A touching and important guest post from debut author Laurelin Paige (scroll to the end for her info, darlings!)
I’m a girl who bloomed early, so to say. I was into hearts and flowers and sex from the minute I discovered what it was. My Barbie dolls only got dressed so they could undress each other and have sex.
Such precocious antics were frowned on in the conservative religious town I grew up in. I learned to feel “dirty” about my sexual thoughts. So despite my natural tendency to be a sexual being, I stifled my impulses and tried to fit into the culture of my upbringing.
I didn’t lose my virginity until I was twenty with a guy I picked up at a party. It wasn’t how I’d wanted it to happen, but after so many years of stifling my sexual identity, I lost control. And I felt dirty because that’s how I was taught to feel.
This was how my sexual experiences went after that: get turned on, have sex, feel guilty. I hated myself for anything sexual I did.
Even after I was married, I wasn’t comfortable with sex. It deeply affected my relationship with my husband. Our sex life was, um, not good.
Until I started reading romance novels.
No joke. Reading and then writing romance changed how I felt about sex. It changed how I felt about me. My confidence soared. And it one thousand percent changed my relationship with my husband for the better.
I think about my experience and the similar stories I’ve heard from other women when I write. I feel a responsibility to betray sexual relationships as honestly and naturally as possible, and in detail, even. Because I know that the books I write have the power to change people. Hopefully I’m giving back to others what was given to me—confidence and pride in, not only my sexual self, but in myself in general.
Laurelin Paige is a sucker for a good romance and gets giddy anytime there’s kissing, much to the embarrassment of her three daughters. Her husband doesn’t seem to complain, however. When she isn’t reading or writing sexy stories, she’s probably singing, watching Mad Men and the Walking Dead, or dreaming of Adam Levine. She is represented by Bob Diforio of D4EO Literary Agency. Her debut contemporary romance FIXED ON YOU is out June 24.