What’s a girl to do when the only way she can show love is in a song?

A GIRL COMING OF AGE in the 1960s lived in one world as a child and another as a woman. Birth control—The Pill—arrived mid-60s, and turned all the rules about dating and sex upside down.

“Just do what comes naturally,” people said, and still do. But while feeling love and desire comes naturally, much of how we love is learned. Parents and peers, boyfriends and lovers, schools and religion, magazines and movies. Batterers and rapists. Sometimes we need to learn what has been missed, or unlearn what has been distorted, dirtied, and is all wrong and hurts, not just ourselves but others.

For a culture in which confusion is endemic and the wayward and unexamined are seen as “liberated,” changing options and attitudes become an excuse for recklessness and offense. And for a girl whose foundations are shaky and path unclear, the only way is through trial and error, learning to trust herself and believe there can be more.

Girls and Sex: A new book about coming-of-age.

A new book worth reading! The passage from girlhood to womanhood, particularly around sexuality, should be one of pride and discovery leading to an enhanced sense of one’s self as a woman and genuine capacity for healthy intimacy and meaningful relationships. Too often it is a journey fraught with unnecessary challenges due to ignorance and misinformation or painful wounding, whether of the body, the mind, or the spirit.

My forthcoming novel, The Woman Inside Her, is the story of one young woman’s struggle to find her way through the labyrinth of distorting influences which have–so far in her life–formed only shaky foundations on which to build her selfhood and ability to love and be loved. I chose to write the story of The Woman Inside Her because I believe it is one too seldom told, too readily swept into the dim light of secret places. For far too many girls, coming-of-age sexually means confusion, shame, and physical / psychological / emotional abuse by others, including family, friends, lovers, religious authority, politicians and government institutions, the media and other messengers of culture. As a society, we don’t easily speak openly about girls becoming sexual–even now, in 2017–and frankly, that is both crazy and crazy-making.   

Peggy Orenstein’s new book, Girls and Sex, is a welcome contribution to helping heal this significant handicapping of girls’ and women’s health and happiness. I’m glad to see it on our nation’s bookshelves! Click on the link below to see a full review.


Girls and Sex, by Peggy Orenstein, reviewed on

Annie Bloom’s Books Shelf-Awareness newsletter March 2017

 (And thanks to the Shelf-Awareness newsletter from Annie Bloom’s Books in Portland OR for bringing Peggy Orenstein’s Girls and Sex to my attention. Support your local bookstore!)