Friday, June 29, 2012
Never Enough Secrets: On the Topic of Sex
There's sex in it.
It's true, and many of you may be shaking your heads, thinking, "okay, where's the big secret?" Because there are plenty of YA novels out there with sex scenes in them. The difference is, this is the first one of mine.
And so, rather than debating the topic, I just wanted to share a little of my own personal thoughts on the subject. To me, sex is a very private thing. Maybe the most private thing. I've never been one to talk to girlfriends about intimate details of my relationships. It's just not me. To be honest, it makes me uncomfortable reading a sex scene in a book or watching a movie with a vivid sex scene in it (though for some reason I always seem to rent those kind of movies when my mom is coming over!). To me, it feels like the act is meant only for those involved, and not for me.
So why did I write a sex scene into my book then? I'm not sure what to say to that, except that the story and the characters come first. The integrity of the story matters to me. I want my stories to be reflections of true human existence. I write, in part, because it helps me sort out my own thoughts and feelings about the world, and so if I'm not being true to my characters, I don't feel like I learn anything. The places Never Enough went are where the characters took me, and while I got lost and caught up in character during the writing of the sex scene, I admit, it still makes me uncomfortable every time I read it.
Coming up to the launch of Never Enough, I've had some feelings of trepidation about this. If it makes me uncomfortable, how uncomfortable will it make others? I think of certain friends and family reading this scene and I wonder if they'll look at me differently or be offended or have trouble meeting my eye after reading this book. But the truth is, the same with every other thing that happens in this book, I was telling Loann's story the best way I knew how. The most honest way I knew how.
And, like I said, I'm a very private person when it comes to sex, but here's one more thing that I didn't plan, but that just came out of the end product: this book is a book I wish I'd read when I was a teen, sex and all. No, I wouldn't have been comfortable reading it, but it would have helped me think beyond my preconceived ideas about sex and made me feel like I wasn't alone.
So I hope if you're reading this and you're a blog reader or a friend or a parent, or all of the above...I hope you'll give Never Enough, a chance and know that the story is not about me, the author. It's about Loann and Marcus and Claire, and I hope you will love the brief glimpse I was able to give into their lives.