My mom is a voracious reader. She is who is genetically responsible for my own appetite for reading. I remember as a child walking to the library every Saturday and being in awe of her selecting what seemed like the biggest, thickest books in the place. (Wow….that sounded like she was selecting something else….it’s a bit Freudian as you will see in a second.)
She would read any genre of literature from Jane Austin to Stephen King to whatever was popular in terms of biography. Horror was her favorite genre I think, but she read everything if it caught her attention.
When I was about 14 or 15 years old, we were at a flea market. She and I were looking through books as per usual when she pulled one from the pile and said, “I read this book when I was about your age.” Then she added it to her pile of books to buy.
When I looked up the book author just to make sure my memory wasn’t going to hell, I realized one very important thing – there was no way she read that book when she was my age – it was published in 1974 when I was a year old. The author was Rosemary Rogers, and the book Sweet Savage Love. A book that would end up being my first ever romance novel and was, from what I have learned from looking it up, the first book to explicitly have sex scenes. As one site described, Rosemary Rogers took the romance into the bedroom.
In hindsight, my mom should have kept the book, read it herself, and then determined if it was right for a 14/15 year old teenager. But, she didn’t. I got this historical romance novel and started reading it. I actually didn’t at first, but my mom was so hell bent on knowing if I loved it as much as she did that I started reading it just so I could give her an answer.
What my mom did was, in essence, like handing a Penthouse to a horny teenage boy. I was a horny teenage girl. I was well aware of my body and how it could bring me pleasure, thank you very much, and usually didn’t need any visual or literary help in getting me in the mood. I swear, I just needed to be awake some days.
But, I was also just like any other girl/woman, stimulate my brain, and I was that much hornier.
She gave me porn in a book, and she didn’t even realize it.
I feel I must pause in my story and ask my readers if I was an anomaly in my teenage horny-ness. Garbanzo claims I was an anomaly as if all girls were like this at this age, he would have gotten laid a lot sooner in his life. I assert that most girls this age were like that. They either just A) didn’t understand how to deal with it, B) they were shamed into thinking it was wrong, or C)explored freely or D) Garbanzo was the problem. I don’t think it was D – but that is probably just my bias.
That was a favorite book during the summer. Even when my small bedroom was about 200 degrees in temperature during the heat waves in Iowa, I was still holed up in there re-reading my favorite parts as I relieve my “sexual tension” over and over and over again.
Then, my mom asked to read the book. She wanted to rediscover her love for the book, and I thought, “Oh, fuck….I’m never getting it back.”
But, I will have to hand it to my mom – she gave it back saying it was exactly as she remembered it. Then mentioned there was a sequel. I found it later on during that summer along with some other great romance novels. These were not Harlequins either – these had real (or real enough) sex it them.
My mom is the reason I have such a large erotica collection. She just doesn’t realize it.
I remember my mom finding a Playboy in my little brother’s room when I was a few years out of college. She was freaking out. Being the kind of person I am, I laughed at her. She finally got mad and demanded that it was not funny. I asked her how it was any different than her buying me those romance novels when I was his age. She claimed it was different. I told her there was a hell of a lot more sex in those books. At least with a Playboy, he had to use his imagination. Then I also pointed out that he probably got them from my dad’s stash anyway. Not wanting to destroy all of my brother’s sources of porn as I assumed he had also found my dad’s Penthouse stash in the basement, I didn’t tell my mom about the Penthouses since I knew she was tossing the Playboys as she found them.. She found those about 5 years ago while they were moving. I think everyone West of the Missouri River heard the exact moment when she did..
If you go out looking for this book, I feel I must forewarn you. I have not read the book since I was a teenager. Besides being the first to have explicit sex, the book garnered lots of other controversy. The fact the heroine was kidnapped and ultimately “deflowered” by her kidnapper has raised a lot of controversy about whether or not she was raped. I don’t recall ever thinking she was anything but willing, but that was 20 years ago, so I don’t know. Also, I guess she works as a prostitute which is a profession, of and in itself, is controversial. So, if you go out and find the book and read it and are offended, don’t say I didn’t warn you of the possibility.