Kathi Harris, Former Student
Susan created a space where I could let down my guard and search out what it was that I really longed for. She offered a non-judgmental environment and unique perspective that helped to guide me through to a life that is more authentic and joyful. Her insight and guidance have moved me forward in ways I struggled with on my own. Susan helped me to take a good life and make it great! I feel empowered.
— Elika L., Campbell, CA, Coaching Client
Susan’s Self Appeal Workshop is a dynamic exchange of the here and now along with graceful intentions of a transformational future. It’s three hours filled with inspiration, intrigue, contemplation and vision - a true mind-body connection. If you want to get in touch with all your sense in a safe, collaborative and caring environment - don’t miss your opportunity to get to know Susan and experience Self Appeal.
— Deena Elliott, Former Student

About Susan Speaking 

... a rare combination of personal candor and highly articulate expertise, … Susan provides a unique and invaluable perspective….
— Elizabeth Bernstein, Department of Sociology -University of California at Berkeley
Susan Bremer O’Neill’s presentation ... was a highlight of the retreat and an integral part of the women bonding and experiencing transformation.
— Retreat Leader, Maggie Schreiber, Certified Dream Coach® -Founder, Women Of Wonder

And Still More About the Book

What an amazing life story! Life lessons around every corner. I did not want to put it down!
— Christine Baily
Each woman’s sexual development and experiences are unique to her, but all women can identify with the feelings and the needs bared so skillfully here, no matter how different their own sexual experiences may have been. I was both moved and inspired by the book, and I only wish I had read it in my early twenties or late teens instead of in my early sixties. With soulful honesty and a tender vulnerability, she shares the story of a young girl turned woman searching for love, acceptance and meaning in both a successful career and a series of affairs, only to find real healing and her true self in some very unusual places and ways. Both suspenseful and satisfying, this book may well end up being required reading in many Sexuality 101 courses throughout the nation, as well it should, for its gritty reality coupled with sweetness and hard-won insights reveal necessary truths to males and females alike. It liberates, empowers and heals women in so many ways, but could also hold the key to helping men relate more successfully to women as well.
— Carol Pinckney, MJC English Instructor
With superlative writing skill, this author opens my consciousness to a very different life than the one most women readers have lived. Her intelligence, courage and stalwart confidence in the life she cuts out for herself have lifted my awareness into a sense of feminine power I had not previously known.  Hers is a story well told and a life well-lived!
— Shirley Irving
A magnificent journey that has gone full circle, proving that inner strength, diligence and discipline win over and over.  There are so many wonderful life lessons – it doesn’t matter that her path was different from other women – what the author struggled with are what many of us struggle with at all ages, and we all can learn so much from this! Every woman (and men too!) should read this memoir.
— Karrin Dalton