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The after effects of reading The Happy Hooker at 10

The summer I turned 10 years old (1977), I went on a road trip with my parents, and the brother closest to my age. We drove to Houston, Texas in a Dodge Challenger. I remember it being hot, and being cooped up in that car.

On the trip back to Miami, we stopped in Crestview, Florida. My family had lived there in 1963 when my dad was stationed at Eglin Air Force Base. We stayed with people they knew from back then. The mom liked to read so much, they had a small room added on to the house, just to hold all her books.

Being the introvert I was back then, I was content to sit there, and read. No one bothered checking on me, or on what I was reading. They were just happy that I stayed out of their hair, and didn’t cause trouble.

Well, it’s 38 years later, and one book still stands out in my mind. At ten years old, I read The Happy Hooker. That is NOT a book a ten year old should be reading.

I learned about anal sex, golden showers and other things I didn’t need to be knowing. I also learned that wearing tight shorts, and riding on a Harley led to orgasms.

I don’t know if I can say that the book scarred me for life, but I didn’t actually have sex until I was 23. It didn’t make me afraid of sex, but it did effect my life. It just made me realize that sex is different for everyone. People enjoy various things that other people think are too dirty. I think that maybe it’s one of the reasons that I am so open about talking about sex.

Some people think any mention of sex is disgusting. Sex is perfectly natural, and it was designed to be fun. I enjoy sex. I like having it, and talking about it. I haven’t had the experiences many people have had, but I’ve still had fun.

I’ve been told that I shouldn’t talk about sex so much. That I put sexual energy out there, and that it comes back to me. I talk about what I want to talk about. I don’t appreciate being censored. I don’t go into detail, but I mention past experiences. It’s not my fault that certain people take that openness as an invitation.

I am not a hook up type of person. I’ve been with my husband only for 22 years. Having multiple partners works for some people, it doesn’t work for me.

I’m not sure where I’m going with this post. Something made me think of that book today. Reading The Happy Hooker at ten years old did effect me. Frankly, it made me curious, but very cautious. If I had been a more outgoing person, I probably would have experimented sooner. But I was/am an introvert, and that kept me kind of isolated.

I’m not a prude, and I have a healthy attitude where sex is concerned. Reading that book could have really warped my mind, because t’s fairly graphic. But it didn’t. It made me realize that people are different. And what works for one person won’t work for another. It’s interesting how one book can have such an effect on a life. That one did. It was meant to be lurid, and sell sex. But her openness about it was a positive thing. I didn’t grow up thinking it was something to be ashamed of. My only regret was that she didn’t discuss her bisexuality much (or at all). I wonder how different my life would have been if I had known that being bi was a very real thing.

So, I read The Happy Hooker at ten. It didn’t turn me into a sex crazed person. But it did effect my life. I would not let a 10 year old read it, because it’s not meant for a child. But I was not the average child. I’m beginning to wonder if I should read it again, and see if the perceptions I had then even match reality now. That might be an interesting experiment.

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