The V-Word: True Stories about First-Time Sex
An honest and poignant collection of essays by women about losing their virginity in their teens. The V-Word captures the complexity of this important life-decision and reflects diverse real-world experiences. Includes helpful resources for parents and teens. Losing it. Popping your cherry. Handing in your V-card. First time sex is a big unknown. Will it be candlelight and rose petals or quick and uncomfortable? Is it about love or about lust? Deciding to have sex for the first time is a choice that's often fraught with anxiety and joy. But do you have anyone telling you what sex is really like? In The V-Word seventeen writers (including Christa Desir, Justina Ireland, Sara Ryan, Carrie Mesrobian, Erica Lorraine Scheidt, and Jamia Wilson) pull back the sheets and tell all, covering everything from straight sex to queer sex, diving-in versus waiting, and even the exhilaration and disappointment that blankets it all. Some of their experiences happened too soon, some at just the right time, but all paint a broad picture of what first-time sex is really like. Funny, hot, meaningful, cringe-worthy, gross, forgettable, magnificent, empowering, and transformative, the stories in The V-Word are never preachy, but provide a map for teens to chart their own course through the steamy waters of sex. With The V-Word girls can finally take control, learn what's on the horizon, and eliminate the fear and mystery surrounding this important milestone.
- Paperback | 208 pages
- 140 x 210 x 15mm | 190g
- 01 Mar 2016
- Beyond Words Publishing
- OR, United States
Feminism has come a long way from the fight for suffrage, and in its current manifestation, it can be difficult for some to determine precisely what feminism stands for or, indeed, if it's necessary at all. It seems like women have more freedom than ever, but, as these two titles emphasize, in both the political and personal spheres, there's a lot of ground yet to cover. Each of the broad range of contributors in Keyser's The V-Word: True Stories about First-Time Sex--gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, etc.--details the sometimes painfully awkward, sometimes blissful experience of choosing to have sex for the first time. The frank, sexually explicit (naturally) narratives cover a wide range of experiences--some are sweet and transformative; others are perfunctory or borderline forgettable--but the one thing they all share is the importance of sexual agency. One woman tells the story of waiting until her wedding night, while another describes a relationship with a man who respected her--a sharp contrast to the years of sexual abuse she endured before. Each woman makes a choice to have sex, and choice is the key element here. The V in V-Word can be interpreted as "voice," not "virginity," and the takeaway is the importance of young women speaking up for what they want or don't want and taking an active role in what happens to their bodies. While highlighting the importance of choice, moreover, the contributors' accounts dismantle the idea that virginity is something to be revered as a mark of purity that, if lost, is a source of shame or mourning; rather, choosing to have sex is merely the first step down a path of new experiences. Keyser follows the essays with in-depth, accessible advice for teens geared almost exclusively toward girls as well as extensive resources for further learning. Sexual empowerment is the name of the game here, and it's a message not often doled out in today's climate of abstinence-only sex ed. Vitally, some expert sex educators weigh in, which adds an air of credibility to the proceedings. Occasionally, the tone is overly sentimental, and teens allergic to sincerity might bristle, but, overall, this is an excellent resource for teens interested in sex that gives them not only meaningful and important tools for health, such as concrete advice about contraceptives and consent, but a supportive, sex-positive voice in a culture that's still fairly uncomfortable addressing sexuality, in teen girls in particular. -- Sarah Hunter--Booklist "February 1, 2015 "