What I Won’t Write

I’m not particularly too well connected with pop culture, and every time I get re-acquainted with it, I feel this bizarre combination of eyes-open wonder and a hesitancy to go further into the pop culture world. It’s as if every time I see what TV shows are the most popular, I think both “fascinating, this is, at this time, the thing most people like” and “…maybe I’m just going to go back into my corner of the internet and forget what I saw.”

At the time of writing this blog post, two big shows that capture hearts and minds are House of the Dragon and Rick and Morty, and both have a weirdly high amount of incest in them right now. I’ve said before that I think incest is gross and not for me, even in taboo fantasies, and maybe it’s that prejudice in me that makes me floored that even in non-erotic contexts, incest is a bit more normalized than it was when I was growing up, at least in the direct mainstream.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a “back in my day” rant. I’m still a young adult myself. Plus, I’m well aware that Game of Thrones was insanely popular when I reached adulthood, and that also contained incest. I’m just surprised that it’s reached such an apex. The inclusion of incest as a storytelling mechanic has made me ask myself why I don’t write incest given I write for more reasons than to just please myself.

I think the conclusion I’ve reached is that I’ve heard stories of actual incest and met people who were the products of incest and a lot of the consequences and troubles of such an act aren’t something we often see. If you have a one-night stand or, God forbid, a relationship, and it turns sour, you may choose to part ways and never see them anymore. That situation becomes a lot more complicated when it’s your parent or your sibling. Couple that with how stories contain ‘happy’ incest but most actual incest also contains things like coercion and violence. Few stories touch this theme, and who could blame them? We want a lot of our fantasies to be happy.

So, I can’t help but see the grand scope of themes like incest when I think of writing it. I’m too aware of what it does, and I’m aware that incest poisons a lot of what it touches. I don’t want to be too dishonest in portrayals of anything I write. I could, of course, write about the outliers; the happy stories of incest that never have downsides, but that brings to mind two issues. Number one, I’m writing a story about something I find gross and knowingly writing an inaccurate portrayal of it under the guise of fantasy. I’d hope my readers enjoy what that produces but as a writer, that sounds exhausting, and I already have many ideas about non-incestuous stories I’m actually excited to write. Number two, if everyone takes that road and only writes ‘happy incest’ stories, and someone grows up from 13 (because let’s be honest, way too many people find these stories before they’re of legal age, against our wishes) reading these, they’re only ever going to see incest portrayed in a happy light. That’s dishonest, dangerous, and even persuasive. “Hey, potentially underaged viewer. There’s this thing that society deems illegal, but it’s fun and totally consequence-free. You seem to enjoy reading about it. What would happen if you did it…?” The stories aren’t as direct as that, of course, but to deny the subconscious thought is planted in their brains is to lack reading comprehension.

Which brings me to the difficult topic of age. A disgruntled reader had a very public row with me recently over my portrayal of underaged characters, particularly high school characters. One thing I want to state up front – a lot of people have sex in high school, and a lot of people remain virgins until well after high school. To pretend people are all either one group or the other is absurd. I can tell you as someone who went through the Canadian public school system, kids wouldn’t shut up about sex starting around sixth grade. In grade seven, I saw a grade eight boy openly groping a girl (that appeared to be protesting or at least not thrilled with him) against the wall. When I reported it to a teacher, the boy and the girl denied it ever happened. In grade nine, two grade elevens got suspended for having sex on the school staircase during class. I went to a school in an area with decently high property taxes, so we can’t say this was a ‘bad’ school. This just happens. You may not like that it does, and believe me, that’s valid, but it does.

I choose to write about high school even as I’m in my mid-20s, largely to communicate with my teenage self. Plus, high school was the time our hormones were the most surging and we were the most blind to peoples’ flaws and shortcomings. Even aside from the potential for sexual tension, a better setup for a drama-filled story one could hardly create. But then comes the elephant in the room – the taboo element. It’s reasonable to apply everything I just said about incest with sex in high school. People often don’t portray the troubles, it can make some readers uncomfortable, and at their worst, they can persuade some readers to make some poor decisions. If I had to guess if at least one of my readers read a story of mine and decided to pursue a sexual relationship earlier than they should have… I mean, I don’t like to admit it, but the answer is likely yes.

So why do I still write it? A few reasons. Number one, I very clearly don’t shy away from the troubles. I know I often suck at subtlety, but for God’s sake, the latest book I’m writing is called Consequences. Nicole is clearly a very troubled person. Sex has irreparably damaged Megan’s psyche. May changed schools. Those were the three people Adam had sex with in Being More Social, and all three were involved in some kind of non-consensual sex in some way (in case it’s unclear, statutory in Megan’s case). I don’t think, of all things, I could say I refused to show the consequences of sex.

Number two, if I’m going to portray this, I feel an obligation to do it honestly, and that’s not limited to the agony, that also includes the ecstasy. I remember that the disgruntled reader didn’t take issue with the fact high schoolers were boinking, but they took issue with the vivid imagery and descriptions in my writing that were basically high schoolers boinking. I get this argument in principle. I’d hate vivid descriptions of bestiality or incest myself. That said, I can’t help but feel that’s a bit… dishonest. If I’m writing from the point of view of a fourteen year old, and he’s having sex with another fourteen year old, is it really the correct thing to do to write it in a sanitized way? If one doesn’t take issue with me including fourteen year olds banging in my erotica but objects rather to how I wrote it, which of these three ways is the morally correct way to write it?

Option one: “And then we had sex. Anyway…”

Option two: “She had a pair of breasts that, had she been eighteen, would have been hot, but as they were right now, they were too young for me despite her being seventeen and me being fourteen. I realized at that moment I should have waited until I was eighteen to even begin thinking about intercourse. πŸ™‚ “

Option three: “Her pussy was beautiful and vibrant, like we were both in our twenties. Our bodies connected and we felt the same adult-ish passion as we looked each other in our eyes, both of us knowing teenage hormones don’t exist and people only feel or acknowledge attraction starting when they’re old enough to pay taxes.”

I’m being hyperbolic, but I have no guilty conscience. Like, yes, a lot of erotica authors online portray underage characters in a deeply immoral way where their dialogue is basically that of conveniently stupid adults and most of the ‘hot’ factor is based on how young they are. It definitely feels predatory. It sexualizes underage characters and usually puts them in situations where they have sex with full-on adults. That is immoral, I agree. And call me delusional if you think I’m wrong, but with the way I portray teens and what happens to them, I don’t deserve to be lumped in with those authors. I get defensive with the way I do get lumped in with the other authors (granted, by around like 4 people over my entire career) because it’s so mind-bendingly stupid. Is Wes Anderson secretly a pedophile because he included two underage actors kissing and having awkward sexual tension (which is normal for teenagers) in Moonrise Kingdom? Give me a break.

Long story short, unless one objects wholecloth to any portrayal of teenage attraction in erotica, for all my other flaws, I do a pretty damn good job at keeping my stories conscious of my subject matter. There’s always ways I can improve, but to act like I’m the worst example when a cursory search of sexstories.com would prove you wrong seems like your issue isn’t so much with underage subject matter but rather… I don’t know. A kneejerk reaction to seeing someone, even a teen, lusting over a teenage body? Which, again, totally valid. A lot of people are, and probably should be, repulsed by that. I don’t write my stories for pedos. I write them for people looking to revisit their teenage years.

Now, I have written, to my knowledge, two counts of an adult and a high schooler getting it on. I’ll be fully honest, my first portrayal (Megan and her teacher) feels almost cheap in hindsight. Like I was going for shock value more than anything else. The high school I came from did have two scandals where teachers had sex with students (both happening before I enrolled) and Hazelwood was unquestionably based on my horny-ass high school, but still, including it felt like I wanted to show off a tipping point in Megan’s character more than showcase an event that seemed real. So, in hindsight, I doubt I’d write a story like that again.

Teacher’s Threat is actually the story I’m the most proud of to this day. In my opinion, the non-sexual scenes feel the most real. The sexual scenes… hit and miss, in my opinion, but hey. I do feel like a situation like a teacher-student relationship takes two deeply immoral people to actually happen. Mina is an overly hormonal obsessive liar, and Ms. Wagner is a selfish wants-too-much-to-be-the-mom-friend person who loves feeling like she has power. Notice, again, that the situation didn’t end well for them. I’m actually floored that I never saw in a sex story a teacher leaving a school or making sure a student never entered their class again, because I bet that’s what 90% of teachers would do. Speaking as someone who’s been a student and a teacher in a high school, high school teachers on a whole are not that mature, and would absolutely jump at the chance to flee responsibility and consequences if given the chance.

I wouldn’t give it a hard ‘no’ but I doubt I’ll ever write a story with such an age gap again. I definitely don’t plan to write from the POV of a pedophile, ever. It’s one thing to write from the POV of a fifteen-year-old enjoying the genitalia of someone their own age, because the reason behind that desire is innocent and natural, but it’s quite another thing to write from the POV of someone who gets their rocks off specifically from boinking underage people. Hard pass. Same reason for why I will likely never touch bestiality. Some things you can’t really touch without outright endorsing them.

I hope that gives some additional insight into my moral limits, if you care for whatever reason. I understand that a good number of you won’t really care about the reason why I write what I do, and others do. Either way, I hope that to those who cared, this was an interesting read. I’ll talk to you all next week.

3 thoughts on “What I Won’t Write

  1. As a point of discussion, despite your best intention, a narcissist and self-centered person (or perhaps an immature, hormones-raging teenager) might read Adam’s story and conclude that Adam didn’t suffer terrible and lasting consequences. Adam still ends up with Nicole, and he gets to enjoy regular intercourse. Adam is still friends with Megan, and who knows, Adam might even be able to have sex with Megan again in the future. The reader might look at these and say, “if that’s the price to have regular sex in high school, I would rather still have sex since the consequences to Adam seems manageable.”

    I’m not saying all these as a criticism. I think ten readers could read the same story and come up with entirely different conclusions.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. By all means, mean it as a criticism! They’re good points. I like the contesting and the perspectives I hadn’t considered.


      1. πŸ˜‚ What I meant to say is even if you’re overt in telling readers about the consequences of having sex at an early age, some might still take it as you’re encouraging it.

        We often read with our own cognitive bias, such as confirmation bias.

        If you write Adam bangs ten 14-year old in high school and scarred them for life before he eventually gets gunned down on the street (grand theft auto style) by an angry father, some readers may take it as an affirmation and still aspire to be like Adam. The lesson they learned is not that they shouldn’t bang high school girls, but to avoid the girl whose father has a shotgun. But for the other nine girls? Full permission to bang.

        Liked by 1 person

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