Episode 24: What Belongs To You by Garth Greenwell

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SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Christa
The Bride Test,
by Helen Hoang
Carrie
How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy,
by Jenny Odell

“what am I even doing here?”

Announcements

Subscribe to our companion TinyLetter for this (and every) episode here;
and visit us on Facebook here.

This episode’s excerpt is from What Belongs To You, by Garth Greenwell.

Books & References

“How I Feel In Love With The Beautiful Art of Cruising,” by Garth Greenwell
Cleanness, by Garth Greenwell
The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang
Less, by Andrew Greer

“no one reads these captions, Adam, just go with it…”

Let us know what you think? feedback AT the oral history podcast DOT com

About Our Sponsor

This podcast is supported by Tessera Editorial, a full service editorial company that’s changing the face of publishing. Find them at TesseraEditorial.com for all your editing needs – developmental, line, or copyedits. Whether indie or publishing house, they’ll treat your manuscript with integrity. Plus, if you’re Black, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color interested in breaking into publishing, Tessera offers a free Mentorship Program that helps teach you the ins and outs of the editing process. Learn more at TesseraEditorial.com.

About This Podcast

Carrie Mesrobian and Christa Desir are two good friends who love discussing sex & books. The idea for The Oral History Podcast came out of their daily dog-walking conversations when they realized that others might be as interested in this topic as they were. Each podcast focuses on a topic of sexuality in relationship to books. Previous podcasts have included discussions about masturbation, first kisses, cheating, illicit relationships, oral sex, and “girl talk” to name a few. Frank, engaging, and filthy, these two podcasters will leave you laughing, blushing, or ready to start writing sex scenes in your novel in an authentic and excellent way.

Episode 23: Sula by Toni Morrison

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click to subscribe in Spotify, GooglePlayMusiciTunes, or  Stitcher.

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Carrie
Sex Objects: Art & The Dialectics of Desire, by Jennifer Doyle

Christa
An American Summer: Love and Death in Chicago, by Alex Kotlowitz

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The Swimming Hole by Thomas Eakins, via Wikiart

Announcements

Subscribe to our companion TinyLetter for this (and every) episode here;
and visit us on Facebook here.

This episode’s excerpts are from 
Sula, by Toni Morrison

Books & References
“God’s Plan” by Drake
Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn
“The Crane Wife” by CJ Hauser
Little Fires Everywhere, by Celeste Ng

wide open thighs

Let us know what you think? feedback AT the oral history podcast DOT com

About Our Sponsor

This podcast is supported by Tessera Editorial, a full service editorial company that’s changing the face of publishing. Find them at TesseraEditorial.com for all your editing needs – developmental, line, or copyedits. Whether indie or publishing house, they’ll treat your manuscript with integrity. Plus, if you’re Black, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color interested in breaking into publishing, Tessera offers a free Mentorship Program that helps teach you the ins and outs of the editing process. Learn more at TesseraEditorial.com.

About This Podcast

Carrie Mesrobian and Christa Desir are two good friends who love discussing sex & books. The idea for The Oral History Podcast came out of their daily dog-walking conversations when they realized that others might be as interested in this topic as they were. Each podcast focuses on a topic of sexuality in relationship to books. Previous podcasts have included discussions about masturbation, first kisses, cheating, illicit relationships, oral sex, and “girl talk” to name a few. Frank, engaging, and filthy, these two podcasters will leave you laughing, blushing, or ready to start writing sex scenes in your novel in an authentic and excellent way.

 

Episode 22: Romance Tropes

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click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Carrie
Himself, by Jess Kidd
Inside of A Dog: What Dogs See, Smell & Know, by Alexandra Horowitz
Domesticated: Evolution in a Man-Made World, by Richard Francis

Christa
Dive Smack, by Demetra Brodsky
Between Them: Remembering My Parents, by Richard Ford
Stay, by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy

“Stop reading about dogs and TAKE ME FOR A WALK.”

Announcements

Subscribe to our companion TinyLetter for this (and every) episode here
Our Facebook page is here
The Shayla Black “I’m in Your Ass/Saving Your Life” reference

Recommended Reads (listed in the order discussed)

TROPE: The Cute Neighbor
Kissing Max Holden, by Katy Upperman
Lola & The Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins
Wait For It, by Mariana Zapata
Close Enough To Touch, by Victoria Dahl

TROPE: Masturbate For Me
Say Yes To The Marquess, by Tessa Dare
One Good Earl Deserves A Lover, by Sarah MacLean
Too Hot To Handle, by Victoria Dahl
Sweetest Scoundrel, by Elizabeth Hoyt
Proving His Worth, by Cari Quinn

“You know what I think about all this cute-neighbor twaddle…”

 

About This Podcast

Carrie Mesrobian and Christa Desir are two good friends who happen to be YA authors interested in discussing sex. The idea for The Oral History Podcast came out of their daily dog-walking conversations when they realized that others might be as interested in this topic as they were. Each podcast focuses on a topic of sexuality in the lives of teens. Previous podcasts have included discussions about masturbation, first kisses, cheating, illicit relationships, oral sex, and “girl talk” to name a few. Frank, engaging, and filthy, these two podcasters will leave you laughing, blushing, or ready to start writing sex scenes in your novel in an authentic and excellent way.

Episode #21: Young Adult, or Literary Fiction? Who Decides?

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In this episode of the Oral History Podcast, we ask why some books about teenagers are labeled “YA” but others are marketed as “literary fiction.” Tell us what you think on our Facebook page or via email (feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com).

Click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher

SHOW NOTES

Our current reads

Christa:

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

The Association of Small Bombs by Karan Mahajan

Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann

Carrie

The Secret Speech by Tom Rob Ford

Robert Lowell: Setting the River on Fire by Kay Redfield Jamison

here, have a picture of Sherlock & Molly kissing; life’s short

Announcements

– subscribe to this episode’s companion piece on TinyLetter here

– purchase podcast t-shirts here (100% of proceeds go to Scarleteen)

– visit us on Facebook here

Books & References 

Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin

Brutal Youth by Anthony Breznican

The V-Word: True Stories of First-Time Sex by Amber J. Keyser, editor

YALSA’s Alex Award

The Impossible Fortress by Jason Rekulak

The Girls by Emma Cline

I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

The Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby

Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng

Freefall by Mindi Scott

Love Me Back by Merritt Tierce

Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger

Girls On Fire by Robin Wasserman

One of the Boys by Daniel Magariel

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Bunker Diary by Kevin Brooks

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

Dare Me & The Fever by Megan Abbott

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Other Broken Things by Christa Desir

Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

“Wow, that’s a lotta books, ladies! Good job!” – Idris Elba, probably

Want more? Subscribe to our accompanying TinyLetter for further discussion on this episode!

About This Podcast

Carrie Mesrobian and Christa Desir are two good friends who happen to be YA authors interested in discussing sex. The idea for The Oral History Podcast came out of their daily dog-walking conversations when they realized that others might be as interested in this topic as they were. Each podcast focuses on a topic of sexuality in the lives of teens. Previous podcasts have included discussions about masturbation, first kisses, cheating, illicit relationships, oral sex, and “girl talk” to name a few. Frank, engaging, and filthy, these two podcasters will leave you laughing, blushing, or ready to start writing sex scenes in your novel in an authentic and excellent way.

Episode 20: School Dances

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In this episode of The Oral History Podcast, we discuss school dances, now and then.  Do you have some terrible and/or delicious memories of school dances you’d like to share, or some books that deal with high school dances in a way you like? Tell us what you think on our Facebook page or via email (feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com).

 

Click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Carrie

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund

Christa

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living by Meik Wiking

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References

Subscribe to our companion piece on TinyLetter

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San Augustine, Texas. High school students dancing at the Spanish Club banquet; credit here

Recommended Reads (listed in the order in which they were discussed)

Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson

Pointe by Brandy Colbert

Freefall by Mindi Scott

Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

What We Left Behind by Robin Talley

NEW FEATURE: Teen Librarian Toolbox Recommendation Corner, featuring Karen Jensen

Backlash by Sarah Darer Littman

Pretty Amy by Lisa Burstein

The Last Boy & Girl in the World by Siobhan Vivian

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Want more? Subscribe to our accompanying TinyLetter for further discussion on this episode!

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“Okay, let me explain what the deal is with this excellent podcast…”

About 

Carrie Mesrobian and Christa Desir are two good friends who happen to be YA authors interested in discussing sex. The idea for The Oral History Podcast came out of their daily dog-walking conversations when they realized that others might be as interested in this topic as they were. Each podcast focuses on a topic of sexuality in the lives of teens. Previous podcasts have included discussions about masturbation, first kisses, cheating, illicit relationships, oral sex, and “girl talk” to name a few. Frank, engaging, and filthy, these two podcasters will leave you laughing, blushing, or ready to start writing sex scenes in your novel in an authentic and excellent way.

Episode #19: Dating

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In this episode of the Oral History Podcast, we discuss the concept of dating: what it was like when we were teenagers, what it is like for teenagers now, and how some books we recommend handle this variable romantical endeavor. Do you have some insight on dating then/now or any book recommendations that deal with dating in a significant way? Tell us what you think: (feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com).

click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Christa:

Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead, by Brene Brown
Pasadena, by Sherri L. Smith

Carrie:

Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent, by Mandy Aftel
The Fire This Time: A New Generation Speaks About Race, by Jesmyn Ward (editor)
The Leftovers, by Tom Perrotta

Couple at rollerskating rink. Southside, Chicago, Illinois.

Couple at rollerskating rink. Southside, Chicago, Illinois. Link here.

References

Subscribe to our companion piece TinyLetter
Our One-Star Review T-shirt shop (all proceeds go to Scarleteen)
Money Talks, a movie that Christa was not into
This is who Eddie Money is, just FYI
“We’re Now Dating Six People At Once, According To Study”
Ghosting
Bread-crumbing

“Hey you know I only got a flip phone so I gotta ask you out on a date the old fashioned way, baby.”

Recommended Reads (listed in the order in which they were discussed)

Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of The Universe, by Benjamin Saenz Alire
Just Listen, by Sarah Dessen
Freefall, by Mindi Scott
The Female of the Species, by Mindi McGinnis
Dreamland, by Sarah Dessen
Stay, by Deb Caletti

Want more? Subscribe to our accompanying TinyLetter for further discussion on this episode!

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“What’s not to love, eh?”

About This Podcast

Carrie Mesrobian and Christa Desir are two good friends who happen to be YA authors interested in discussing sex. The idea for The Oral History Podcast came out of their daily dog-walking conversations when they realized that others might be as interested in this topic as they were. Each podcast focuses on a topic of sexuality in the lives of teens. Previous podcasts have included discussions about masturbation, first kisses, cheating, illicit relationships, oral sex, and “girl talk” to name a few. Frank, engaging, and filthy, these two podcasters will leave you laughing, blushing, or ready to start writing sex scenes in your novel in an authentic and excellent way.

Episode 18: Sexual Content in YA Books

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In this episode of The Oral History Podcast, we discuss censorship issues surrounding content in young adult literature and how this affects librarians, editors, authors and teachers, as well as how people who support open fair access to all kinds of books can respond to book challenges and other kinds of content suppression. We’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Tell us what you think on Twitter @ChristaDesir, or via email (feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com).

Click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Carrie:
SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard
The Man Without A Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin by Masha Gessen

Christa:
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Announcements

— Our TinyLetter serves as a companion piece for each episode and guess what: you can subscribe right here!

— Become a part of #OralHistory with one of our four custom One Star Review t-shirts. Order here. 

References

Some links regarding VOYA content warning: here, here, here, and here
School Library Journal’s series on libraries and censorship
A Court of Mist & Fury by Sarah J. Maas
Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

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Better Nate Than Ever by Tim Federle
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
“Mom, what are Polekatz?”
At The Edge of The Universe by Shaun Hutchinson

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“Whoa. That was a lot of opinions.  I have a lot of feelings about them. Think I’ll leave a comment here or email yall my thoughts: feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com”

Episode 17: YA Sex Scenes

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Episode 17: We discuss craft issues and questions involved in YA sex scenes, whether you’re reading them or writing them, and reference several titles in the process.

Click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Carrie:

Women In Clothes, by Sheila Heti, Heidi Shulavits and Leanne Shapton
Unbroken Brain: A Revolutionary New Way of Understanding Addiction,  by Maia Szalavitz
The Careful Undressing of Love, by Corey Ann Haydu

Christa:

The Imperfectionists, by Tom Rachman
Underground Railroad, by Colson Whitehead
Never Look An American in the Eye: A Memoir of Flying Turtles, Colonial Ghosts, and the Making of a Nigerian American, by Okey Ndibe
Rani Patel in Full Effect, by Sonia Patel

Announcements

— Our TinyLetter serves as a companion piece for each episode and guess what: you can subscribe here

— We’re working on an episode about censorship and YA fiction, and how this has occurred at any point in the publication or distribution process, whether you are an author, editor, teacher or librarian. We can keep each submission anonymous if preferred.  We’d love to hear from you! Email here.

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“Let’s break it all down for you.”

Books and Other References

Thief of Shadows, by Elizabeth Hoyt
Wintersong, by S. Jae-Jones
Plus One by Elizabeth Fama
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
The Black Dagger Brotherhood series ,by J.R. Ward
My Year Zero, by Rachel Gold
Three Truths and A Lie, by Brent Hartinger
Underneath Everything, by Marcy Beller Paul
“Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?” by Joyce Carol Oates
Smooth Talk movie
“Welcome to the New America: Straight-ish, heteroflexible, and pansexual” 
See No Color, by Shannon Gibney
The Cheating Episode that Carrie’s “condom stalemate” anecdote referenced
The concept of lunarception
Uses For Boys, by Erica Lorraine Scheidt (and why it contains one of Christa’s favorite sex scenes)

Craft Talk Questions

— What is this character’s relationship with masturbation and their body?
— What has this character been taught about sex and desire?
— How does my character express affection?
— What does this character find attractive in general (attraction not being limited to physical beauty but often this is a marker of what complements the character, what he/she is lacking and seeks in a partner for balance)?
— Is this character able to be open about their sexual identity with their families and community?
— How has this character been shown love and support by others?
— Are there certain societal ideal beauty standards in this character’s world? How do they compare to these ideals?
— What kinds of words does this character use to describe any sort of sensory responses?

Some Good Poems About Sex

“What Saves Us” by Bruce Weigl from What Saves Us, Triquarterly, 1992.
“Groceries” by Cathy Smith Bowers, from Traveling in Time of Danger, Iris Press, 1999.
“Everything We Do” by Peter Meinke, from Liquid Paper: New and Selected Poems, University of Pittsburgh Press, 1991.
“Foreplay” by Tony Gloeggler, from One Wish Left, Pavement Saw Press, 2002.
“The Widening” by Carol Moldaw from The Widening, Etruscan Press, 2008.
“First Blowjob” by Meg Kearney, from Never Before: Poems about first experiences, edited by Laure-Anne Bosselaar, Four Way Books, 2005.
“God and the G-Spot” by Ellen Bass, from Mules of Love, BOA Editions, 2002.
“Adolescence” by Sharon Olds, from Strike Sparks, Knopf, 2004.
“Poem to my First Lover” by Sharon Olds, from The Dead and The Living, Knopf, 1995.
“First Sex” by Sharon Olds, from The Gold Cell, Knopf, 1995
“Last Gods” by Galway Kinnell, When One Has Lived A Long Time Alone, Knopf, 1990.
“Life Story” by Tennessee Williams, The Collected Poems of Tennessee Williams, copyright © 1937, 1956, 1964, 2002 by The University of the South.

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Don’t look at us like that. Just tell us what you think! feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com

Episode 16: Clean Reads & Porn

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Episode 16:  We discuss the idea of “clean reads” as well as porn in fiction and in the lives of adolescents. Don’t panic: we’re not recommending porn films but just examining the role porn plays in adolescent and adult sexuality with respect to formal and informal methods of transmitting information about sexual health and identity. 

Click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Carrie:
Erin’s Daughters in America: Irish Immigrant Women in the Nineteenth Century by Hasia R. Diner
The Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski

Christa:
Girls and Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape by Peggy Orenstein
All In Pieces by Suzanne Young

“All this talk of Clean Reads makes a person feel dirty.”

References

an example of a publisher seeking “Clean Reads
Common Sense Media
Kirkus
School Library Journal
VOYA
It by Stephen King (and the sex scene at the end of the story)

Recommended Books (listed in the order in which they were discussed)

Adam by Ariel Schrag
Big Girl Small by Rachel DeWoskin
Cruddy by Lynda Barry
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
The Deathday Letter by Shaun Hutchinson

==> Subscribe to our companion thematical TinyLetter for each podcast! <==

“Gotta jump in the splash quick, but if you’ve feedback on the show, send yr thoughts to feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com. Carrie and Christa love that shit.”

Episode 15: Romance Tropes

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Episode 15: In this show, we depart from our usual analysis of YA literature and instead discuss adult romance-novel tropes that persistently beguile and bedevil us.

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SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Carrie:

Baader-Meinhof: The Inside Story of the Red Army Faction by Stephan Aust
Orleans by Sherrie L. Smith

Christa:

Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
The Smaller Evil by Stephanie Kuehn

   “Translation: All this twaddle merely is saying, ‘Hi, I’m Andreas Baader, a sociopathic dick.'”

 

References

What the hell is a “manther” anyway?
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
Roxane Gay’s Outlander recaps: here, here, & here

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                          “I feel so objectified.”

Romance Trope: The Virgin Hero 

Unclaimed by Courtney Milan
Off-Campus by Amy Jo Cousins
Taking Him by Jackie Ashenden

Romance Trope: The Indestructible Male

The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne
The Master by Kresley Cole
Say Yes to the Marquess by Tessa Dare

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“Your torture tactics are nothing compared to the Midwestern accents of these dames, Le Chiffre!”

Want more? Subscribe to our accompanying TinyLetter for further discussion on this episode!

 

Episode 14: Femininity

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Episode 14:  This is a companion piece to our episode on Masculinity, where we discuss femininity and some of its trappings as we’ve experienced them throughout our lives: lingerie, fake nails, cheerleaders, fathers and daughters, make-up, the meanings behind gendered concepts, the gender binary and the ritual of “getting ready.”

click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Christa:

“The Dead” in Dubliners by James Joyce
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

Carrie

The Highwayman by Kerrigan Byrne
Snow by Orhan Pamuk

Carrie

==> Subscribe to our companion thematical TinyLetter for each podcast! <==

References

Against Our Will, by Susan Brownmiller
Another Round, Episode 45: Practical Tactical Brilliance (with Lin-Manuel Miranda)
Femininity,
by Susan Brownmiller
Symptoms of Being Humanby Jeff Garvin

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Recommended Reads (listed in the order in which they were discussed)

Exit, Pursued by a Bearby EK Johnston
See No Color, by Shannon Gibney
Dare Me, by Megan Abbott
Afterparty, by Ann Redisch Stampler
The Forbidden Orchidby Sharon Biggs Waller
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banksby E. Lockhart

So? How did everything measure up? Tell us what you think! feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com

Episode 13: Sex Without Romance

 

oral_history_podcast_logoEpisode 13: We discuss Sex Without Romance (something that is very difficult to find in young adult fiction, as it turns out) and some of our adolescent adventures with respect to romance-free sex, as well as a few YA titles that touch on it.

click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Carrie:

Lost Paradise: From Mutiny on the Bounty to a Modern-Day Legacy of Sexual Mayhem, the Dark Secrets of Pitcairn Island Revealed by Kathy Marks
The House of Bernarda Alba by Federico Garcia Lorca

Christa:

The Boy Most Likely To by Huntley Fitzpatrick
Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

                   “What I imagine when Christa describes ‘The Pit'” – Carrie

References

“Sex Without Love” by Sharon Olds
Young Life

Recommended Reads (listed in the order in which they were discussed)

Sex Without Romance: girl POV
Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn
The F-It List by Julie Halpern
Boy Heaven by Laura Kasischke
Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman
Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell
“Me, Some Random Guy & the Army of Darkness” by Justina Ireland,  in The V-Word: True Stories about First Time Sex by Amber J. Keyser, editor

Sex Without Romance: boy POV
September Girls by Bennett Madison
Sex & Violence by Carrie Mesrobian

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“Want more? Subscribe to our accompanying TinyLetter for further discussion on this episode…”

Tell us what you think: leave a comment or send an email: feedback AT theoralhistory DOT com

Episode #12: Worst Dude Ever

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Episode 12:  We discuss traditional cultural lessons regarding masculinity and YA titles that address masculinity in fascinating ways.

click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads

Christa
The War That Saved My Life, by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Fates & Furies, by Lauren Groff
Carrie:
Raging Star, by Moira Young
The Narcotic Farm, by Nancy D. Campbell

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“As an underclassman who suddenly has to be the quarterback while taking care of my grandmother and having no parents, I’m here to say being a man is complicated.”

References
2nd Annual WriteLadyHeadRight Flash Fiction Tumblr & submission guidelines
My So-Called Life: the scene when Jordan Catalano holds Angela’s hand
on the slobby dress of men & the movie Clueless
Anatomy of a Country Music Song series
Angie Manfredi on Twitter @misskubelik
Iron John: A Book About Men, by Robert Bly
Starhawk, author & activist
a collection of romance novels edited by Christa
“Best Of Grindr” on Instagram
Sabaa Tahir on research and world-building in An Ember in the Ashes

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“Sure I get the ladies but I basically have no education or idea of what to do with my life post-football. So, yeah.”

Recommended Reads
Fever Pitch, by Heidi Cullinan
Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta
All-American Boys, by Jason Reynolds & Brendan Kiely
Winger, by Andrew Smith
September Girls, by Bennett Madison
An Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir

Want more? Subscribe to our accompanying TinyLetter for further discussion on this episode!

 

 

Episode #11: Our Sexual Education

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Episode 11:  We discuss some of the books that helped shape our own sexual education and thinking over the years.

 

Click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.

Our Current Reads
Christa
The Theory of Everything by Gae Polisner

Carrie
The Spymaster’s Lady by Joanna Bourne
Rogue Spy by Joanna Bourne
An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

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“everything you’re saying is so resonant and deep and important; never stop talking…”

References
In Bed with Susie Bright podcast
On Our Backs magazine
writer Carol Queen
Susie Sexpert’s Lesbian Sex World by Susie Bright
Mother-Daughter Sex Advice by Susie Bright & Aretha Bright
A Natural History of Love & A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman
Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice edited by Mark Thompson
a bit on Jocelyn Elders, former SURGEON GENERAL (not Attorney General candidate, that’s Carrie’s error)
Disgruntled by Asali Solomon
Sula by Toni Morrison
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
Penis Passion” essay by bell hooks
The FetLife website

idris-elba-fron10

“wow, yr both really turning me around on a lot of topics here”

Recommended Reads 
Full Exposure by Susie Bright
Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier
Outrageous Acts & Everyday Rebellions by Gloria Steinem
The Best American Erotica anthology series edited by Susie Bright & others
Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sex by Judith Levine
Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
The Story of O by Pauline Reage

Want more? Subscribe to our accompanying TinyLetter for more discussion!

Episode #10: Illicit Relationships

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Episode 10:  We discuss illicit relationships where there is a power differential between the people involved, as well as legal and social restrictions.

Click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher

Our Current Reads
Carrie
Walk On Earth A Stranger by Rae Carson
The Master by Kresley Cole

Christa
Traffick by Ellen Hopkins
The Death and Life of Zebulon Finch, Volume I: At the Edge of Empire by Daniel Kraus

 

power control wheel #3

the power & control wheel

 

References
being on “the down low”
“Is This TMI?” flash fiction
Drowning Instinct by Ilsa J. Bick
Boy Toy by Barry Lyga
Flawed by Kate Avelynn
Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma
How I Live Now by Meg Rosoff
Searching for Caleb by Anne Tyler
Other Broken Things by Christa Desir

Recommended Reads
Consent by Nancy Ohlin
Girl by Blake Nelson
How We Fall by Kate Brauning
Out of Darkness by Ashley Hope Perez
The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly by Stephanie Oakes
Still Waters by Ash Parsons

 

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Tell us what you think! Leave a comment or send us an email: feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com

 

 

Episode #9: Body Image

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Episode 9:  We discuss body image, in our own lives, and in the context of sexual content in YA books.

Click to subscribe in iTunes or Stitcher.

Our Current Reads
Christa
Faithfully Feminist: Jewish, Christian & Muslim Feminists & Why We Stay by Gina Messina-Dysert, Jennifer Zobair & Amy Levin, editors
The Infinite In-Between by Carolyn Mackler

Carrie
Lizard Radio by Pat Schmatz
Mastering The Art of Soviet Cooking by Anya von Bremzen

References
Dick Is Abundant & Of Low Value by Alana Massey
The Year I Grew Wildly, While Men Looked On by Ashley Ford
Another Round w/ Tracy Clayton & Heben Nigatu (subscribe here in iTunes)
I Have Never Turned Heads: What it’s like when you’re not the object of desire by Sarah Einstein
Carrie & Christa’s Twitter conversation re: Einstein article
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray
Belle Epoque by Elizabeth Ross

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Recommended Reads
Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell
Gabi, A Girl in Pieces by Isabel Quintero Flores
I’ll Meet You There by Heather Demetrios

“IS THIS TMI?”
Do you have a story to share? We’re looking for real anecdotes/flash fiction (under 300 words) on the next topic we’re covering, which is Illicit Relationships. All stories kept confidential if desired, but send us to them and we’ll pick our favorite for the next episode.

Looking for an example? Here is Christa’s “Accidental Threesome” story to get an idea. Send your true tales & fake stories to feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com

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“Pretty vivid, huh? Tell us what you think! feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com”

Episode #8: Cheating

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Episode 8:  We discuss cheating, in our own lives, and as portrayed in YA fiction.

 

You can subscribe to this episode and previous episodes via iTunes or Stitcher.

SHOW NOTES

Our Current Reads
Christa: The Dinner by Herman Koch; Delicate Monsters by Stephanie Kuehn
Carrie: Infinite Sky by CJ Flood; H Is For Hawk by Helen Macdonald; You Against Me by Jenny Downham

References

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The Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
Swimming Sweet Arrow by Maureen Gibbon
Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu
Love & Other Theories by Alexis Bass

Recommended Reads
99 Days by Katie Cotugno
Tyrell by Coe Booth
Pointe by Brandy Colbert
Jersey Angel by Beth Ann Bauman
The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd
Breathless by Jessica Warman

We’re proud to be sponsored by The Booklist Reader, a blog offering opinion, news, and lists from the friendly bookgeeks at Booklist magazine and Booklist Online. If you’re an aspiring author, check out their Publishing U series, which offers excellent advice from a wide variety of industry pros. You’ll find that and more at  booklistreader.com, or follow them on Twitter @BooklistReader.

Devastatingly brilliant episode, right? Tell us what you think - feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com

Devastatingly brilliant episode, right? Tell us how we broke your brain! Leave a comment or send an email to:  feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com

Introducing Our First Sponsor…The Booklist Reader!

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“BOOM. Way to handle shit, ladies!”

We’re THRILLED to announce a new happy partnership: The Booklist Reader has become the first Official Sponsor of The Oral History Podcast!

What this means:  we’ll be spreading our show around to a larger audience, so you can listen via Booklist’s channels as well as this site, iTunes & the newly-added Stitcher app. We will also have a little more means for our business costs as well.

Beyond that? It’s the same show, the same opinions, the same Midwestern accents, the same candor about sex and books.

Expect Episode 9 on “Cheating” to release in early September. Meanwhile, our thanks go out to The Booklist Reader and Daniel Kraus for making this possible, Andrew Karre for making us sound good, and of course, all of our listeners!

And listeners? Thank you for all your emails and tweets about the show – we really appreciate your feedback and support!

More about The Booklist Reader:

The Booklist Reader is a blog offering opinion, news, and lists from the friendly book geeks at Booklist magazine and Booklist Online. If you’re an aspiring author, check out their Publishing U series, which offers excellent advice from a wide variety of industry pros. You’ll find that and more at  booklistreader.com, or follow them on Twitter @BooklistReader.

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“Well. Wouldya lookit that? Our heroines got a sponsor!”

Episode #7: Writing Sex – A YA Fiction Craft Talk

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Episode #7:  We discuss writing about sex from a fiction craft perspective.

Subscribe in iTunes here; listen via Stitcher here

Current Reads
Carrie: Lady Sings The Blues by Billie Holiday & William Dufty; Can’t Be Satisfied: The Life & Times of Muddy Waters by Robert Gordon
Christa: Simon Vs. The Homosapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli; The Vast Fields of Ordinary by Nick Burd

CORE BELIEFS ON WRITING SEX <———–*cue angelic music*

1) There is no trick and there are no rules. Writing sex doesn’t involve a kind of how-to recipe & moral authority holding a giant book of rules. The only rules that matter are the ones that govern the story you want to tell and the people you are depicting.

2) If you aren’t comfortable writing about sex, then don’t do it. YA doesn’t require sex in it. If you don’t want to write about that aspect of adolescence, that is okay. But if you write about romance, realize that there has been an historic imbalance in YA of swoon versus physicality, which is sort of disingenuous in lots of ways.

3) Sex scenes are some of the most closely-read prose ever produced. Kids who like to read and who are curious about sex will PORE over your sex scenes. They matter. 

4) Good sex writing comes directly from good character development. You must be solid in the latter for success in the former.  When asking, ‘what can I do in my YA book?’ you need to kick back the question to the character: “what does this character do?”

5) Writing sex scenes for teenagers is much different than writing them for adults.  Adults have completely different motivations, constraints & expectations for their sexual lives than adolescents. A lot of adolescents don’t even know what they want or need or like.

6) Whether or not teens are having sex should not dictate if books should include it or not. Emerging sexuality is part of adolescent development and lopping it off for political reasons is like removing religion (or lack of religion) from a character’s personality. Which is to say that understanding a teen character’s feelings about their own sexuality makes for more richly developed characters.

7) The biggest problem I’ve seen with sex scenes in YA books is the absolute unevenness of them with respect to other elements of the book. Authors will spend ten pages describing the inside of a castle but won’t spend ten words on what it feels like to have someone’s fingers inside them. In the romance world, you often see the opposite problem. There’s wall to wall sex details but so little plot or other dressing that it can feel like full-on porn.

References & Books
Carrie’s list of Romance Novel Words
Andrew Karre’s blog post on What Teen Readers Want To See Regarding Sex
What Is Graphic? – a post on using ‘graphic language’
Breathless by Jessica Warman
The Vagina Monologues script by Eve Ensler

Some Interesting Links on Writing Sex by Steve Almond:
“How To Write Sex Scenes – A 12-Step Program”  The Rumpus
“On the Enchantments & Uses of Bad Writing” in The Writer’s Chronicle
“What I Learned from Teaching a Sex-Writing Class” in Salon

“So? What did you think? Tell us yr thoughts: feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com

Episode #6: The Greatest Love Of All

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Episode #6:  We discuss that most taboo sex act, the Greatest Love of All, masturbation.

Subscribe in iTunes here; listen via Stitcher here. 

Current Reads
– Christa: just finished The F-It List by Julie Halpern; now reading My True Love Gave To Me: Twelve Holiday Stories by Various YA Authors
– Carrie: just finished The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith & The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson; now reading By Its Cover by Donna Leon 


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References
Dahlia, the Twitter reference = Dahlia Adler, YA/NA Author
– Betty Dodson’s main site w/ Carlin Ross, plus their YouTube channel and the video Carrie referenced where Betty draws the internal clitoral structure
– Jaclyn Friedman’s main site and podcast “Fucking While Feminist” & book What You Really  Really Want: The Smart Girls Shame-Free Guide to Sex & Safety
Susie Bright’s podcast: “In Bed with Susie Bright” (free episodes via iTunes; subscribe via Audible)

A Few Other Smart Women Who Write About Sex
– Carol Queen
– Chelsea G Summers
– Tristan Taormino

On Euphemisms & Masturbation 
– Euphemism Generator site
– Some slang for masturbation (FYI, this is a Reddit thread)
– Beautiful Agony Tumblr (masturbation images from the neck up)

Books Mentioned
Bastard Out of Carolina by Dorothy Allison
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Push by Sapphire
Cunt: A Declaration of Independence by Inga Muscio
Woman: An Intimate Geography by Natalie Angier
If I Stay by Gayle Forman

YA Books That Feature Masturbation
The Summer Prince by Alaya Dawn Johnson
Anatomy of a Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky
The Alex Crow by Andrew Smith
Forget You by Jennifer Echols
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Fingerprints of You by Kristen-Paige Madonia 
Deenie by Judy Blume
Then Again, Maybe I Won’t by Judy Blume
Wildlife by Fiona Wood
Guyaholic by Carolyn Mackler
The F-It List by Julie Halpern
The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally
Hello, Groin by Beth Goobie
The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily Danforth

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That was pretty decent, huh? Tell us what you think! feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com