Sex, Youth and Experience

“Child of All Ages” by P.J. Plauger collected inn The Best of Science Fiction of the Year #5 edited by Terry Carr features a female protagonist that manages never to grow up yet is wise in the ways of the world.

“No, wait a minute. You brought this up,” she persisted. “Look at me. Am I unattractive? Good teeth, no pock marks. No visible deformities. Why, a girl like me would make first-rate wife material in some circles. Particularly where the average life expectancy is, say under thirty-five years — as it has been throughout much of history. Teenage celibacy and late marriage are conceits that society has only recently come to afford.

She looked at him haughtily.

“I have had my share of lovers, and you can bet I’ve enjoyed them as much as they’ve enjoyed me. You don’t need glands for that sort of thing so much as sensitive nerve endings — and a little understanding.

Part of the charm of this passage is its forthrightness.

And so for day 459

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