Advance Review Copy (ARC)

Book Review – To All The Places I’ve Had Sex Before: LAUX the author

I am part of the Reedsy Discovery community. Reedsy is a platform that encourages unpublished and new authors to share their work with interested readers from around the world. The aim is to provide writers an opportunity to showcase their work and I am all for that kind of encouragement!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Review:

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what made me pick out this book.. was it the very obvious title hinting at numerous sexual escapades indulged in by the author? Probably not. That would not have been enough to catch my eye. Then perhaps it was the question posed at the start of the synopsis.. “Does sexual freedom mean liberation?” an innocent enough question, I thought, but only after finishing the book did I realise that, on the contrary, is a heavily-loaded one; one that took the author to a part of self-discovery. 

As the title suggests, the author has dedicated each chapter in the book to a place where she has had a sexual encounter. She follows the narration of every incident with a self-reflective letter to herself. LAUX writes confidently and even as she battles her feelings of insecurity and self-worth, there is no doubt that her writing is at par with many established authors. There was dry humour interspersed with deep psychological insights – never a dull moment while reading the book. I was pleasantly surprised to see Charles Duhigg quoted in one of the self-reflection notes. The sexual encounters too are not jarring or overbearing, in fact, they are almost necessary to drive home the message. Each incident is like a short-story with its own characters and learnings, and a deeper understanding of the protagonist.  

I particularly enjoyed her personal letters to herself, at times empathising, other times berating her mishaps, but always giving out an air of compassion and kindness. These traits become even more prominent as you progress with the book. It’s almost like a growth chart of self-discovery. It doesn’t sound preachy or philosophical, just honest and down to earth. 

This book was an important read to understand the sexual stigmas that exist around Black women and the cultural ties within the Black community. It also throws light on the issue of the importance of mental wellness and the importance of reaching out for help.

My favourite quote by LAUX from the book also beautifully sums-up my review. “Vulnerability is an act of authenticity. And authenticity is an act of love.” It takes a brave, confident, strong and self-assured woman to come up with a book like this. 

Available on Amazon.

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