Sometimes I write about the naughty bits

When I was in seventh grade, my grandmother informed our extended family that I was a pervert. Mind you, I was as squeaky clean in thought and deed as you’d expect a badly permed, brace-faced, Catholic school spelling bee winner would be, but that didn’t mean I wasn’t curious about a few things.

I’d often give my bedroom over to visiting relatives, and this time, my grandmother had decided on a little light reading — in this case, my copy of Judy Blume’s “Then Again, Maybe I Won’t.” It might seem downright quaint in this age of instantly accessible porn and e-book readers, but an awful lot of ladies who came of age in the ’70s and ’80s and into the ’90s got a significant chunk of our sex education from young adult books.

More specifically, they were paperback books with cracked spines, decoy paper covers and pages dog-eared at the juicy bits. These weren’t even necessarily acts of depraved, wildebeestly humping and sexytime (V.C. Andrews novels aside) but rather some thoroughly non-judgmental plot points about the gross, weird, lusty wonder of puberty and adolescence.

Young adult books and sex: What we learned under the covers