I just finished writing a chapter where my MCs have sex for the first time.
I’ve decided to basically cut the previous chapter right before the actual act, and then end the “sex”-chapter right after. That way readers can simply skip the chapter entirely (once I upload it), without losing any important developments – except this moment of close bonding and growth between my MCs.
I even wrote an author’s note at the beginning – a “warning” – saying that though the chapter isn’t vulgar in my opinion, they, the reader, may not feel the same about my descriptions.
– I should add that I also included a similar warning at the beginning of my book, saying that it’s a depiction of real life and therefore will contain mature content in the form of sex (not smut).
This led me to think; how much description is too much in teen fiction?
I have published chapters in the book that describes dry-humping and heavy make-out sessions, where I didn’t feel the need to add an additional warning. But at the same time, I once posted a paragraph on the old forums where someone commented that it was maybe a bit graphic.
There is no doubt that we all have different boundaries when it comes to this subject, but I think it’s okay to include it to a point that might push the line just a little for those who are less comfortable with it, while at the same time giving just a taste to those who enjoy more explicit descriptions. – That’s at least what I’m aiming for while keeping in mind that my characters are teenagers.
Would you like to be made aware that the chapter you’re about to read includes scenes like this beforehand?
I think there’s no doubt that a scene like this would probably be considered too much if I attempted to have it published because it’s categorized as teen fiction. But (not to say anything about my readers because I’m so grateful to even have readers!) the chapter this paragraph comes from, has a lot more reads than the surrounding chapters does.
I, personally, think it paints a realistic image without being pornographic and smutty.
In the heyday of the Twilight franchise, Twilight Fanfics with sexual content were the most popular because the readers were missing that element in the original work. – That it took a bit of a left turn and ended out in stories like ‘Master of the Universe’, which then got published as ‘50 Shades of Grey’ is another thing…
But it sort of speaks to the fact that readers do like a bit of sexuality in teen stories (that’s centered around romantic relationships).
But how do we know where to put the line?
Where is your line both as a writer and a reader?
Should teen fiction have a more relaxed attitude when it comes to sexual content?
I think it’s a little difficult because the genre lands between the ages where sexual attraction is not really a thing yet, and where a lot of people does have their first sexual experiences.
To me, it seems naïve to just exclude it completely. They certainly don’t in TV shows…
Are the boundaries for what you can write as an author of a teen fiction book different from what they can show in teen movie/series? Because if so, then I’m even more lost than I feel right now…