This is how I came to write a short story about my “first time” in the upcoming anthology The V Word edited by Amber Keyser
Since starting this blog 4 years ago, a variety of things have happened. I wrote a book with Heather Booth. I lost my house. I’ve met a variety of authors. And I wrote a short story for a collection of true stories about women having sex for the first time that will be published by Simon and Schuster/Beyond Words in 2016.
Wait, you did what? That’s right, I wrote a short story about the first time I ever had sex for a collection coming out in 2016 edited by Amber Keyser.
If I’m being honest, this was one of the most difficult things I have ever written. On this blog I have shared about my history of sexual abuse, I have shared about my economic woes, and I have even shared about my struggles with depression and generalized anxiety disorder. But writing about having sex for the first time was hands down the hardest writing I have ever done. It’s so personal. Sex is something that is still so taboo to talk about.
I do not consider myself a writer. I am a librarian. I am a blogger. I am a flinger of far flung dreams who shares her thoughts and feelings in an attempt to stay engaged in the profession I love, to advocate for teens, and to maybe one day make the world a tiny bit better. I share myself because I feel like being open and honest let’s us know that we are not alone, that what you are thinking and feeling is in fact something that connects you to the rest of humanity.
When Amber asked me if I wanted to share my story, I was concerned about a lot of things. I didn’t know if I could write a short story, let alone a truthful one about my first time. So she asked me to give it a try and we would go from there, and I guess it’s okay because it’s in the book. My name is listed on Goodreads as an author!
It was an honor to be invited to participate in this collection. A terrifying honor, but an honor none the less. I mean, I get to share page space with some of my favorite authors, like Christa Desir, Carrie Mesrobian, Erica Lorraine Scheidt and Justina Ireland (to name just a few).
The cover was revealed last week on Stacked by Kelly Jensen. You can read her introductory post about the book here. She is also doing a Q&A in the book about how teen sex is portrayed in the media.
A lot of people have gotten really honest and shared their experiences. It’s terrifying. It’s awesome.
Just don’t tell my family.
Publisher’s Book Description:
HAVING SEX FOR THE FIRST TIME IS A BIG UNKNOWN. LOTS OF PEOPLE WILL TELL YOU WHAT TO DO, BUT IS ANYONE TELLING YOU WHAT IT’S REALLY LIKE?
The V-Word pulls back the sheets on sex. Queer and straight. Relished and regretted. Funny and exhilarating. The seventeen women in this book (including Christa Desir, Justina Ireland, Sara Ryan, Carrie Mesrobian, Erica Lorraine Scheidt, and Jamia Wilson) write about first-time sex—hot, meaningful, cringe-worthy, gross, forgettable, magnificent, empowering, and transformative.
Whether you’re diving in or whether you’re waiting, we hope these stories will help you chart your own course.
Beyond Words/Simon & Schuster
Released date: February 2, 2016
Simultaneous hardcover and paperback release.
ISBN: 978-1-58270-521-7 (TP) / 978-1-58270-522-4 (HC)
Filed under: new books
About Karen Jensen, MLS
Karen Jensen has been a Teen Services Librarian for almost 30 years. She created TLT in 2011 and is the co-editor of The Whole Library Handbook: Teen Services with Heather Booth (ALA Editions, 2014).
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