The Oral History Podcast, Episode 11: Our Sexual Education


In this episode of The Oral History Podcast, we discuss some of the books that helped shape our own sexual education and thinking over the years. This review of influential titles led us on some fascinating tangents, from female ejaculation, childhood masturbation, and curiosity versus competence when it comes to sexual prowess, to Gloria Steinem, bell hooks, riot grrrl, and The Story of O. (To name only a few.) Listen and tell us about books that helped educate you sexually as well, whether in the comments, on Twitter (@CarrieMesrobian and @ChristaDesir), or via email (feedback AT theoralhistorypodcast DOT com).

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Our Current Reads


The Theory of Everything, by Gae Polisner


The Spymaster’s Lady, by Joanna Bourne
Rogue Spy, by Joanna Bourne
An Ember in the Ashes, by Sabaa Tahir

thoughtful norman

                            “Huh. Fascinating stuff.”


In Bed with Susie Bright (podcast)
On Our Backs (magazine)
Writer Carol Queen (website)
Susie Sexpert’s Lesbian Sex World, by Susie Bright
Mother-Daughter Sex Advice, by Susie Bright & Aretha Bright
A Natural History of Love and A Natural History of the Senses, by Diane Ackerman
Leatherfolk: Radical Sex, People, Politics, and Practice, edited by Mark Thompson
Article about Jocelyn Elders, former SURGEON GENERAL (not Attorney General candidate, that’s Carrie’s error)
Disgruntled, by Asali Solomon
Sula, by Toni Morrison
The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison
Penis Passion,” essay by bell hooks
The FetLife website



“Wow, you’re really turning me around here on some things.”

Recommended Reads

Full Exposureby Susie Bright
Woman: An Intimate Geography, by Natalie Angier
Outrageous Acts & Everyday Rebellions, by Gloria Steinem
The Best American Erotica, anthology series edited by Susie Bright & others
Harmful to Minors: The Perils of Protecting Children from Sexby Judith Levine
Cunt: A Declaration of Independence, by Inga Muscio
Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
The Story of O, by Pauline Reage

Want more? Subscribe to our accompanying TinyLetter for further discussion on this episode!

About This Podcast

Carrie Mesrobian and Christa Desir are two good friends who happen to be YA authors interested in discussing sex. The idea for The Oral History Podcast came out of their daily dog-walking conversations when they realized that others might be as interested in this topic as they were. Each podcast focuses on a topic of sexuality in the lives of teens. Previous podcasts have included discussions about masturbation, first kisses, cheating, illicit relationships, oral sex, and “girl talk” to name a few. Frank, engaging, and filthy, these two podcasters will leave you laughing, blushing, or ready to start writing sex scenes in your novel in an authentic and excellent way.





About the Author:

Christa Desir writes contemporary YA fiction. Her forthcoming novel, Other Broken Things, will be published in January 2016 by Simon Pulse. Visit her online at, and follow her on Twitter at @ChristaDesir. Carrie Mesrobian is the author of three YA novels, most recently Cut Both Ways (2015). Visit her online at, and find her on Twitter at @CarrieMesrobian.

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