Guest Post: Sex and Identity: Miley Cyrus and Wild Child by Molly O'Keefe

I've interviewed my friend and author, Molly O'Keefe here on Acting Balanced and reviewed some of her books (Can't Buy Me Love and Can't Hurry Love) and she also inspired my rant "Not Just Mommy Porn" so when she Facebooked me and offered to guest post to promote here latest title, Wild Child, which I read and LOVED, of course I said YES!   You can also enter to win a copy of Wild Child (out on shelves and your favorite internet sites on October 29th, by clicking here for my giveaway of an autographed copy of Wild Child (open internationally) or here for another chance with a giveaway hop)

Sex and Identity: Miley Cyrus and Wild Child

My husband and I got into a fight about Miley Cyrus. I had just read Sinead O'Conner's first open letter to Miley (I haven't read any others) and thought that her warnings about the music industry exploiting Miley Cyrus' sexuality for their own gain made a lot of sense.

My husband asked me why I thought she was being exploited.

I responded that that's what the music industry seems to do. It seems to take young women and use them until they break. The only way to resist being broken is not use their own sexuality to sell albums. See Cyndi Lauper, see Taylor Swift, see Annie Lennox.

Sex is the low-lying fruit. It's easy. Until it's really not.

My husband said that he thought Cyrus was making a choice; that she was the captain of the ship and not being taken advantage of. She is a provocateur, like many strong female artists before her. See Madonna, see Lady Gaga.

In the end we decided time would tell whether Cyrus had surrounded herself with good people who weren't interested in exploiting her but rather in helping her walk the edge she's on.

But the conversation has made me think about sex and identity. And how even outside of the ridiculous limelight of the music industry, sex is a huge part of identity. Most people are private about sex. Whatever our feelings are about it - we wear them on the inside. And those people who wear their sexual identity on the outside - particularly women - can make us uncomfortable. Most likely because we're still shaking off the puritan belief that sex is bad or perhaps should be kept very private.

I'm totally guilty of this.

In WILD CHILD, so much of my heroine Monica Appleby's public persona is defined by sex. Specifically the sexual identity she established as a famous teenager on a reality tv show. As an adult, she can't get away from that persona - in the public eye and in her own head. And part of her growth as a woman is putting that persona to bed so she can move on, fall in love - be happy.

This of course made for a lot of fun conflict and hopefully, a great read.

Wild Child was written nearly a year before Miley's recent explosion onto op-ed pages, blogs and twitter feeds, but Miley could have very easily been the inspiration for Monica. And I hope my husband is right, I really do. I hope these decisions she's making now, won't be regrets later on. We need more women owning their sexual identity of their own volition. Provocateurs or not, we need more women captaining their ships.

About Molly:

Molly O'Keefe is a RITA-Award winning author with 24 novels in publication. She's won the Romantic Times Reviewers Choice award for Best Flipside in 2005 and Best Superromance in 2008. Her new series The Boys of Bishop will begin in October with Wild Child. She lives in Toronto, Canada with her family and the largest heap of dirty laundry in North America.

More about Wild Child:

Monica Appleby is a woman with a reputation. Once she was America’s teenage “Wild Child,” with her own reality TV show. Now she’s a successful author coming home to Bishop, Arkansas, to pen the juicy follow-up to her tell-all autobiography. Problem is, the hottest man in town wants her gone. Mayor Jackson Davies is trying to convince a cookie giant to move its headquarters to his crumbling community, and Monica’s presence is just too . . . unwholesome for business. But the desire in his eyes sends a very different message: Stay, at least for a while.

Don't forget to enter to win - Autographed copy of Wild Child and #WildChild Blog Hop Giveaway