Tufts graduate hooks girls up with sexual knowledge

By Katie Levy

Upon arriving at Tufts University for her freshman year a little over more than four years ago, 22-year-old Amber Madison expected to find herself amongst a group of mature, experienced and knowledgeable peers. Though most of her classmates were intelligent in many ways, Madison was surprised to find that many were clueless about one topic: sex.

Shortly after discovering this, Madison began to write a sex column for Tufts Daily, the campus newspaper, answering girls’ questions about sexual encounters, relationship issues, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and much more.

This column became the inspiration for her first book, “Hooking Up: A Girl’s All-Out Guide to Sex ‘ Sexuality.”

Madison said she felt compelled to write a book on sexual education because “a lot of girls still have questions about sex and their bodies and the places available for girls to get answers – let’s face it – kind of suck.”

In writing her book, Madison said she hoped to communicate to young girls that sex does not need to be an uncomfortable topic to discuss if one has questions.

“In general, girls need to be more informed about their bodies and sex and more supportive of each other,” she said.

Madison began writing her book the summer after her junior year at Tufts. After two years of writing, Madison said she felt that she compiled a comprehensive guide about relationships, sex, self-confidence and sexuality.

The book is not only provides information, but also therapy, Madison said.

She emphasizes the fact that a girl will never be comfortable performing sexual acts until she is comfortable in her own body. Her main goal is to see girls feel confident and comfortable in themselves, both physically and mentally, so they can have better judgement when it comes to sex and relationships, she said.

Madison includes many personal stories in the book, ranging from relationships with ex-boyfriends to her first sexual experience. She included these stories because she “felt a lot of the experiences were very universal,” she said.

Madison said she held nothing back when she wrote the book in an attempt to make the reader feel more comfortable about the topics.

Lindsey Gray, a freshman criminal justice major, and Laura Tomic, a freshman political science major, said the book was not only entertaining, but informative as well. Gray said making the book entertaining was a much more effective route to sexual education than the often-bland lectures and films teenagers are used to.

Tomic agreed, saying that Madison covers important topics such as STDs, pregnancy and vaginal health with great medical accuracy and up-to-date information while keeping the reader interested and wanting to read on.

Not only is the book a must-read for girls entering high school and college, but teenage boys could learn a thing or two from it as well, Madison said. Guys looking to learn more about how to have a healthy relationship with a girl or just how to make sex better and safer with their female partners should take a look at “Hooking Up,” she said.

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