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Young People's Experiences with Sex in an Easy-Access Culture

Edited by Shannon T. Boodram


Informative and compelling, Laid is a compilation of essays written by young people about their more traumatic or more meaningful experiences with sex.

Organized in five sections, it covers topics from one night stands and friends with benefits (Hookups that fell down) to positive experiences (And then I saw stars...), from unwanted consequences (Haven't been quite right since that night...) to rape and sexual abuse (When "No!" loses all meaning), and abstinence (Save your cherry... or banana).

Pressured by the media and their peers, teens seems to engage in sex earlier than previous generations and, despite all the information at their disposal, do so clueless of its impact on their mental and physical well-being. Psychological scars, unwanted pregnancy and STDs are the dark reality behind unprotected sex and sexual assaults.

This book covers, in a realistic manner, questions the sex education class at school failed to answer. As the author puts it, "When I was in sixth grade we did a full unit on dinosaurs, but we had only two half-hour sessions on sexual education. Since then I've never had to escape a raptor, but I have been confronted by plenty of penises."

Whether you agree or not with the contributors' choices, you can't help respecting their courage to share their stories so that others could learn from their mistakes or, in the rare occasion, their successes.

The stories do not have a moral, and the book gives us no easy answers. But it does include a final section where some of the contributors share their hard earned wisdom.

"Having a baby is a big responsibility...," one of them reminds us. "People who think it's glamorous to have a baby at a young age need to think again."

"Sex is complicated," other says. "Don't expect to have an emotionally devoid sexual experience and feel good about it afterward."

Yet another, "If you're going to take that step and have sex, don't do it just to please someone else. Do it because you're ready. Do it because you want to."

And before you judge them too harshly remember that "If you judge people, you have no time to love them." (Mother Teresa).

If you're a teenager or have a teenager in your life, to read this book is a must.

The Book

Seal Press / A member of the Perseus Books Group
Non-fiction / Young Adult / Sexuality
More at
NOTE: Sexual situations, sexuality

The Reviewer

Carmen Ferreiro
Reviewed 2010
NOTE: Reviewer Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban is author of the award-winning YA fantasy novel Two Moon Princess [2007], recipient of the ForeWord Magazine Bronze Award for Juvenile Fiction. Its sequel, The King in the Stone, is scheduled for publication in 2010.
© 2010