My First Smut

SAT vocab words and smut

My First Smut is a recurring feature where we talk about our formative smut experiences. These short confessionals may include such details as: What book did you read? How old were you? Were there other people involved? What made the experience special? What role does smut play in your life?

This week, we tell Ingrid’s story.

I started reading smut because my big sister did. It’s as simple as that. One summer, I remember going to the library and coming home with Into the Wind by Jean Ferris. It was a trilogy, and I think between the two of us we had some portion of that series checked out from the library the entire summer. I remember reading sections out loud to one another in the backseat of the car. It was a classic, adventurous young adult love story, it was beautifully written, and it was the moment I got hooked on romance.

After that, I started reading romance in between all the other books I binged on. I would read every single book by Toni Morrison, and then read 20 romances. Every John Irving, and then every regency romance novel I could get my hands on. I’d read whole books in one sitting. I’d read books instead of doing my homework. (Sorry, Mom.) I seriously read so much that when I’d finally take a break to eat, I was dizzy. In 9th grade, we were offered extra credit points for bringing in SAT vocab words–I brought in “pulchritudinous”. My teacher swore it wasn’t a real word, so I showed her the romance novel I was reading. “You should really read higher quality books,” she scolded. I remember my parents finding that very funny.

There have been whole periods of my life where I think romance novels served a restorative purpose. In college, I spent periods where I was dealing with medical issues–it was a small, somewhat isolated school and because of said medical issues I started late. I didn’t end up making many friends. So I read constantly. It’s almost impossible to feel lonely when you’re absorbed by a good book. Later, I struggled with a very intense recovery period after the birth of one of my kids; my sister sent me Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, and the dark, scary stretches in the middle of the night were suddenly filled with the epic story of a strong, fearless woman whose greatest power was her ability to love across time. It was incredibly healing. I think falling in love is one of the most transformative and beautiful things we experience in life–so why wouldn’t you want to read about it?


Have an early smut experience you’d like to share with us? If you’d like to see your story featured, send us a note and we’ll post it in an upcoming week.

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