This is my post during the blog tour for Keeping It Under Wraps. In Keeping it Under Wraps: Sex, real people from around the world share their experiences, humour, and heartache about sex and sexuality.
Keeping it Under Wraps: Sex
Type: personal essays anthology
Release Day: 04 May 2021
Get it here:
Amazon US |UK | CA
Booktopia AU | Book Depository | Waterstones | Blackwells Books | Bookshop.org
Paperback | Barnes & Noble | Google Play | Global Links
Add to your TBR: Bookbub | Goodreads
Society tells us what is right and what is wrong based on unrealistic expectations. In the end, though, no matter how unique our experiences seem, they aren’t wrong: they simply are.
The Keeping It Under Wraps anthology series provides a safe space to change the narrative, to speak openly about individual experiences, and in the end to understand that while each experience is different, we are not so different from each other.
Let’s start the conversation.
What better place to start than with sex?
Sexual health, sexual preferences, and sexual experiences: no stigma, no shame, no more keeping it under wraps.
Some of the essays in this book include topics such as sexual violence, drug abuse, assault, and other related themes.
The writers of these essays come from diverse cultural and generational backgrounds. Their voices and their views are their own
The idea for an anthology about sex started with a group of friends talking about their sex lives over a drink one wintry evening. As we compared stories, it was clear that everyone felt different, or weird, because of their feelings about and approach to sex. Over wine and friendship, the conversation deepened. We realised that we are so brainwashed about what sex should be, what it should look like, and how it should feel, that our realities become irrelevant. Instead of living with our own reality, we have to live with what others say it should be. And when we live like that, we always come up short.
We decided to spread the word and see who felt comfortable sharing their personal experiences with us. It was a big ask, finding people willing to open up about their anxieties, their traumas, their shame, and their innermost desires. These are things we don’t talk about – but shouldn’t we?
This anthology brings together people from around the world with diverse experiences and reflections on what sex and sexuality is for them. Very quickly, we saw that the stories were unique, and yet, the themes were universal.
No matter our relationships or expectations, we are all looking for joy and acceptance – a way to belong not only to our own smaller communities but also to a larger community, where who we are is normal, ok, acceptable.
We have worth and meaning. We are enough.
Sex isn’t always pleasure. There is trauma, there is pain, there is inadequacy, there is shame, there is indifference. As much as we have to destigmatise pleasure, we must also not be afraid of talking about how people can inflict pain on others in the search to fulfill their own needs, fears, and expectations.
There is hope. In the saddest stories and the most traumatic experiences, sometimes the simple lesson is that right now, in this moment, it’s ok to not be ok. That our experiences, our hopes, and understanding – well, it’s all a bit muffled and fuzzy. Life can be shit and sex can be shit and people can be shit. That’s ok.
In the end, it’s about finding self-acceptance and love, especially from the most important person in your life: yourself.
These stories are collected and shared, with love, by Alnaaze, Louise, and Tracy. We are grateful to the writers who were courageous enough to share their stories, whether endearing, funny, painful, or traumatic.
Thank you all for your trust.
Object of Desire By Jennifer Wren
I can’t even remember the first time I was seen as a possession rather than a whole human being with a full rich internal and external life. I do remember, though, the first time I realised that my sexuality would be defined by others and not by me.
When I was fourteen, I had my first kiss. Although I dressed myself up in confidence, underneath the façade I was a reserved and rather timid teenager. At a friend’s birthday party, I sat on a swing seat in the garden in silence for almost an hour next to my crush before gathering the courage to reach out and hold his hand. A few weeks later, we kissed and a few weeks after that, I began hearing rumours. I heard how my boyfriend had been telling other boys about the sex we were having and how we’d been making our way through a box of condoms. Nothing I said could change the flow of gossip and nobody I turned to wanted to hear the dull truth of first base over the drama of hitting a home run.
For my high school boyfriend, his words may have merely been the result of silly teenage boy bravado and boasting. For me, his words left lasting damage, both in how others saw me and in how I saw myself. I learned that my reputation was not defined by truth and that my sexuality wasn’t defined by me.