Underage Sex in a Novel? - Page 3


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Thread: Underage Sex in a Novel?

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by BornForBurning View Post
    Don't do that. I know what you are trying to get at. Sex is a spiritual experience. Or at the very least, it is intended as a transcendent experience. Uniting of two into one flesh and all that.
    Not quite, I wasn't trying to imply the sex is a spiritual experience.
    I was talking more about the plot of the story as a whole.

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  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by JasoninNV View Post
    Thank you for everyone's input.
    To be more specific, it was just going to be a mention of two 17 year olds in high school. I wasn't planning on getting in to extreme detail. There's no age difference, and there was nothing illegal about it when actually happening.
    That being said, this book will contain liberal use of foul language, and frequent graphic violence. I'm not so concerned about readers finding something offensive or "morally wrong" in general. There's next to no sex in it, but still if you're easily offended it's not going to be your read. There is going to be a sex scene between two adults, but I still haven't decided how to approach that either. I feel like with the language and violence, it would be a sham to just skip over it like a sheepish nun, but at the same time I don't want and have no intention of being an erotica writer, the story being known as that, or the weird creepers getting their jollies off on my work.
    I know writing is fairly protected, but I'm completely new to this and just trying to cover my own hide. But now that it's mentioned, I do remember the scene in Kings "IT"

    I wish I could give more of the context to the scene as to the story but it's just something I get uneasy about, as every time I've talked about it I get laughed off of every site. It's borderline spiritual based (though I'm trying to remove that as much as possible).
    The story features two intertwining timelines. The teenage scene was a scene that would help tie the two together. But, there will be many tie ins, so maybe the teen sex can be left out. It's not a scene I've even started writing. I'm just getting a lot of the ideas together and realized "technically these are children, this could be creepy or illegal" and was looking for input as to how to handle it.

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    I think it sounds totally fine. Elements make me think of Brett Easton Ellis's brilliant debut novel 'Less Than Zero' - definitely a good read if you want some very morally ambiguous fiction involving teenagers.

    Something that has been sorely missing from this: As many problems as including sex in teenage novels can cause, given how teenage life revolves so heavily around sex it's arguably just as problematic excluding it altogether, right?

    Might as well write a war novel in which nobody dies.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

    "Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow."

    “Remember this: Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him. ”

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  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by seigfried007 View Post
    And since most people are lazy and go along to get along and aren't willing to do the research or read the book for themselves, they'll believe whoever shouts loudest and gives them the most salacious "news."
    Yeah, about that...I'm still waiting to hear which book it is where you think King treats child abuse in an insulting, gratuitous, and unnecessary manner.

    Quote Originally Posted by seigfried007 View Post
    Regarding King, even I've called him out for the "kid fucking." As an abuse survivor, I find his treatment of the subject insulting, gratuitous, and unnecessary.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

    "Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow."

    “Remember this: Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him. ”

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  4. #24
    1: Please don't. I mean, you can if you must. Please don't.
    2: If you must, use the absolute lowest heat level possible. Closed door is probably fine. Light sizzle is probably going to get you some trouble. Hot might get you some scary consequences.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by luckyscars View Post
    I think it sounds totally fine. Elements make me think of Brett Easton Ellis's brilliant debut novel 'Less Than Zero' - definitely a good read if you want some very morally ambiguous fiction involving teenagers.

    Something that has been sorely missing from this: As many problems as including sex in teenage novels can cause, given how teenage life revolves so heavily around sex it's arguably just as problematic excluding it altogether, right?

    Might as well write a war novel in which nobody dies.
    (Psst, I did actually touch on that--even if I so did laced with all kinds of sarcasm and fun such).

    Teenagers are often horny AF. Just because it's "underage" doesn't keep it from happening. I knew a shitton of *ahem* active teenagers. Adults being uncomfortable around the subject doesn't keep teenagers from getting it on and won't decrease teenage pregnancy rates either. It's like saying "abstinence only sex education" works.

    Yeah, it's totally unrealistic to write about modern teenagers in the current American climate without mentioning that *somebody's* cruising for it (if not getting it). No matter how conservative or rural an area is, *somebody* in that age group is getting jiggy with it or very much wanting to be getting jiggy with it. It's just part of being a teenager. Excluding at least the mention of such things leads to teenager-focused/containing novels being just as unrealistic as not having *somebody* die in a war novel.

    However, mentioning that teens are horny masses of hormones (who are struggling to form their identities and grow up) is very different than jailbait-y pedobear-y scenes of explicit blow-by-blow detail.
    "Ammonia will disinfect sin."
    --adrianhayter

    "Art is life, just add bull****."
    --Chris Miller

  6. #26
    One movie I just saw when it comes to whether or not a sex scene should be shown was Pumpkin (2002). In order to talk about the sexual situations, I have to spoil some of the movie:

    The movie is about a college sorority house, where the sorority is helping mentally challenged athletes compete in the challenged games. The main sorority girl character falls in love with the mentally challenged student, she is assigned. The movie never says, but I think the student is underage compared to her, but I'm just guessing. They have a really beautiful heartbraking romance together, with the relationship, leading to sex. However, it shows them kiss, then all of a sudden it's the next morning, and they are in bed, naked, implying they have had sex.

    However, I felt this was a huge jump from here to there. I mean this mentally challenged character, is losing his virginity, to the girl he loves and it's quite the experience for him, so I thought they should have shown the actual sexual experience for them. But they chose to skip over this emotional moment.

    Also, later, when the girls, ex-boyfriend finds out that she left him for her mentally challenged student, she was helping, he gets angry over it, and goes out and gets revenge sex. They show the revenge sex, or at least a good portion of it. But I would rather they skip that, and show the other sex scene, cause I would rather see a the sex scene out of love, rather than the one out or revenge. But maybe the filmmakers felt more comfortable showing us the revenge sex instead, and maybe felt it was less controversial?

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by seigfried007 View Post
    However, mentioning that teens are horny masses of hormones (who are struggling to form their identities and grow up) is very different than jailbait-y pedobear-y scenes of explicit blow-by-blow detail.
    A point which has been constantly stated and agreed upon throughout this thread.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

    "Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow."

    “Remember this: Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him. ”

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  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    One movie I just saw when it comes to whether or not a sex scene should be shown was Pumpkin (2002). In order to talk about the sexual situations, I have to spoil some of the movie:

    The movie is about a college sorority house, where the sorority is helping mentally challenged athletes compete in the challenged games. The main sorority girl character falls in love with the mentally challenged student, she is assigned. The movie never says, but I think the student is underage compared to her, but I'm just guessing. They have a really beautiful heartbraking romance together, with the relationship, leading to sex. However, it shows them kiss, then all of a sudden it's the next morning, and they are in bed, naked, implying they have had sex.

    However, I felt this was a huge jump from here to there. I mean this mentally challenged character, is losing his virginity, to the girl he loves and it's quite the experience for him, so I thought they should have shown the actual sexual experience for them. But they chose to skip over this emotional moment.

    Also, later, when the girls, ex-boyfriend finds out that she left him for her mentally challenged student, she was helping, he gets angry over it, and goes out and gets revenge sex. They show the revenge sex, or at least a good portion of it. But I would rather they skip that, and show the other sex scene, cause I would rather see a the sex scene out of love, rather than the one out or revenge. But maybe the filmmakers felt more comfortable showing us the revenge sex instead, and maybe felt it was less controversial?
    Two good examples of graphic sex featuring underage girls which was depicted extremely explicitly. One from a book, one from a successful and relatively mainstream movie:

    - Movie example: Last House On The Left (directed by Wes Craven): In this movie, made in 1972, a seventeen year old girl is raped and murdered by a gang of older men. It's shown pretty graphically. I don't recall actual nudity, but everything short of that. It's horrific and soul-destroying. This happens relatively early in the movie and sets up the ensuing plot, which involves a chance meeting between the girl's stricken parents and the gang. Once the parents realize what has happened and that the gang are responsible, they turn the tables and kill them in equally horrific ways (the mom bites off one of the men's penis and leaves him to bleed to death)

    - Book example: The Girl Next Door by Jack Ketchum. A brilliant book loosely based on a true story in which a fourteen (?) year old girl is taken in by a supposedly well-meaning family who live next door to the MC, a younger boy who befriends the girl. The book revolves around the family's rapid descent into psychopathy in which they begin to blame, punish, abuse and ultimately kill the child in their care through terrible and often sexual abuse. There's plenty of graphic description.

    Neither of these stories are pleasant to read. Both of them show plenty of pedophilia, abuse, general sexual nastiness. Both of them are 'sexually explicit', to use the Tipper Gore term. But also, in both these cases, the 'sexual explicitness' had to be there. It isn't creepy, nobody is jerking off to these scenes, it's what makes the stories work. Without the horrific 'sex' there is no story. It could NOT be implied, it could NOT be hinted at, it could NOT be watered down. To do so would have made it all pointless.

    Neither of the above examples, as far as I know, has led to their creator's being significantly shunned.

    I put this out there not to say that there is endless license to be obscene, but to simply say that obscenity itself is a complex and often inconsistent thing. Whether a sex scene smacks of pedophilia or not has little to do with how much or how little a story 'goes there' and everything to do with intent and competency. If a child sex scene comes across as creepy, that is 100% the fault of the writer, either because that writer had unsavory intentions going in or wrote it poorly. It is NOT the fault of the subject matter. There is NO subject matter that is inherently 'bad' or 'gross' or 'nasty'.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

    "Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow."

    “Remember this: Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him. ”

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  9. #29
    I saw The Last House on the Left movie, but have not read The Girl Next Door Book. However, I feel that rape scenes are a whole new ball game compared to sex scenes that are done out of romance more so, as I thought the OP might have been talking about.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    I saw The Last House on the Left movie, but have not read The Girl Next Door Book. However, I feel that rape scenes are a whole new ball game compared to sex scenes that are done out of romance more so, as I thought the OP might have been talking about.
    Definitely. But they still all fall under the banner of 'explicit sexual content' and involve underage people, and my point in mentioning them is that context is the driver.

    In a teenage romance there's probably no real need to show sex in a graphic way because (1) The audience does not expect it (2) The act itself is probably not that important to the story and (3) The framing of children as erotic beings as opposed to sexual ones is problematic. But in a horror novel where an extreme and often visceral reaction is needed, excluding the blow-by-blow depiction is necessary.

    So what dictates the difference comes down to the purpose of the story. A romance is, almost by definition, supposed to dance around the edges of sex. A romance is supposed to be about desire more than about fulfillment. But that doesn't mean an audience cannot be exposed to the graphic, the perverse, the depraved even if, and only if, the story demands it. And sometimes it does.

    The point is simply that nothing should be off-limits and writers have to use their best judgment, understanding with the power to create comes the responsibility to create ​effectively.
    "If you don't like my peaches, don't shake my tree."

    "Perhaps I write for no one. Perhaps for the same person children are writing for when they scrawl their names in the snow."

    “Remember this: Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him. ”

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