I went to a public high school, but my school took an abstinence-only approach to sex ed. In fact, it was pretty similar to the sex ed scene in Mean Girls — it was taught by the football coach, we were warned that having sex would pretty much ruin our lives, and we all learned absolutely nothing. In fact, the Mean Girls sex ed class was better than the one I took, because at least the Mean Girls coach gave out condoms — mine never mentioned any form of birth control.
Instead, I learned about sex from friends, the internet, and books — and books were by far the most accurate source of knowledge on that list. I’m one of the legions of fans who credit the American Girl book The Care and Keeping Of You for teaching us all about puberty — not just periods, but also pubic hair, pimples, and B.O.
Now that I’m an adult woman and a professional sex & relationships writer, I still read books to learn more about sex. So I put together this list, including some of my favorites, some of my colleagues’ recommendations, and some suggestions from my Twitter followers that I’ve already added to my to-read list.