I was fortunate in my sexual discovery: I never contracted any sort of disease and while not every encounter resulted in dynamite sex, I never found myself in a threatening situation.
I like to think this has to do with the fact that I am fairly intuitive and committed to my personal health, but we all know there is a fair share of luck in there, too. Accidents happen. People are misread. You have too many drinks. Condoms break. The list is endless and it doesn’t just involve your physical health. Rape is a mental and emotional trauma. Even consensual sex carries with it a danger of emotional damage.
These are all issues addressed in Laid: Young People’s Experiences With Sex In An Easy Access Culture, edited by Shannon T. Boodram. What initially looks like a collection of sexy coming-of-age tales is actually a sex-ed Trojan horse.
I’ll confess something—at first, I was put off by the book. Chapter one made mention of “wasted” virginities too often for my taste. I am a staunch opponent of the idea that the first time is a sacred time and everything else is meaningless or somehow defined by it. To me, that’s a poisonous construct. Every sexual experience should be viewed as an opportunity to reach for the divine.
But as I read on the collection of accounts of sexual encounters I saw the book for what it is: a collection of different experiences and personal truths. Every chapter deals with a different aspect of sex. Yes, there are accounts that bemoan a lost gift, but there are many that celebrate responsible sexual freedom, too. And there are also accounts about consequences of sex (from abortions to HIV); accounts about rape; and tales of those who made the choice to abstain.
This book is a complete collection of sexual experiences, told in the voices of many people, men and women, across North America. It’s not a textbook, filled with clinical language, or a philosophical call-to-arms, heavy on the agenda.
It’s like sitting with a group of friends and letting them tell you what they went through. Oversharing, as the kids say nowadays.
Read the whole review at BlogHer.