My First Smut

My First Smut: “I love the satisfaction of knowing an HEA is waiting at the end”

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, author Renee Wilde talks bodice rippers, sexytimes, and happy endings. And the patriarchy.


First romance novel you read:

The Flame and the Flower by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

How old were you (or what life stage were you in)?

12 or 13. I think 7th grade

How’d you get your hands on the book?

My grandma had a million “bodice rippers” that she got from yard sales. I was a huge reader and out of books, so I combed through hers.

What was the reading experience like?

Sexy! I was in rural Missouri and the daughter of teen parents… I had no sex Ed to speak of but had certainly been “feeling things.” Reading that it was normal (and healthy, and beautiful, and even fun!) to be horny was an absolute revelation to me

What made the experience special?

First of all, I loved history and historical things… Little Women was my favorite book (then and now!) and I was just starting to get into more grown-up classics, like Jane Eyre and the works of Austen… but I loved fast-paced plot driven stories. So discovering the Romance Novel as a genre opened a whole new world to me.

What role does smut play in your life?

It is my go-to comfort read. I love literary fiction (I’m a high school English teacher with a degree in English from Yale) and genre fiction equally, but for vastly different reasons. I love the romance genre’s unapologetic centering of female voices and desire. I also love the satisfaction of knowing an HEA is waiting at the end and discovering how it happens. I don’t want all the books I read to have happy endings, but I love knowing that I can always turn to a selection that does.

Any final thoughts?

Just want to add that romance reading and writing is a fundamentally feminist act of resistance to the patriarchy. ✊


Keep an eye out for Renee’s debut Regency Romance, coming soon! (We certainly will, since someone who knows that the best way to resist the patriarchy is by reading romance is clearly a kindred spirit.)

In the meantime, you can find her on Instagram and Twitter.

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.

My First Smut

Guest Post: Plot Trysts Podcasters share their first smut experiences

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 Laine and Meg, the brains behind the Plot Trysts podcast talk about the smut that hooked them on romance, and the smut that solidified their friendship.

Meg:

My first romance novel was Honor’s Splendour, by Julie Garwood. I was in 7th or 8th grade and co-babysitting with my cousin. The kids were in bed so she and I were hanging out in the basement, watching TV. We opened up the TV console to see what movies were in there only to find that it was full of romance novels! We each chose a novel and then spent the rest of our night reading. When the kids’ parents got home, their mother let us each take the book we were reading home, TO KEEP! (This was really amazing to our middle/high school selves. A free book??) Oh – I may have forgotten to mention that we were babysitting for my cousin’s confirmation sponsor. After that, I read romance off and on through high school, but cut way back in college. Fast forward a few years, I started reading them again. Why? During my final semester of grad school I was so stressed out I needed an outlet. For me, it was romance novels.

Laine:

I don’t think I remember my first “romance,” especially because the library I went to growing up mixed everything that wasn’t a Harlequin in with general fiction. I loved Jude Devereaux’s Remembrance and a Knight in Shining Armor (which Meg hates and I can admit didn’t hold up well), but the first time I bought and read what Meg and I review every week now is when my friend’s and I would buy romance novel and highlight the sexy parts to read aloud on long bus trips (we were theater kids). We have since reviewed some of these gems on our podcast, but Hot Summer Nights was a definite stand out.


Meg & Laine:

We started working together in 2017 and stared trading book recommendations. After Meg read Laine’s first rec – Crocodile on the Sandbank – she was immediately reminded of some fantastic smut. It’s always a little tough to give “real life” smut recommendations, but Meg decided to bring her copy of Mister Impossible, by Loretta Chase, to work and put it in Laine’s hands. After bonding over Mister Impossible, we started some informal buddy reads. It was so much fun we started our podcast, Plot Trysts, so we could immortalize our thoughts. Since then we have released at least 2 episodes a week.

Our shared interest has now invaded many parts of our lives – we have a calendar TBR list that dictates a lot of our leisure time and we make sure to put time on our schedules to meet and record. Our friendship relationship is much deeper, and all thanks to smut!


Want to hear Laine and Meg talk more romance? Check out their podcast at your podcatcher of choice or follow Plot Trysts on Instagram.

Thanks Laine and Meg! We can definitely commiserate about smut bringing friendships to a whole new level.

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.

My First Smut

My First Smut: “The books made me look at the women in my life…in a different new light”

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, A. Perveen, Bookstagrammer Extraordinaire and Aspiring Romance Novelist, talks about finding inspiration in romance heroines.


First romance novel you read

I don’t remember the exact book but my oldest book memories are of Julie Garwood’s The Bride, Nora Robert’s The Gallaghers and Judith McNaught’s historicals.

How old were you?

I was a teenager. And yes, I got a lot of shade for reading age-inappropriate stuff.

How’d you get your hands on the book?

The second-hand book store in my town. They’d get copies from the big city once or twice a month.

What was the reading experience like?

In a word, mind-blowing. The titles mentioned above, especially Nora Roberts, was an eye opener. These ladies fought back and were admired, even loved for it. They left me wishing for empowering heroines who looked and sounded like me.

What made the experience special?

The era I read these in. I grew up in a small South Asian town during a time when most of the local literature/media portrayed brown women in two categories: the beautiful puritan angel, and the modern vindictive vamp (This is still true.) Meanwhile, I was reading forbidden white romances and at first glance, they seemed really different in culture, language and social norms. But as I reread them, I began to see the inherent universal similarities. Be it a medieval/historical romance or late 90’s/early 2000 contemporaries, the battles the female protagonists fought through were disturbingly familiar. The books made me look at the women in my life, especially my mother and grandmother, in a different new light.

What role does smut play in your life?

Well, it’s my most-read genre, so that makes it both comfort and necessity. It’s also the genre I wish to write in.

I came to romance through the classics (English and local) and the writers I mentioned above were my second attempt at reading modern authors. I’d previously tried a few forgotten Mills and Boon titles and wanted something more than the regular over-the-top masculine dominance. One of my most cherished memories is whining about that to my mother as I narrated a recent book plot or fictional character I didn’t agree with (A nightly ritual we still, occasionally, indulge in.) Her response was something like “since you’re so offended, you ought to write it yourself.”


Check out A. Perveen on Instagram.

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.

My First Smut

My First Smut: “The characters spoke to my soul.”

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, Romancebookjunkie tells us about the book that hooked her on romance.


First romance novel you read:

Kiss An Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

How old were you?

19

How’d you get your hands on the book?

Library

What was the reading experience like?

Something just clicked to me when reading this book- it was everything I didn’t know I needed in my life and it started a long affair with romance books.

What made the experience special?

Both the story and the characters spoke to my soul! Even the whole modern day arranged marriage- it made me feel acceptable to like what I like!

What role does smut play in your life?

I need it! It’s my escape from my stressful job.


Check out Romancebookjunkie on Instagram. (We especially dig her Sexy Series Sunday feature!)

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.

My First Smut

My First Smut: Who can resist a man with chest hair?

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 share Chana’s story.


First romance novel you read:

The Pirate and the Pagan

Continue reading “My First Smut: Who can resist a man with chest hair?”