Let's Talk About Sex, Baby
Because I’m Asian American and also an introvert, many people assume that I’m shy. Until they discover that I write smut and founded a subscription box that pairs erotic romances with sex toys. In the right social setting, I could talk for hours about my favorite erotica writers and which positions are best for g-spot stimulation.
I wasn’t always this open about sex.
Growing up in a Catholic, immigrant family didn’t allow for any discussion about sex. Even the frequent lectures of “Don’t get pregnant!” neglected to explain how such a thing could occur. Romance books and Cosmopolitan magazine were my sex ed teachers. Scottish historicals, with their references to “his sinewy strength,” taught me more about sex than anything else I had access too.
As a pre-teen I was drawn to romances for two main reasons: the love story and the sex. Mostly the sex.
I used to think that I started reading romances too young: middle school. Back then, I devoured all the Harlequins and historical romances that were on my library’s bookmobile. I probably read almost every book on that van stuffed with shelves and shelves of popular fiction. The two women who drove the bookmobile never said a word when I reached for books from the adult fiction shelves.
I’m ever so grateful to those women, who still remember me for my voracious reading. Without them I would not be a lifelong romance reader.
College was where my sexuality blossomed. Away from home, I had the freedom to experience what I’d only read about in my smutty books. I was still scared to say the words “vagina” and “penis,” but, look, a real live penis! I had a steep learning curve and was hungry to explore my sexuality. Being a theatre major allowed me to explore in a judgement-free zone. (Yes, everything you’ve heard about theatre majors is true.)
Years later, I’m still drawn to romances and smut for their love stories and sex.
This time, it’s not for purely for sex ed. As a reader and a writer, I am most drawn to books where the main characters explore their sexuality in new ways. When they’re battling their need for intimacy and trust along while pushing their personal boundaries in the bedroom? That is where the magic happens.
If the men and women in our books can go on this journey, why can’t we readers do the same? Why should we read alone, in our bubbles? It’s still taboo for women to discuss sex in an open manner. Still scary for many of to ask our partners to touch us a certain way so we can reach orgasm more easily. Or how a certain vibrator rocked our world–twice. Instead we risk being shamed for embracing our sexuality.
So I founded Bawdy Bookworms. Each quarter I send out a Pleasure Pairing: a handpicked erotic romance and paired it with a sex toy and potions. Exploring happy endings is more fun when you have toys in hand.
My absolute favorite part about these Pleasure Pairings is our community. Not only do we hold a book club discussion every quarter, but our private online group has become a place for sex-positive place women to discuss the merits of a lover with a talented tongue or how to talk to introduce BDSM to your partner. There’s also plenty of photos of Idris Elba and Jason Mamoa shirtless.
I’m on a mission to empower women’s sexuality. What’s the point in providing these Pleasure Pairings if we don’t have a community where we can ask questions and explore our sexual journey?
You’re reading Lady Smut because you feel the same way. I challenge you to talk about sex with your community and create sex positive spaces for those who aren’t as comfortable as we are. We can make change in small ways that will snowball into something magnificent.
Let’s talk about sex, baby.
Now that I’ve given you an earworm, here’s the Salt-n-Pepa video:
Thien-Kim Lam has a brand spanking new author Facebook page! Won’t you give it a like?
She is currently writing romances about Asian American women who have mega hot sex. She is the founder of Bawdy Bookworms, a subscription box that pairs sexy reads with bedroom toys and sensual products. Batteries included. Check her Pleasure Pairings guide with buzzy recommendations for the adventurous reader