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S&G&Valentine’s Day: Our Top 3 Sex Scenes

Our #1 choice is a steamy depiction of sexual awakening, from Hilary Thayer Hamann’s Anthropology of an American Girl (Spiegel & Grau, 2010):

Jack was before me, we were near the bed, we were kissing, we were lying back, descending. The smell of his bed was the smell of him, only multiplied. It confused me to be initiated into his aloneness; it confused me to know such a place existed, such a repository of untried masculinity and pathetic virility, such a site of self- love and self- abuse. The quilt bubbled around my body and the weight of Jack was good, reminding me of the times I have been buried in sand. I pressed my hips into his because it seemed like the right thing to do, although the part that longed for pressure was farther down and deeper in. My muscles raised me, uncertainly at first, in a practicing way, each time squeezing more expertly, each time tightening an invisible tube inside.

I thought we might have been waiting for something. I thought maybe it was me. My hand journeyed from his shoulder, drifting fitfully down, and he lifted himself so I could reach where he seemed to know I was going. He was leaning and supporting his body on his left knee, making room. His head hung to watch, his hair cascading around my face like a paper waterfall. With my finger I traced the teeth of his zipper upward from its base to its flap, and as I started to draw it down, the zipper pushed itself open from pressure. Everyone knows about the parts of a woman, but you never hear about the parts of a man, not in any specific regard. Even in great artwork, men’s genitals are under- realized, scribbled or shadowy, as if the artist wanted to be courageous, but only sort of. As if there were some incentive to keeping men mythic, as if the part and the man were the same, and preserving the mystique of one meant preserving the power of the other.

But in my hand was a contradiction of skin and muscle, something solid but fragile, potent but meager, something both majestic and vile. Jack seemed helpless to the way it stood parallel to his belly. It occurred to me that grown- up men such as teachers and coaches keep secret the way erections make boys defenseless. Maybe women know, but maybe it’s late already when they find out. It seems like something girls should know too, and earlier, the way boys are capable of such delicate reversals.