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THE V-WORD by Amber J. Keyser


True Stories About First-Time Sex

edited by Amber J. Keyser

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-58270-590-3
Publisher: Beyond Words/Simon Pulse/Simon & Schuster

Seventeen women write about losing their virginity in this work of nonfiction.

Editor Keyser begins with a compelling if didactic preface that acknowledges the mixed messages in mainstream culture about sex and implores young women to be informed and purposeful in making their own sexual decisions. Each candid narrative is then presented in its author's own style. A trans woman describes her lovely and affirming first time with a trans man by saying, "It felt as though our genitals had switched places." In startling contrast, another woman describes her disappointing encounter as a first-year college student by using the slang term "bush" for her pubic hair and remembering that her obnoxious hookup partner commented that "he'd never fucked a girl with a full one before." In between each memoir, Keyser writes a very brief commentary on the preceding and proceeding story—segues that seem unnecessary, as readers will be able to see their own parallels and differences in each of these varied experiences from writers who fall along a wide range of sexual orientations. A conversation between Keyser and a teen librarian concludes the collection, along with a solid list of online and print resources for teens and their parents.

Most valuable here is the explicit, intimate, and informative nature of each writer's words

. (Collective memoir. 14-18)