Brittney Cooper | Eloquent Rage | St. Martin’s Press | February 2018 | 15 minutes (3,982 words)

The summer before I left home for graduate school, I drove down to the rural Louisiana countryside to sit on the porch with my grandma. As I took the four steps up to the house, face scowling at the hot Louisiana sun beating down on my brow, my Gram squinted at me, called me by my nickname, and declared, “It’s time for you to start having sex!”

I’m sure my eyes bugged out of my head, as the horror dawned on me that this wasn’t going to be any old regular visit to the country. There was an accusation in her words, as though this was something my 22-year-old self should have been doing forever. For the record, I had, in fact, had a bit of sex by age 22. For my 22nd…

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