This is a book that my teenage self would have very much appreciated.
The V-Word edited by Amber Keyser features 17 stories from celebrated young adult authors, chronicling their first sexual experiences. The stories are candid, funny, heartbreaking, honest, and exactly what teens — especially teen girls — need.
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.
The V-Word offers a diverse array of stories about first times — showing readers that sex is not a one-size-fits-all experience, and that there is so much to consider when making choices about ones own sexuality. The collection of stories is followed by an extensive set of resources for teens to read about and learn about their sexuality in a safe and appropriate way. There’s even a small section for parents.
I was lucky that my parents were pretty open and candid when it came to discussing sex. (My mom even drew diagrams!) But I also know that’s not universally the case. Take for example, when I was home sick the day my 5th grade class got the “sex talk.” My mom gave me the talk instead (complete with those aforementioned diagrams). When I went back to school and compared notes with my classmates … well, my mom got a call from the teacher about how my mom’s lesson was “much more thorough” than the one she’d given the class. Oops? But my mom stands by her lesson, and so do I.
But even as much as my parents were open with me about sex, there were still questions I had throughout my adolescence that I wasn’t comfortable asking them. The Internet was fairly new those days, and I shudder to think what my 16-year-old self’s search history would show. A book like The V-Word is what I really need: honest, frank and diverse stories about sex and sexuality. Answers to questions I didn’t even know how to phrase.
The V-Word is the book for the kids whose parents aren’t candid about sex, or who aren’t comfortable discussing the subject with their teens. It’s for the teens who have questions and want honest stories about sex — the good, the bad, and everything in between. It’s a book teens need to have in their lives, especially in a society that sends so many mixed messages about sex.
The V-Word instead offers a refreshingly candid and unbiased take on teenage sexuality, in all its many forms. It’s in stores now.