I look harmless. Everyone who ‘knows’ me thinks I’m a good girl. When I showed my sister my tattoo, she said, “Is that real?” So if my family or high school friends ask me what I write about, the last thing they expect to hear is trashy romance novels.
I grew up in a very conservative and fundamental family and community. My mom dragged me to church every Sunday, I went to youth group twice a week, and in high school I was known as a holy roller. I wasn’t taught sex was bad. I wasn’t taught about sex at all. I had to learn on my own and that wasn’t always a pleasant experience.
My mom tried to protect me from all the ‘bad things’ in the world. She wouldn’t let me listen to rock and roll, and she got music banned from school buses. She wouldn’t let me eat sugared cereals. She wouldn’t let me watch R-rated movies. So when I went to college—500 miles away from home—I lived on Lucky Charms. It was the best food in the cafeteria. My MP3 is loaded with classic rock: Aerosmith, Van Halen, AC/DC (Def Leppard, Pour Some Sugar on Me, oooo naughty), and all the stuff I wasn’t allowed to listen to in high school. I’ve seen more X-rated movies than I can remember.
I write about sex because it was denied to me when I was growing up. I wasn’t allowed to experience innocent adolescent exploration. I didn’t have a playful, joyful sexual awakening. Mine was filled with guilt and shame, and I had no one to talk to so I found refuge in romance books.
(/rant) If you want to protect your daughter from something, expose her to it, carefully and with guidance. Let her learn why you think it’s bad and then give her the tools to decide for herself if it really is bad. My mom and my church never told me why I had to wait until marriage. They just told me what to believe, and I was too shy to ask questions. (/end rant)
I write about sex because I believe sex was created for us to enjoy. I didn’t learn how to enjoy it until I was in my 30s, so there’s a lot of pent-up pleasure inside of me eager for release. But mostly I write about sex because it’s a lot of fun, and I’m good at it. Sex is a pleasure I was denied for far too long. I no longer have guilt about pleasure, but that’s a subject for another day.