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 Alexandra Alan talks about reading smut as a coming of age experience.
I began my smutty journey early. Officially at thirteen, unofficially much younger. Growing up, one of my aunts had an over-the-door wire bookshelf full of paperback romance novels, and as any curious pre-teen would do, I’d flip through them when no one was looking so I could read the naughty bits. I understood about half of what I read, and what I did understand was exciting.
And then, in seventh grade, the floodgates truly opened. (Maybe ‘floodgates’ isn’t the ideal metaphor, but I’m sticking with it.) One of my favorite teachers freely admitted that she was also a published romance novelist. She was not only a wonderful teacher, but also kind, hilarious, and armed with a razor-sharp wit honed by many hours of teaching middle school children.
My mother befriended her, bought some of her books, and then one day, handed me ‘Ever Yours’ (by Gabriella Anderson) with a statement of: “Uh, sure, this’ll probably be fine.”
It was so much more than fine. Yes, it had the naughty bits, but it also had love! Banter! Adventure! Thrills! I found myself getting heavily invested in the slow bloom of the relationship as it developed over the course of the novel, and really, that was almost as fun as the naughty bits.
After that, I was hooked. Every week, my mom and I would pop into the library and I’d emerge with a stack of Fabio-embellished romances that promised magic, mystery, and smut. Some were thrilling, some were titillating, and some used the phrase ‘marble-hard lingam’ and described a hero’s tongue as ‘leopard-like.’ During one single summer, I must have devoured over twenty of them. (If my mother worried about me, she never said anything.)
Up until several years ago, smut was simply a source of entertainment in my life. Romance novels were like the little meringues of the vast smorgasbord of literature: sweet, short, a nice moment that melted in your mouth and left you happier than when you’d started. I’d been writing fiction for quite some time, yet crafting explicit smut hadn’t even crossed my mind as an option.
Everything changed with a plane ride. While gliding over a mountain range, the plane hit a patch of turbulence that had the cabin jerking and roiling as if we’d been thrown into a blender. I watched the ground lurch thousands of feet below me and my one persistent, memorable thought was that if we crashed, I would die without having written anything truly smutty. Three years later, I have several contracts with a romance/erotica publisher. (So thanks, Southwest.)
Connect with Alexandra:
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Thanks for sharing, Alexandra! Watch this space for our review of her book Going the Distance in early March.
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.