I have just turned the last page of Laid and I am absolutely, without a question- exhausted. Conflicted. Heart-sore and uplifted all at the same time. Where was this book when I was teen?
Sex is such a tough subject for parents to broach with our children. On one hand we want them to grow up to be healthy functioning adults with a satisfying sex life. On the other hand, the inherent dangers in sex freak us the hell out.
Even on the book itself I'm torn. I gave it to my 15 year old daughter to read. But I tend to be a tad more liberal in terms of education than most. I'm of the mind that you can't even start to have a conversation without first providing some knowledge. I'm passing this along to all my friends with teenagers and would hope they would share if not the entire book at least certain chapters with their children, particularly the selection on sexually transmitted diseases.
In the Introduction Boodram explains that Laid is not your typical sex ed book. She's right, it's not. 40 young people, aged eighteen to twenty-five from all across Northern American each contributed a story in one of five topics; hooking-up, positive experiences, physical consequences (including pregancy and STI's), date rape and abstinence. Boodram provides an introduction to each section. She closes each with a Q and A section with each of the contributors and a multiple choice section she calls the Checklist where readers can self-test to determine their vulnerability.
I find Boodram's sections to be frank, honest and well written. She makes me chuckle with her take on hooking-up “hooking up is nothing more than settling; it is the microwavable burrito of sex."
The chapter on rape just about did me in. Broke my heart. Made worse as the words are written by the victim's themselves. I rushed to my phone to text a girlfriend. "We need to get the girls enrolled in a self-defense class as soon as possible" Now I'm not naive. I know a self-defense class won't guarantee my daughter won't ever be raped but it's better than doing nothing. Perhaps just a tiny of bit of knowledge will help her make a different choice.
If you have children- pick up this book. You won't regret it but have a box of tissues handy- you will need them.