I’m afraid it turns out that I’ll need a little more time to churn out my latest story. My life has been sadly affected by the whole COVID19 fiasco in less-than-fun ways. I’m running on more than twenty-hour hours straight awake as it is.
My next story, A Deal’s a Deal (working title because that’s cliche as all hell) goes back to high school. As such, I have to balance out writing something with fun snippy dialogue but also with the awkwardness of a teenager, and my desire for realism and my desire for writing a good story with compelling dialogue and kind of meeting head-to-head here.
In real life, sex can be awkward, largely because people are awkward. Sometimes it’s hot to look into a sex story and take a peek back at when we were young and raging with hormones (for me, when I started reading them, it was a peek ahead). We all like to imagine that in high school we were lotharios that slayed mad puss on the regular. Recently I looked back on my own high school experiences and realized how… clumsy I was.
I had a couple of girlfriends throughout high school. They were clear cases of us not being right for each other. I never had a high school ‘sweetheart’ for more than I think eight months. I was obsessed with getting a fuck buddy, but lived in the next town over and had to drive instead of walk to school, and s such having a friend over was next to impossible. It was only when I had my senior year girlfriend, who lived within walking distance of the school, that I started to experience the ‘casually come to my place after school’ thing, because I could just walk to her place, bring spare clothes in my gym bag just in case, and sleep on her couch or something (it was high school, no helicopter parents were going to allow their child’s partner to sleep in the same bed as them). And even then, we fought. A lot. Too much. Our sex was awkward, we disagreed more than we greed, and we were kind of toxic to each other.
Good high school sex stories have these miscommunications and drama, but rarely does it have these awkward moments. How many times have you read a teen sex story where the guy couldn’t get it up, or the girl found it hurt too much so the couple had to stop and watch TV instead? Hell, even if “we can’t do it today, I’m on my period” comes up, it’s usually a setup so the protagonist dude has an “excuse” like blue balls (which is lame as hell in the first place as an excuse) to go screw someone else and feel like it was an okay thing to do.
Writing a teenager, especially a teenage girl, is hard in this way. I try not to make it misogynistic and instead make it empowering, but ultimately, a lot of people read these teenagers’ stories to put themselves in the protagonist guy’s shoes and salivate over the teenage girls. And I’m not here to say that’s wrong or whatever, I get we’re fantasizing about our pasts and not what we would do these days to teens. But if I’m more accurate and write about acne, stuttering, rudeness from attractive girls that come across as a total turn-off, boys being rape-y because they haven’t learned better (which, my god, sadly exists a lot more than we acknowledge in high school), and other actual teenage things, is that wrong because I’m making the sex story less sexy?
Some readers have acknowledged to me before that they no longer jack off to my stories and yet they keep reading every one. One reader emailed me about Only If You Want, furious with me, because by making Nicole seem like a ruder character through how she treated Phil, it made her “way less hot” and he couldn’t read Being More Social anymore. Is my job to create a less flawed character, or to make real teens? We make fake things up all the time. Period dramas usually (if not always) have inaccurate accents because people don’t expect Olde English in their 1400s movie, they want British high-class accents speaking modern language. Should I, in the same way, be writing teen girls through this rose-colored lens of desire? Being More Social was a decidedly unrealistic story told through more realistic events. I told the story of a hyperbolized teenage girl. I’m not sure if my go-to instinct is going to keep doing that. And if I don’t… am I making better writing or worse writing?
Enh, I guess we’ll see. This was more me thinking out loud than anything conclusive. It’s definitely a lot of fun getting back into writing stories about high school. For now, I’ll talk to you all next week.