Oh, you know what I’m talking about. Read on for some reminiscing about some sneaky reads. I read most of these in middle school.
The Mists of Avalon: Two things about this book. First, I remember reading one of the sex scenes and taking the book to school the next day to show my friends. We were in homeroom and my teacher overheard us and snarked, “Hmmm, a little sex, huh?” This was the same teacher who said, “Let’s just say I never smoked cigarettes.”
Second, one of the scenes involves Uther Pendgragon and whomever he was sleeping with. Bradly describes his chest hair tickling her nipples, and I remember that just really bugged. How, I wondered, does that happen? Now that I’ve actually had the sex, I’ve never had my nipples tickled by any man’s chest hair.
Harlequin romances: There were always a reliable collection of these at whatever cottage I ended up at during the summer. I remember reading this particular harlequin (though who knows the title at this point) when I went to a cottage with a friend and we immediately skipped to the sex scenes.
Flowers in the Attic: Still disturbing after all these years. But awesome. One of the greatest books ever written.
The Merlin Trilogy by Mary Stewart: First of all, these are great books. Just really fun reads. You should check them out. There is one scene where I think Lancelot and Guinevere are caught in flagrante delicato, which was my first introduction to the consequences of maybe sleeping around. Also, hot! I may also be remembering yet another scene from The Mists of Avalon. All those King Arthur things sometimes blur.
Julie of the Wolves: I don’t remember this book very well except for the marital rape scene (which some do not interpret this way, including the author). It’s the main impetus for Julie running away and getting lost in the first place. I actually have a very clear memory of how I imagined the scene in my mind – indeed, the description of her husband ripping Julie’s dress is one of my most vivid memories of my childhood. I didn’t understand it as sexual assault, that’s for sure, and I do wish someone had explained it to me since at that age, I didn’t really understand what sex was, much less rape. Now, before some random “let’s ban ALL the books” person jumps on this, I actually think that scene is incredibly well written and I really appreciate an author trusting children to be able to handle something so violent and disturbing. What’s more, how the author describes Julie’s journey after all of this is just incredible. What I’m really saying is that wouldn’t it be great if we had an education system where we can talk about really awful things like rape in an open way so that both young girls and young men come away from it with a deeper understanding of what is fucked up about our culture and ready to help change it?