I’m a little bit dumbfounded that I can get nostalgic about writing a book that hasn’t even been published, yet. But the other day I was glancing through some old files and came across a photograph of my previous office, the place where I began writing Secret Sex Lives: A Year on the Fringes of American Sexuality. As I stared at that old photo and was reminded of those first days of research, I got verklempt. Isn’t that ridiculous?

The office where I began researching and writing “Secret Sex Lives.”

But I look at that picture and see my notebooks on my desk filled with my research. Oh, my gosh, there are now so many more notebooks of research, as well as boxes and boxes of files.

I also see the telephone that I curled too tightly in my left hand while doing interviews, the computer screen that I stared at when my agent sent me his critiques of my book proposal, and the high branches of the oak trees outside my door that kept me company and gave me comfort during days and nights of confusion.

Most of all, I remember that first night I posted in Craigslist Casual Encounters, searching for my first sex book sources. “Need to talk about sex,” I wrote.

And I remember that first reply: “Please forward whatever information you’ve got to prove you’re not a creep, weirdo, prison inmate posing as an author (those schemes happen all the time, ya know), and I’ll be happy to talk. . . . Interested to see if you’re for real or not.”

Oh, I was for real. And I really want to tell you more, but I know it’s too soon. For now, it’s got to remain a secret, waiting for that perfect moment of release.

Some of the sex research and interview notes from year 2005. There are so many more boxes …

* * *

Secret Sex Lives: A Year on the Fringes of American Sexuality was released by Berkley Books on October 2, 2012. Autographed copies are available for order through Brazos Bookstore.

Secret Sex Lives by Suzy Spencer



Suzy Spencer is a New York Times best-selling author and journalist.
  1. Angela Reply
    Yep it is hard to believe the amount of time since you began this project. For me it seems like only a year or two ago that we initially made contact via alt.com. I, for one, am glad you did reach out initially and that we were able to participate in this memoir that began as study type book. I know your journey took you to places, people and encounters that changed the book in ways not expected. Nonetheless you remain a talented writer, an intrepid explorer of the less savory sides of life, a woman of many gifts, strength and courage. For me you also became a friend. Thank you for that Suzy. Angela
    • Suzy Reply
      Oh, gosh, Angela, you are a very dear friend who has helped me through the rough times of writing the book. Thank you.
  2. Mary Day Long Reply
    How perceptive of you to pinpoint a feeling I have often had--nostalgia for something that's not even over yet. I try to embrace this feeling, because it means that I'm in the midst of one of the golden moments, the things I will remember later on. I bet you'll find the same thing. I love this peek at your workspace--and I can't wait to read the book!
    • Suzy Reply
      Thank you, Mary. Thank you.

Leave a Reply


captcha *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.