Every so often, I have to contend with why I write certain themes. Grief, taboo, hatred, awkwardness, or even violation. Most of the time, my brain will make me contend with them, but sometimes, an outside source will do it for me.
This past week, I got a comment on Being More Social that, while flattering towards the story in certain parts, got pretty scathing about a certain aspect: the age of the characters. It asked why I would bother writing full sex scenes with these participants, and then softly accused myself and those who read them of committing crimes. For that reason, I didn’t allow the comment to be posted. Attacks on my character, which were certainly in there, are fine. Post about how much I suck all you want. Bring criminal allegations into them and your comment is out.
At the same time, there’s a possibility the commenter is reading this very blog post and I want to give them a good-faith response. If you are reading this, hi. The sole reason your comment was never published was, again, the accusing of crimes part. I would enjoy having a discussion with you, and hope this blog proves it.
This person mentioned, fairly, that they can’t imagine a reason why anyone would want to write such descriptive sex scenes of such participants except for getting off to it, which, according to them, would make such a writer or reader a word that rhymes with schmedophile. Less fair. Hopefully my response isn’t too long and ramble-y.
Being More Social, at its core, represents two things. Number one, the fact that I myself was thrust into a sex life early on in high school, as likely are a fair number of my readers. Perhaps some wish they had. This led to a lot of consequences, scares, and ruined relationships. I have a very love-hate relationship with my own past. On the one hand, it’s nice to look back and romanticize about the days of yore. On the other, jumping headfirst into a sex life when you’re a teen sucks and leads to bad things, and Being More Social is, at its core, a cautionary tale. Adam goes into the story having a crush on May. It’s cutesy until sex gets involved, and then everything unravels until sex is used like a weapon both by and against him. May has to leave the school because of the way she feels vilified, which for those who missed it, is the exact reason Adam is at this school instead of the school he’s supposed to be in at the beginning of the story. Being More Social is a story about how sex, which seems great, will lead to bad things without communication, trust, patience, and consent.
This leads to two conclusions. A, I write these stories to reminisce about high school. Not to say I as an adult wish I was having sex with people still in high school. To make that leap in logic, I’d argue, is to look for a way to paint me in this light in bad faith. Peddophilia (misspelling intentional) in the story is treated as one of the two horrific conclusions of Megan’s journey, and is played for horror, not lust. B, if you say “you liked the plot” but don’t get why I made the sex scenes dry and unspecial in a story told from a first-person perspective about teenage hormones, you didn’t truly get the plot. If I skipped the sex scenes or made them a sentence long and still included the horror and consequences, this story would have looked more like an abstinence PSA. In order to make this story, I needed the agony and the ecstasy. The fact the ecstasy was taboo was part of the point, and the story wouldn’t have worked at all if the ecstasy was implied.
TL;DR – I wrote sex scenes between high schoolers to make people look at their own past with arousal, not to look at the people with arousal. I craft these stories very carefully around that distinction. Teenagers read these stories too, and I want to very specifically warn them not to do what the characters get up to in my stories. And speaking of…
Number two, the second thing Being More Social represents, is a light in the dark, if you will. Do you know how many stories online there are of people in high school getting it on, often with adults, where the tone is entirely consequence-free? Almost every reader here has come from a mainstream erotica site. they can vouch that, possibly as kids, they’re seen these stories before.
When I was in junior high, I used to read those stories, and do you know what else I did? I took notes, and tried emulating those stories to get girls I had crushes on, because I was a stupid awkward teen. I have, and will continue to, write my stories keeping in mind that if Teenage Me had read any of my stories, I wouldn’t want to give him any false impressions.
You may see what I’m doing as “sexualizing kids.” If so, I have no clue how you found me. My origins were from sites that legitimately sexualized kids, and I have fought to bring the reality of their awkwardness and consequences back to them. An easy sweep of a site like sexstories or storiesonline can find you a story where either two people under eighteen get it on, or a teenager with an adult. Even sites with stricter guidelines like Literotica have stories where ages were obviously switched at the last second, often so comically so that the story doesn’t make consistent sense.
Perhaps you’re aware of this and thought of me as an exception. You thought I wouldn’t “stoop so low.” I don’t see what I’m doing as stooping. Again, people under 18 read this, that’s just a reality. They don’t associate with me or comment on this site, and if they do I never want them to and they should stop. But as long as that reality exists, pretending it doesn’t helps real-world child molesters. I would rather help make hormonal teens aware of the consequences of their actions and what complicated matters like consent mean. I would also rather show teens as awkward, over-emotional and overall unsexy to anyone but other teens, especially confused adults who wrongly think things about teenagers.
Again, the theme of teenagers having sex is rampant in the free online erotica world. Rampant. If I stop with that subject to adjust to a reader’s personal taste, will it slow the flow of this kind of content wholecloth? Not at all. Not a difference. Taking a drop out of the ocean. But if I write it in such a way where a teen reads it and becomes aware that, just like one of my characters, they’re being pressured into sex and need to say no to their partner, is that worth the uncomfortable age premise? To me, yes.
The commenter also asked why I wrote the sex scenes of, ultimately, the assault on Molly, like a normal sexy sex scene. This was a little more understandable and I hope the answer is as understandable in turn.
At the time of writing that story (early 2016), the site I was writing for had experienced a large number of “fucking a girl for the first time in her sleep until she wakes up and moans for the man to keep going” stories. It was trivializing rape, and had I read it in junior high I could have been horribly influenced. I was appalled. I wanted to do something. And so, I decided to do a rugpull. I wrote the sex scene deliberately sexily so that any reader who didn’t see what Aaron was doing as filthy would nod along, and then I showed the heartbreak, betrayal, and fear in Molly’s voice when Aaron told her.
Aaron, like a potential viewer, was holding onto this “maybe she enjoyed it” thought, which is a common thought for rapists and would-be rapists alike. I wanted the reality to set in for some readers that they had sided with a rapist and needed to do better. Quoting the book directly,
“You played with her. You didn’t even like her, you liked owning her. Fuck you.” He paced around the room again. “I shouldn’t need to tell you how much of an awful person you are for trying to rape your own childhood friend. If you even saw what you were doing from the outside, would you support that, would you beat off to that, you fucking sicko? Or would you actually care about a human being’s feelings? Suppose I was doing this to her. Would you try to stop me?”
I wasn’t subtle.
It’s understandable to look at themes like rape and peddophilia (misspelling intentional) as inherently unwriteable. I may never see this reader again. I will also say that I do not write this stuff for fetish material, and I likely will never touch peddophilia in any form ever again after Teacher’s Threat said all I needed to say. Maybe I will, maybe I won’t. I’ll almost certainly never write a story like The Good The Bad and The Molly again. I will almost definitely write stories featuring people in high school again, and I will do it with a clear conscience. It’s how I enjoy my youth, and I write it to enjoy the feeling of being a teen myself, not pursuing them in my current-day body.
Like, that’s such a comically huge shift in a story’s feeling that I’m baffled this was the conclusion, just because it featured high schoolers. On a personal front I actually kind of find it insulting to say you liked the plot but don’t get why I wrote sex scenes that way. What did you like about the plot? Did you feel that I could have written the exact same story of Being More Social about 30-somethings in an office job? Did you miss the parts about consent? Did you not care? Why am I writing stories about minors with such attempted care and morals if people are going to go up into their ivory towers and accuse me of being the exact type of person I attempt to warn teenagers about? Why am I writing stories about assault and all but calling out the reader by name for enjoying it if some people are going to skip that part then just claim I trivialized rape?
I am a high emotions person and I’m lashing out because of the work I put in. This commenter clearly has a good heart, was sheltered through high school and assumes every good person is as sheltered as them (insulting but naïve, not malicious) and just wants what’s right to them. In my opinion, in their quest for justice, they missed a lot, but there’s an argument to be made there too. Almost no one is going to pick up on every nuance I make, almost definitely due to my own errors in telling the story. (Though I still maintain, that part I quoted from GBM is overt and in-your-face.) Someone is always going to misinterpret something, and credit where it’s due, this is the first time I’ve ever gotten a comment accusing me of being a child ******er.
My current job, although as a temporary position, involves me protecting children. It’s fun to poke fun at me for getting the pacing wrong in a story or something, but I will not tolerate people undermining very important messages that some people like to ignore. People like to pretend teens never hear about sex until they’re 18, then act surprised when their district has some of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the state. These people are idiots.
Is it silly to place my stories in context to such a huge and important thing? Honestly, I would argue no. I’m starting a difficult conversation about teens though an unsuspecting medium that most educators, let alone sex writers, want to avoid, all while trying to keep the guise of a teen sex story there, so that us older people can relive our youths with fond nostalgia. If someone turns to kid diddling from one of my stories, they would have done it just as easily from virtually any depiction of a teenage boy or girl ever. I just have the guts to look that kind of concept in the face and not hold back with my depictions, both the good and the bad.
Puritans and abstinence-advocators use the withholding of knowledge to stay in positions of power, often over children. If the kids don’t know sex, they don’t know what’s coming. If they don’t know consent, they don’t know to say no and when to say it. The lack of education and acceptance is exactly how peddophiles work. They don’t work through accurate information, they work through confusion and manipulation. They work in the dark and rely on childrens’ lack of experience and knowledge. And we say to write about teenage sex accurately and unboringly is to help peddophiles? Fuck that. It’s just untrue. Of course, if you’re diddling kids I and my work hates you and always have. By the same token, if you accuse my work of supporting such a horrible practice and accuse me of that crime, you’re just not aware.
More writing will be out soon. I’ll talk to you all next week.