This is the American Librarian Association’s annual Banned Books Week, and as an American librarian, I feel duty-bound to make note of the occasion. Boo on censorship!

Although, I must admit, I’d be rather pleased to one day become a banned author…. what cachet! Is that terribly hypocritical of me?

In Goddess of the Hunt, Lucy (like many a historical romance heroine) has a naughty book. In the course of the novel, she discovers some limitations of book learning and she passes The Book to her friend, who is the heroine of my novel-in-progress.

Isn’t this how a lot of us learned about the facts of life – passing dogeared books from friend to friend? I know I learned a lot more from novels than from health class or “the talk.” (Actually, now that I think about it, I’m not sure I ever got “the talk.”)

I’ve been trying to remember my first naughty book. I think it must have been Wifey, by Judy Blume, which I’d imagine many of us stumbled across accidentally while looking for the sequel to Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. But at the time I read it – probably 10 or 11 – I had no clue what any of it meant. It all went right over my head. From there, I think I graduated to the VC Andrews books in 7th grade. I remember reading a passage that went something like, “She put her hand where she thought it would pleasure him most, and then she put his hand where it would pleasure her most.” And I remember puzzling long and hard, speculating about just which places those were. LOL.

So, today’s TMI Tuesday question:

What was your first naughty book? Did it fill in some gaps in your education, or raise more questions than it answered? Have you ever considered that someday your book may be some girl’s first naughty book?

17 comments to “TMI Tuesday – Naughty Books”

  1. elyssany
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 2:45 am · Link

    I think my first “naughty” book was Are You There God? It’s me, Margaret. Seriously, that girl was so hung up on whether or not she was getting her period. And I remembered it was down to her and her other friends (as being the last ones to get it) and Margaret got it, saving face. Too bad, that the book wasn’t about how sucky periods really are. *g*

    I think my first real adult naughty book was The Clan of the Cave Bear – I devoured that series in 9th grade. I couldn’t believe my mom was letting me read them because there are sex scenes … and my mom wouldn’t even let me Romeo and Juliet because of the content (I read it anyways, without her knowledge). LOL

  2. Maggie Robinson
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 5:34 am · Link

    I was pretty sheltered as a kid, but went straight for the hard stuff when I got out of the cave. I remember reading the obligatory D.H. Lawrence as a teenager. The first truly naughty book I read was The Story of O when I was around 20. I’m just a late bloomer.

  3. Tessa Dare
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 7:38 am · Link

    Ely, yes! i read through all those Auel books in 9th-10th grade, too. They, too, were the subject of much puzzling. If I remember correctly, there were lots of frustrating euphemisms.

    Maggie – I remember skimming Lady Chatterly’s Lover to see what all the fuss was about, and – having already read the aforementioned books and lots of others besides – I was decidedly underwhelmed. I really should go back and actually read it as literature, not as sex ed.

  4. Alice Audrey
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 9:24 am · Link

    Does Cosmo magazine count?

    I think I was 14 when I read Stranger in a Strange Land by Heinlein. Sex, language, nudity, and mysticism. What more could a girl want? Ok, a little less chauvinism would be nice.

  5. Darcy Burke
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 10:30 am · Link

    Ah yes, Wifey. And those Auel books, which I, er, (and this is really TMI, but that’s the name of the game) didn’t actually read as much skim for those, er, parts.

    I think I was 15 maybe when I first read Ashes in the Wind, which I followed with Shanna, The Flame and the Flower, and the Wolf and the Dove. Which reminds me, I need to preorder Everlasting!

  6. India Carolina
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 10:57 am · Link

    Well that’s a sobering thought– that our books may be some girl’s introduction to sexuality. Yikes, like there wasn’t enough pressure already!

    My first naughty book was called Forever Amber and I must’ve been about 9 or 10. It was also my first love story. I still remember that book. That may be why I love romance novels–imprinting.

  7. Lindsey
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 11:04 am · Link

    I had a copy of Where Did I Come From? (#76 on the banned books list!) from the time I was about 4 – no confusing euphemisms there! Though I just saw the DVD adaptation, which depicts orgasm by two cartoon cats rubbing against each other to create an explosion of hearts, which does confuse me…

    As for really naughty, I read the controversial WWII memoir The Painted Bird when I was in jr. high, I think. It features all kinds of deviant sex. I may still be traumatized.

  8. terrio
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 12:34 pm · Link

    The first naughty book I remember would be the Margaret one. But I was the youngest child in a neighborhood full of kids. This was back when kids still played outside and by the time I was 8 or 9 I’m pretty sure there wasn’t much I didn’t know.

    The first romance I read was Wildwinds and I think I was 12 or 13. I also read Forever Amber and all the Woodiwiss books around that time.

    I don’t think any of our books will be some young girls intro to sexuality. Have you been on a public school bus lately? *sigh* They talk about everything…

  9. Anonymous
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 12:53 pm · Link

    I read Gone with the Wind when I was 11. Not a hard-core “naughty” book, but that scene on the porch where Rhett “compliments” Scarlett’s intelligence by asking her to be his mistress “without having first seduced her” stuck in my brain. It made me start thinking about boys and whether kisses really would produce a “treacherous warm tide of feeling.” *g*

  10. Tessa Dare
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 2:06 pm · Link

    AA – I think Cosmo definitely counts! Never read SiaSL myself, but I have flipped through an issue or two of Cosmo.

    Darcy – I’m so embarrassed to say I’d never read Woodiwiss until this year. I know they were “my first romance novel” for so many people, but not me.

    India – it is a sobering thought, isn’t it? Although, as Terri points out, girls these days seem to be further ahead of the curve than we were.

    Lindsey: the DVD adaptation, which depicts orgasm by two cartoon cats rubbing against each other to create an explosion of hearts, which does confuse me… LOL! Yeah, that confuses me, too! Oh, the bad puns that could be made there.. but I will refrain.

    Anon – I read GWTW at about the same age – I was between 7th and 8th grade. I remember being in the throes of romantic melodrama when I read it, but I’m afraid the sexual references went straight over my head. I do remember that Scarlett didn’t enjoy her first experiences with Charles, and I think that spooked me – at least, I still remember reading that part. Darn, this is making me want to reread it.

  11. Sara Lindsey
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 2:06 pm · Link

    I kind of missed out. I had the facts of life explained to me by a kindergarden classmate who had wormed the information out of an older sibling. I proceeded to go home from school and ask my grandmother (who thankfully has a sense of humor) if my grandpa truly did stick his penis in her vagina. I’m not certain I understood what those organs were, but it was enough to shock everyone!

    The first truly racy books I remember reading were the Outlander series in 9th or 10th grade… and I still can’t get enough of them!

  12. CM
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 3:39 pm · Link

    Heh. My parents kept an odd sort of control over my reading habits.

    I particularly remember a copy of Lady Chatterley’s Lover that lay around our house, which had been heavily censored with a sharpie–all the good bits marked out.

    We had very few books that depicted positive sex acts. However, there were plenty of books that had not-so-good sex.

    The first books I remember reading that had sex in them:

    Roots. Yes, there’s sex. And most of it is either rape or close to nonconsensual sex. To this day, I do not understand why my mother would think it was okay for me to read Roots at the age I did.

    1984. Yes, there’s sex. It’s not really sensual sex, though.

    And this was pretty much all I knew about sex–with the exception of the encyclopedia and “the talk” which confused me more than anything–for a good long while.

    When I was 14, I found, in a stack of books inherited from an elder sibling, a piece of science fiction–which is probably why my parents let it through, because they didn’t read enough sci fi themselves to know. In any event, this book was incredibly graphic–blow jobs, lengthy descriptions of the sex act. It was incredibly bad. I must have read it a million times.

  13. Jacqueline Barbour
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 4:13 pm · Link

    Honestly, I can’t remember my first “racy” book. I don’t really count Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret as racy. And I did read the first few Cave Bear books (before they degenerated, IMO). My father was an avid amateur archaeologist/paleoanthropologist, so those books fascinated him on purely scientific grounds. (All right, I like to THINK they were purely scientific!)

    I also have a vague recollection of finding a copy of the Joy of Sex at a friend’s house and thumbing through it. (The illustrations, where the woman had copious underarm hair, both fascinated and horrified me.)

    But I think I was probably reading “real” historical romance novels well before I read the Auel books or stumbled across JOS. I started with Harlequin contemps, as I recall, but by the time I was in the 8th or 9th grade, they seemed a little tame. The first really NAUGHTY book I remember reading was Bertrice Small’s Skye O’Malley. But it probably wasn’t the first one I actually read, if that makes sense!

    And I really hope no teenage girls get hold of Carnally Ever After and read it as their first introduction to the…um…naughty bits. Because that’s PURE sexual fantasy and NOT a how-to manual.

  14. Ericka Scott
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 5:34 pm · Link

    The first Auel book — my mom & dad were pretty good about leafing through and making sure there was nothing “dirty” in the book (in fact, I received Jaws for my birthday one year with pages blacked out)…however, the Auel book must have been too thick or didn’t interest my dad, it got passed to me in pristine condition (snicker)

  15. Janga
    · October 2nd, 2007 at 8:20 pm · Link

    You all remind me of my age. When I was growing up Seventeen was publishing articles entitled “Should You Kiss on the First Date?” The raciest romance I read had an Emilie Loring hero plunging his hand down the neckline of his wife’s robe to retrieve a key. (Theirs was an unconsumated marriage of convenience.)

    I was such an innocent before college. There I had a wild roommate who broke curfew, hated her father, and gave me James Baldwin’s Giovanni’s Room to read. I was in shock for a week. 🙂

  16. Renee Lynn Scott
    · October 5th, 2007 at 9:24 am · Link

    You know, even in high school I couldn’t even imagine reading a book like that. If I had gotten caught my mother would have skinned my alive. But, I loved listening to all the kids on the bus talking about the latest VC Andrews.

    I learned all that ‘stuff’ from the kids in the neighborhood who probably couldn’t read and watched their parent’s dirty movies over the back of the couch or while hiding in the hallway.

    The kids love corrupting the local church girl with their knowledge. 🙂

  17. lacey kaye
    · October 8th, 2007 at 4:47 pm · Link

    Tessa — I did that, too! Wonder where the fun places were, exactly 😉