Sweet, insecure Spencer Davis turns 16 and Mom treats her to a rather unusual birthday present-a first visit to the gynecologist and a prescription for the Pill. This, even though Spencer has little interest in boys, never mind first-time sex (and despite best friend Alyssa's determination to lose her virginity ASAP). Then Spencer meets "the One" (or so she thinks), and feels romantic fireworks and physical desire for the first time. Both conventional assumptions about sex ("Everyone says their first time is terrible") and gender stereotypes (guys advising each other to "be a dick once in a while. Chicks like that") abound, as does nonstop talk of sex-sometimes with vulgar, infantile language and imagery, at other times conveyed with respect, tenderness, romance and yearning. In the end, Spencer doesn't "give up the V," but she does encounter love and a good first sexual experience-with the person she least expects-amid realistic complications. At times the narrative is uneven, but this novel stands out for its thorough, no-holds-barred discussion of sex in its many forms-from the ugly to the beautiful. Ages 14-up. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Giving Up the Vby Serena Robar
Spencer “Responsible” Davis is nowhere ready to “give up the V,” as opposed to her hormonally crazed crew of friends, obsessed with the who-what-when-where-how of it all. “It” being . . . well, you get it. Even Spencer’s male friends, who claim to have expertise in the matter, offer their services to help relieve her of
Spencer “Responsible” Davis is nowhere ready to “give up the V,” as opposed to her hormonally crazed crew of friends, obsessed with the who-what-when-where-how of it all. “It” being . . . well, you get it. Even Spencer’s male friends, who claim to have expertise in the matter, offer their services to help relieve her of that pesky letter, much to her embarrassment.
But when new-kid Benjamin enters the picture, Spencer begins to rethink her “responsible” moniker, and for the first time she wonders if she’s found just the right guy worth trading in her V-card.
- Simon Pulse
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- Product dimensions:
- 5.52(w) x 8.26(h) x 0.74(d)
- Age Range:
- 14 - 18 Years
Read an Excerpt
Where does the underwear go?
I, Spencer Davis, was naked from the waist down. I'd folded my jeans and put them on the single chair in the corner of the exam room but wasn't sure what to do with my underwear.
Should I hide them under my jeans or fold them neatly on top? If I hide them, then maybe the doctor will think I'm embarrassed about my body, but if I lay them out, then he will assume I have no problem with people staring at my underwear.
There was a knock at the door. I muttered a profanity and crammed the white cotton undies under my jeans. I made a running jump toward the exam table and miscalculated the distance.
Son of a bitch!
My knee slammed into the side and shifted the entire thing a good foot.
Doubling over in pain, I pulled my knee tightly to my chest, exhaling loudly in an effort not to cry out. The nurse knocked again.
"Everything all right in there?"
"Fine," I choked out. I pressed my forehead into my thigh and took several deep breaths to steady myself. "Everything is fine, give me just a minute."
Ow, ow, ow.
I limped toward the counter, grabbed a paper towel, and held it under the faucet of the sink. Turning on the water, I shivered as it saturated the paper and ran through my fingers. Goose bumps prickled up and down my naked legs.
This is so not my morning.
I balanced on one foot and pressed the cool compress to my swelling knee.
How did I end up here? This is totally insane.
Naked from the waist down, holding a flamingo pose as my knee throbbed, was not how I wanted the doctor to find me. I eyed the sterile-looking exam table critically. Of course, lying flat on my back, legs spread open for all to see, wasn't exactly the way I wanted the doctor to see me either.
Had anyone else ever spent their sixteenth birthday in this position before (no pun intended)? I snorted. Most sixteen-year-olds celebrated this milestone birthday with a big bash and amazing presents, like a new car.
My present was my first ob-gyn exam, courtesy of my forward-thinking mother, who thought birth control pills were a girl's rite of passage into adulthood. Mom used to teach Marital and Sexual Lifestyles (aka "Dirty 230") at Washington State University. I think her technical title was professor of women's studies, but since Dad moved us to the other side of the mountains for his job, her only outlet was volunteering at Planned Parenthood and trying to educate the unwashed masses about effective birth control and preventing the spread of STDs. Because my sister was in college (she'd wisely chosen an out-of-state school) and I was still at home, I got the brunt of her educating impulses.
Like my sister before me, soon I would lie on the exam table, feet in stirrups, dying of embarrassment as our family doctor looked up my yoo hoo.
That thought almost made my knee injury pale in comparison. I hobbled over to the table and carefully took a seat. There was a paper drape within reach, so I covered my lap and sighed.
Another soft knock.
"I'm ready," I called out. Ready to die of embarrassment, I silently added.
The door opened to reveal a twentysomething blond nurse wearing blue scrubs, her hair clipped up haphazardly.
"I was starting to wonder if you were trying to make an escape or something," she joked, eyeing the window. She removed the stethoscope hanging around her neck and took my arm. "Let me just get your vitals and then I'll call the doctor in."
I liked the way she smiled and noticed that her eye makeup sparkled with glitter.
The nurse pointed to the scale, and I shook my head vigorously. "I think not."
The nurse smiled in sympathy. "Sorry, everybody's got to pay the piper."
I slowly dragged myself off the table. "You know, you could have done this when I was still clothed."
I held the drape securely around my waist as I stepped onto the scale.
"I agree. Maybe you should have let me weigh you when we started, huh?"
I'd dodged the receptionist with an excuse that I needed to use the bathroom and then snuck into the exam room that had my chart on the door in hopes of avoiding the inevitable weigh-in.
The scale was just like the one in gym class, so the nurse pushed the fifty-pound weight marker onto one hundred pounds and looked at me questioningly. Sighing dramatically, I pushed the weight to one hundred fifty pounds. The nurse fiddled with the single-pound marker until it balanced at one hundred sixty-two. She filled in my height at five-eight, and I eyed her athletic form enviously.
It's not like I didn't know my weight. I was reminded of it every time I stepped into my size thirteen jeans. But was it really necessary to share it with complete strangers? Especially skinny ones? I wasn't sure which part bothered me more, revealing my weight or my vagina.
When the doctor knocked on the door after I was seated again, I felt my face redden and knew the answer to that question. I was so not ready for this.
I'd known Dr. Taylor forever. His office was where I'd gotten my first shots, first sports exam, and I'd visited him for countless sore throats and coughs. Now we were entering new territory in our relationship, and I didn't like it one bit.
"So what can we do for you today, Spencer?" He beamed a sunshiny smile in my direction.
I returned his smile weakly as the nurse gave him my chart. He squinted slightly as he read the entries, and I cringed as his eyebrows shot up.
"Well, well. Seems like only yesterday you were getting your first vaccinations, and now you're practically a woman." He smiled kindly at me, but I just shrugged.
What was there to say in this situation, really?
He asked me routine questions about my health. Did I smoke? No. Drink? No. Was I sexually active? No! When the interrogation was over, he pulled two metal arms out from the end of the exam table. They were covered with mismatched oven mitts.
"Lie back on the table, scoot your bottom all the way down here, and put your feet in the stirrups. There's a good girl."
You have got to be kidding me.
The drape was still over my lap but shifted toward my waist as I slid down. I had an excellent view of the doctor's head and shoulders when he popped on a mask and perused a tray the nurse had prepared next to him.
"Spencer, you're going to feel my hand on your knee now, so just relax. I'm going to slide it down and then you'll feel some pressure when I insert the speculum. Nurse, can you hand me that?"
What was up with the kitty poster on the ceiling? Hang in there? Was that a joke? I wondered if anyone had died of mortification on the exam table before. The instrument was cold and intrusive. I couldn't help wincing.
"Spencer, I know this is uncomfortable, but I need you to relax. Push your lower back down toward the table. That will loosen up the proper muscles."
I forced myself to do as he asked and felt the metal speculum slide in. It was official. Our family doctor had just made it to third base with me.
"I'm going to open it up now. Very gently." The pressure increased, and I heard a squeaky sound, like a wheel that needed to be oiled.
"We're gonna need some WD-40 down here," my doctor joked.
I bit my lip in horror. It was sticking? I had to die. Right now.
Omigod, it's sticking, get it out!
"Nurse, pass me the mirror. Spencer might want to see what we're doing."
"No!" I practically screamed. He raised his head, from between my legs, no less. I made a point of calming my voice down. "No, I'm good. Let's keep the mystery alive, okay?"
He nodded and went back to work. He told me he was swabbing my cervix (ew), and I breathed a sigh of relief when he finally removed the speculum, ending my torment. The nurse helped me into a seated position.
"We should have the results of the Pap in no time. If there is anything abnormal, we'll let you know."
I nodded, surprised when tears filled my eyes. I had no idea why I felt like crying. Maybe it was the relief that the "ordeal" as it would forever be known was over. Or maybe it was the complete lack of control I felt at this moment.
Dr. Taylor put a fatherly hand on my shoulder. "You're a young woman now, Spencer, and taking care of your body is part of being a woman."
He turned away so I could wipe my eyes in private. The nurse diverted her gaze to the chart in her hands. When I'd once again regained my composure, the doctor was writing something down on his notepad.
"I'm sending your prescription to the pharmacy, but here's a couple months' supply of the Pill to get you started."
The nurse produced a brown paper sack filled with three months' supply of birth control pills.
"Do you have any questions?" he asked kindly.
"Yes." I tried for humor. "Is it possible to die of humiliation?"
Dr. Taylor chuckled. "Well, I haven't heard of any documented cases." He looked me in the eyes. "Does your boyfriend know you were coming here today?"
"I don't have a boyfriend, Doc. This is sort of a rite of passage in the Davis household. My mother thinks all girls should be on the Pill when they turn sixteen. Sort of like a pre-emptive strike. It doesn't matter that the girl in question isn't even interested in giving up the V yet. It's all part of the status quo."
He nodded in understanding. He knew my mom well enough and was familiar with her liberal thinking. "We're going to leave you alone so you can get dressed. There's some tissues if you need to clean up. When you're all dressed, just crack the door, and I'll get your mother and we'll all have a little chat. Okay?"
I nodded, and they finally left me in peace. I spent several moments immobile on the table, paper draped across my naked legs, goose bumps rippling over my body. So this was what abject horror and humiliation felt like. Nice.
I slowly slipped off the table, cringing when I felt the jelly squish between my thighs (Can you believe they lube up that metal thing?). I hobbled toward the desk for tissue, legs spread wide, trying not to make a bigger mess. The tears started again as I wiped off the offending goo. What was with all the tears? Did everyone spontaneously burst into tears after a pelvic? That was something my sister had failed to mention.
This could very well be the most memorable sixteenth birthday in history. And not the good kind of memorable.
It was my body, for God's sake. I should have the final say about what happened to it. I wasn't the least bit interested in having sex, and there wasn't even a guy in my entire school that piqued my interest. I was the reasonable one. I was the one everyone came to for advice. I wasn't the girl who fell on her back whenever a cute boy said hey. I tried again to stamp down the feeling of resentment toward my mother that wouldn't be totally squelched. I loved my mother, and I knew she did what she thought was best for me, but today was, well, this wasn't it.
When I was ready to face the world again, I took one last look in the mirror above the sink and tried to decide if I looked different. My ponytail was a bit mussed, but I had naturally curly hair, so when didn't it look mussed? I quickly redid it. Other than that I looked the same.
But I wasn't. I would never be the same again.
I found Mom waiting outside the exam room door. She hugged me tightly, murmuring how proud she was of me as a woman and stuff. She even got all emotional about her baby growing up. I whispered for her to pull it together.
I felt more than awkward and ready to leave, but Dr. Taylor wanted to chat with us about our visit today. I hoped he meant in his private office, like reliving it in the waiting room with my mother and five total strangers was what I really wanted to do.
Copyright © 2009 by Serena Robar
Meet the Author
Serena Robar is the author of three YA vampire books and coauthor of Fendi, Ferragamo & Fangs. This is her first novel with Simon Pulse. She lives in Maple Valley, Washington.
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