Creative Nonfiction

5 Tips for Great Sex (Writing)

SUZANNE ROBERTS is the author of the memoir Almost Somewhere (Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award), as well as four collections of poetry. She serves as the current El Dorado County Poet Laureate and teaches for the low residency MFA program in creative writing at Sierra Nevada College.

WHEN I WAS about seven, I heard the word fuck at school. When I got home and asked my father what it meant, he said, “It means making love.” Then he told me not to ask any more questions. Within a few days, a picture book was left out for me. Peter Mayle’s “Where Did I Come From?” features two pudgy characters who have sex under a colorful quilt. The man looks like a pink Pillsbury Doughboy. I remember thinking that everything about the book was utterly bizarre, but the unsaid rule was that I would read it and wouldn’t ask questions. I learned that sex should be kept secret.

As an adult, I write memoir, and I’ve written and published sexrelated essays (some of them in this very magazine). My mother said

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