When my friend Bud Smith told me he was planning a collection of pieces that had to do with loss of virginity, I thought…hmm, what a fantastic idea (and he’s full of them!) I’d just published Microtones with Cervena Barva Press (The Lost Bookshelf), and there is a poem in the chapbook, “My Bicycle,” that hints at a first time experience. Surely, as does most poetry, it leaves more details out than what might be included. So when I sent the poem to Bud (letting him know it was already in my chap), he took it. Then he proposed a suggestion: how about writing about it in non-fiction, or essay form? Hmm.
And I tried. More than once. Entering the situation from different angles. But it just wasn’t working. Then, I had a recent experience where it all came clear to me. When I was in San Francisco, we had the great fortune to take in City Lights Bookstore, an icon, and one of my favorite haunts. Among the books I purchased, was Marie Calloway’s what purpose did I serve in your life. I’d paid some attention to the initial publication of her story, Adrien Brody which had appeared at Muumuu House (included in the book). And the controversy that accompanied this, the Gawker article (Girl, Microfamed) and it’s ongoing debate. I remember thinking at the time, what’s all the hubbub? I’d read The Happy Hooker, most of Kathy Acker, among many other graphic, gripping accounts of sex.
So, then I read Marie’s (not her real name) book, in one sitting. And it felt anti-climactic. It’s not that the writing is “bad,” or too repetitious, or just bloody boring. It’s that one person’s sexual experiences are unique to their own person. And this is when I doubled back to my own complications with writing that scene in the tent. It’s mine. No big deal. Instead, enjoy this iconic song by Todd Rundgren, that came out the same summer I lost my virginity: ▶ We gotta get you a Women-Todd Rundgren – YouTube. Some great irony in those lyrics!
And, if you’re interested in sex (who isn’t?), or loss of virginity, or how over forty talented writers write about this topic, then by all means, get FIRST TIME:
Here is a list of contributors:
The Amazon Link to First Time: An Anthology about Lost Virginity:
Description: Four dozen writers retell the intimate details about how they lost their virgnity in this touching, hilarious and shocking collection.
“Utterly unique.” Kleft Jaw
“A truly jaw-dropping collection, featuring some of the best underground writers around today.” Uno Kudo
“This is one bareass collection you just gotta’ have…” Robert Vaughan
This enthralling assembly of short stories, essays, and poems never ceases to entertain. Everyone has a story about their first time; these writers take it to the limit. Thanks, as ever, Bud Smith, for rocking it time and time again.