Admitting You’ve Written a Sexy Novel

“Maya wrote a book,” my husband announces.

Maya Bairey
2 min readJun 29, 2023

With that, I become the center of attention at a family gathering, struggling to explain my latest endeavor. I’ve always prided myself on being stoic, friendly and enjoying time with family but keeping my feelings hidden. As a corporate coder and content writer, my career has always been a little too esoteric for small talk. But now, I’ve written a romance novel, a work that came from the deepest parts of my heart, and suddenly, everyone’s curious. The question looms over me: “So, what’s your book about, Maya?”

How do I explain that this book is more than just a romance novel? Celia and I both went on a journey of self-expression through art. León and I both learned we have intrinsic value, no matter what talents we have or don’t. But Painting Celia isn’t all about growing as a person, it is an intense romance with flat-out explicit content. The spicy scenes might shock my family. How do I reveal that part without drowning in embarrassment?

It’s not that I’m afraid of their judgment, it’s the idea that they’ll finally have proof that I care deeply about something. I’ve spent a lifetime hiding my emotions, constructing walls, and even though now I’ve purposely torn them down, paragraph by paragraph, it’s still scary.

As we sit around the dinner table, I feel the weight of their gazes, their questions lingering in the air. It’s both thrilling and terrifying, knowing that they’re on the verge of discovering a side of me they’ve never seen before. But I know that expressing myself is important, even if it means surprising people.

I decide to give them a taste, just enough to pique their interest without revealing too much. “It’s a romance,” I say.

That’s all.

I can see their curiosity growing and I can’t help but squirm, knowing that they’re eager to learn more about this unexpected side of me.

Once this book is published, my family will be able to read for themselves and judge whether they’re impressed or horrified. The thought of them reading my intimate words, my deepest emotions laid bare on the page, sends shivers down me. But I’m ready to face the embarrassment, to embrace the vulnerability. I just wrote 90,000 words about the value in that.

After all, it’s through these moments of discomfort that we find our voice, our courage, and ultimately, our freedom. And maybe my family will see a side of me they’ve never known before, and they’ll understand that beneath the stoic exterior lies a heart that beats with art and passion.



Maya Bairey

Maya Bairey pens tales of relatable, stuck characters who find solutions within, aided by real relationships. Discover her book, Painting Celia, at