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Creepy Sexy Age

Discussion in 'Writing Discussions' started by Laurence, Jun 28, 2016.

  1. Laurence

    Laurence Inkling

    I'm writing a family and expect the children to age from 8, at the start, to their early twenties, by the end.

    Naturally, there'll likely be sexy nonsense at some point in their later years and I'd like a few readers to fall in love with them ideally; they're a kind, attractive pair of siblings.

    What I want to know is if any part of this would make you uncomfortable as a reader, e.g. coming across a sex scene knowing that yesterday you were reading about them as a ten year old OR starting again from the beginning and knowing that you'd soon be reading about them having sex.

    I guess it depends on the length of book between the parts where they're kids and when they're sexy?

    Also, do you think the gender of the character affects this?
  2. evolution_rex

    evolution_rex Inkling

    Are the sex scenes suppose to get the reader steamy or is it suppose to be romantic? I wouldn't go too graphic with the sex if it's suppose to be romantic and its to further the plot, but I would have no problem with it going from child to adult. If you're sexualizing the scene, making it hot, then yeah it might be a little weird because making a novel of that, uh, type doesn't really mix well with a story that begins at childhood. But that's just me.
    Laurence likes this.
  3. Demesnedenoir

    Demesnedenoir Istar

    Not an issue for me, really, but I'd end up skim/skipping sex scenes anyhow if that's the route taken, heh heh. I always tell people, if you've got something important to tell me (me personally as a reader, no idea about general public) don't put it in a sex scene because I could care less about sex scenes and skip them all the time. But the basic premise doesn't bug me.

    Should add, I am in the leave it to the imagination camp... I think the example from the self-editing book was Gone with the Wind's famous sex scene. And I'd probably skim that too, but at least it's less to skim, LOL.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2016
    Laurence likes this.
  4. Devouring Wolf

    Devouring Wolf Sage

    I'd second the idea you shouldn't write too much in detail about the sex and keep it more romantic. I've tried twice reading books that were about children discovering sexuality and frankly I found it quite disturbing because they were still children (like actual young children not teenagers) when their sexual exploration started. The problem with writing this kind of story is that sexuality isn't a switch you just flip on and suddenly you're ready. Like puberty it usually happens gradually or in leaps and bounds. If you want to make it not creepy but still believable , you've got to find a balance between having young children thinking about sex and having your characters turn sixteen (or whatever) and suddenly discovering men and women are different.
    Laurence likes this.
  5. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    Are they POV characters? Is it an intimate 3rd person, where you are in the minds of those characters, or is it a more distant 3rd limited, or is it 3rd omniscient?

    For me, this makes a difference, because if I'm close in to the character's mind when that character's a child, I'd have more problem later when that child is older and having sex. It would be like jumping from one character to an entirely new character that happens to have the same name.

    Also, how you age them matters. If it's basically a new year for each chapter, the gradual change would make the sex later less jarring and even might help in conveying the growth (character arc) of the characters. But if they jump from many chapters at 8 years old, to a single chapter at 12 years old, and then suddenly to their late teens or early twenties, that might be jarring. Especially if these are also written in a close POV.

    When in their sexual experience you are hopping into description of experiences will make a difference, also. First sexual encounter in the book is with a girlfriend/boyfriend and is romantic? Or is it a more experimental encounter? Or is it drug or booze fueled after they've already been having sex for a year or two? I really don't think you need to "keep it romantic" (although you can) but the sort of experimental not-sure-what-I'm-doing-but-I'm-curious kind of encounter could be fine too.

    The type of story you are telling is important also, so it could go many ways depending on the effect you want to achieve and the importance to the plot or character development.
    Laurence likes this.
  6. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

    I've seen it happen in Literature, like in Gabriel Garcia Marquez' One Hundred Years of Solitude, which covers a hundred years of a small town. On one page he will describe a small child's experience going to the gypsies with his father, and in the next paragraph he will literally jump to:

    Twelve years later Aurelio bedded the whore, luxuriating in her warm dampness... or something like that.

    It never bothered me.
    Laurence likes this.
  7. troynos

    troynos Minstrel

    Sex and sexy are two different things.

    How you approach it in the specific story would determine the level of creepiness, if any. The only way to tell is to write it and have someone read it.
  8. CupofJoe

    CupofJoe Myth Weaver

    Normally I'm in the hint [and don't either show or tell] when it comes to sex [scenes] in stories. Details rarely add to the narrative for me and I can imagine what happens far better than having it described.
    The only exception I have seen to this was on reading the graphic novel Blue Angel [filmed as Blue is the warmest colour]. The sex is between two young people [17 and 20 or thereabouts]. It is extremely graphic and at first I couldn't say I was comfortable reading. I was told to keep at it [by the person who had lent me the book] and in the end they made sense. The conclusion of the story required such details be included.
    In the book and the film it worked. I recommend both, especially if you like 3hour films in French.
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2016
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  9. Miskatonic

    Miskatonic Auror

    That's what's great about amazing authors and amazing books. :D
  10. sandtrout

    sandtrout Dreamer

    I wouldn't be too much bothered by it, as long as you dont start the first teenager chapter with a graphic encounter.
    There should be some time during which readers can adjust to the new age of the character. Writing about the same carachter during such different stages of development sounds quite challenging, if you want them to be still recognisable.
    I dont see why their gender would have any impact.
  11. FifthView

    FifthView Istar

    This sounds like an omniscient approach or at least written with some distance from the character.
    Heliotrope likes this.
  12. Heliotrope

    Heliotrope Staff Article Team

    Yes, that is exactly right.
  13. JP Harker

    JP Harker Scribe

    As long as it's tastefully done I don't think it matters. David Gemmell has done it at least twice to my knowledge where he's had a protagonist starting as a child and then had sex scenes with them in their adolescence/adulthood (Connovar in the Rigante Books and Parmenion in Lion of Macedon). I didn't find it creepy because the characters had grown and changed since when they were kids.
    Laurence likes this.

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