My First Smut

My First Smut: Scarred by the Mists of Avalon

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, romance novelist Elva Birch talks The Mists of Avalon, which definitely has some crazy sex in it.


The first book I read with sex scenes was The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley.

I was probably nine. I had burned through the fantasy section in the kids room of our public library and was just starting to wander curiously out into the adult shelves. I found this beautiful, big, thick book with a picture of a woman on a horse with a sword and a swan. It looked exactly like a book I would love and I was so excited about it.

Reader, this was not a great first sex book for a very sheltered kid to start from.

By the end of that massive tome, there had been incest and sexy pagan rituals and some really dubious consent and apparently there is some actually Arthurian plot, but that is definitely not the part that stuck with me. I put this book down and went back to Sweet Valley High and Louisa May Alcott for a while. My mother, when I sheepishly confessed this book to her, carefully shared some much better romance novels with me, and eventually I came to love the genre. I never have been able to go back and read The Mists of Avalon, however.


Elva Birch is a full-time writer of paranormal smut. She particularly loves gorgeous shifters who aren’t jerks, competent women who aren’t doormats, magic, and detailed worldbuilding. The Dragon Prince’s Librarian, the second book in her series The Royal Dragons of Alaska, came out just last week!


Thanks Elva! We feel you on The Mists of Avalon – Holly had a similar experience reading it at a young and impressionable age. We look forward to reading The Dragon Prince’s Librarian! Watch this space for a review coming soon!


Have an early smut experience you’d like to share with us? If you’d like to see your story featured, send us an email or fill out our questionnaire and we’ll post it in an upcoming week.

7 thoughts on “My First Smut: Scarred by the Mists of Avalon”

    1. What did you think of it? Did you love it? Did you hate how MZB played around with the Arthur story?

      I actually reread it when I was in graduate school and was like, huh, I recognize all of this mythology stuff – straight from Robert Graves.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. High school was over 20 years ago! I remember liking it. The story just recently popped up for me as part of a potential clue for a treasure hunt that I’m in. I think I have to acquire a copy of the book to see a map inside. I was surprised to see this post today. It makes me think even stronger that I was on the right track for my clue.

        Liked by 1 person

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