My First Smut

My First Smut: Finding Sex-Positivity Through Reading

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, physician and author Frank Spinelli talks about stealing books from his older sisters. (We might be able to relate.)


First romance novel you read:

Bloodline by Sidney Sheldon

How old were you?

I was a teenager.

How’d you get your hands on the book?

I have older sisters who read a lot. They shared books. One day I stole the book off their shelf.

What was the reading experience like?

I couldn’t believe what the author was able to write in a novel, knowing that television was so mild in comparison. I had never read a description of a man’s penis or what achieving orgasm was like for a man and a woman through intercourse. And on top of that, it was a murder mystery. Adding sex made it all the more darkly sexual and dangerous.

What made the experience special?

I had to read the book in private because I didn’t want my mother or sisters to see me. Why I don’t know? My mother never said anything to them, but I knew on some level reading this book was naughty. I guess you could call it Catholic guilt.

What role does smut play in your life?

My entire career as a physician, I have always been sex positive. I don’t shy away from asking patients about their sex lives. Growing up I had been taught to be ashamed of my sexuality, and as an adult I refuse to live with that shame.


Frank Spinelli, MD is an American born physician living in New York.

He has contributed articles for the Advocate and The Huffington Post. Writing credits include: The Advocate Guide to Gay Men’s Health and Wellness (Alyson Books), Pee-Shy: A Memoir (Kensington Books), which has been optioned to be developed into a limited series and contributing author – Our Naked Lives (Bordighera Press) and Understanding the Sexual Betrayal of Boys and Men (Routledge).

He has made appearances on Sirius Radio’s Morning Jolt with Larry Flick and co-hosted Speak Out: Real Talk about AIDS.

Documentary credits include, 30 Years from Here (Emmy-nominated), Positive Youth and I’m a Porn Star.

Television credits include ABC News, NBC Nightly News, MTV, a national commercial and Sesame Street. In 2015, he hosted a season of Dueling Doctors.

Frank Spinelli is an advocate for child sexual abuse survivors and has given frequent interviews about his experience as a victim of sexual abuse while in the Boy Scouts.

Perfect Flaw (forthcoming Feb 2022) is his first novel.

Connect with Frank: Website | Twitter | Instagram


Thanks Frank! We’re excited to read Perfect Flaw when it comes out!


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.

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