True story: I lost my virginity in a car parked alongside a dark and creepy cemetery. As I hustled to get dressed, two police cars pulled up alongside of us. We got a sternly worded lecture from two patrol officers, narrowly avoided receiving a traffic ticket and were sent home in a way that was beyond awkward and embarrassing.
When I began working on my YA novel, Fat Girl on a Plane, I knew a couple of things. I wanted the book to be sex positive, but I also wanted it to capture the ungraceful and bumbling aspects of first sexual encounters that sometimes get glossed over. For me, it was important to present sex in a way that was free from shame, that was appropriately consensual, and that included the use of protection. I also wanted to make sure teen readers knew that your first time might not be the best ever because, for most people, sexual experiences tend to improve with more experience.
Luckily, I am not alone. The YA community has been busy creating many incredible, sex-positive stories. Here are some of my faves, along with a couple of upcoming releases that I’m looking forward to.