February 2, 2011

“The Book”

Read more OBOS stories, and submit your own! Learn more about OBOS’s 40th anniversary.

Submitted by: Tamara

I recently connected with a couple of high school friends through Facebook, and asked them about THE BOOK that I had bought for one of them nearly 30 years ago. My friend was getting married, but was confused about some of the most basic aspects of sex and sexuality. She asked me questions that I thought any young woman should know, and so I made a trip up to Littleton, NH one day and bought her a book.

The high school friends did remember the book, the giggles, blushing, and also scandal that it caused, and confirmed that yes, indeed, it was your group’s book. I still feel strongly that buying that book for my friend who had had NO sex education from school or home was a wise idea. It caused a scandal at the time, and I’m quite sure that it was no small event in the small-town lives we lived (and I think that at least one mother is still upset with me!).

I like to think that maybe my small act impacted the lives of a half-dozen or so young women–and maybe some young men–who would otherwise have started their sexual experiences with little more information than rumors. It amuses me that while other parents were upset, my own parents (yes, the minister and his wife!) offered no apology for my behavior and likely thought it was a timely bit of education.

So, please let your group know [Our Bodies Ourselves] that in one small town, one small girl bought your book so many years ago, and the scandal it caused served only to make more people interested in getting their hands on THE BOOK. Which, of course, meant that more young women got information that they desperately needed.

I’m sure that similar stories played out in many small and large towns, which means that the impact of the book has, no doubt, been huge. Somewhere in northern Vermont there is a very dog-eared copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves!


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