Wet: A Memoir
I’m at work on a memoir called Wet.
Here’s a synopsis of the book, written in the third person. The third person is me.
Wet is a memoir about a sex-positive woman who has written a cult book on embracing singlehood (Quirkyalone) only to find that she really isn’t very happy about being still single at 35. She’s given up on writing and taken a product manager job in Silicon Valley’s social media industry, a world that she secretly (or not so secretly) despises. Touch-starved, dry, and hopeless about her prospects for finding a life partner in techie San Francisco, she escapes to South America, where she hopes she will find love.
In South America, she has many sexual adventures, gets in touch with her sensuality and embrace her curvy body as it is in many days wearing a bikini on the beach (something she would never do in Rhode Island where she grew up), but she also feels tremendous guilt and shame when she has sex or makes out with men in casual relationships. She hits rock bottom when she allows her boundaries be crossed in a highly complicated relationship with a couple in Rio.
After Brazil, she heads to Colombia where she promises herself No More Men because although she says she wants love, all she ever does is get into complicated situations with unavailable people. She focuses on finding a passion instead, and that quest leads her to the many lessons of tango.
Back in California hearing an NPR report about adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse in the Penn State Case leads her to confront an incident of childhood sexual abuse that had a lasting impact of making her feel “dirty.”
She moves back to Buenos Aires to learn tango at the source as a path of healing. The book takes us through many sensual experiences of sex and tango, reminding us we are a body first and the body remembers.
Ultimately Wet is a story about healing shame and facing fear—realizing the past can no longer hurt you and you have nothing to fear.
Wet will be part of a tradition of books that look at the authentic female sexual experience. Ultimately Wet is a story of unlocking secrets through the body, of a woman creating her own formula for a meaningful life.
In many ways, Wet is the follow-up to Quirkyalone, but it’s a much more personal book. It’s a tale of self-love and healing, and also a journey of creating a life off the expected road map, unmarried, without a child, and off the corporate path.
The title is designed to make you blush. Wet is an homage to female sexuality that gets diminished in our culture into being a pornographic, airbrushed caricature, a performance. While the title might invoke dripping sex scenes for some, Wet is actually an invitation to reimagine the way we see female sexuality and sensuality. How we as women actually live the truth of our bodies.
Female sexuality is always more hidden and cloaked, more mysterious. To be wet is not nearly as obvious as a hard-on. The use of Wet is a nod to the messages that we can feel coursing through our bodies. To be wet is to embrace more than sex. To be wet is to embrace our vitality and sensuality. It is about how we make decisions between security and risk, and how to open up to the things that scare us most. It’s about the blood coursing through us.
For a sneak preview of what Wet means to me, and why I chose that as the title, rather than say “juicy,” listen to this podcast.