Yes, you're reading that right: it's a young adult book series with explicit sex scenes added into it.
The Vincent Boys series is a book I have never read and probably never will. It's a young adult book series. Katherine (you remember Katherine?) has the originals on her Kindle and will apparently read them and come up with some comments on whether it was necessary and why she's against it. I look forward to it.
But until then, I get to step up to my stage and rant.
I am all for sex. That's a weird thing to say. But I'm very sex-positive. I think if you're emotionally and physically ready for sex and if you want to have it, you should go for it, as long as you're doing it safely. I think virginity is a concept created to sell women to men in ancient times. Condoms and birth control should both be easily available and accessible, and it's been proven that being sex-positive leads to less teen pregnancy, abortions and an overall happier life.
I think if you don't want to have sex, that's great. I'm friends with asexuals (people not interested in sex) and I myself and demisexual (only interested if already romantically involved). Nobody should be judged for deciding not to have sex, and people who do judge you are assholes.
I think women and young girls, especially, are taught all the wrong things and that we honestly should be talking more about sex and enjoying ourselves and knowing that saying no is okay. Consent is sexy, and enjoying yourself is sexy, and there's nothing wrong with that.
I'm all for sex in young adult novels. If we're going to start talking about it anywhere, young adult novels are the place to start - how it can awkward and figuring out what you need and what feels nice.
But here's the thing: young adult novels aren't erotica.
Every genre of books, in terms of age, has a niche. Young adult focuses on a bildungsroman, or a coming of age. That can be coming of age sexually, but it's not about the sex itself. Adult novels have characters who have already discovered themselves; that's why erotica fits so well in that category: it's sex written for the sake of sex. It can be steamy and sexy, but it works for that story.
Steamy, adult sex scenes don't work in a young adult context, because the book stops becoming a young adult novel.
Can young adult sex be steamy and sexy? I'm certain it can be. But it doesn't fit in well with the rest of the story, especially when it's added in afterwards; young adult stories are emotionally driven, and sticking in descriptions of bodies clashing together takes away from that.
Now, the 10k words that were added to the story above could make sense. I haven't read the books, and I hope Katherine will take a look. But if it's like most young adult stories, the fade-to-blacks, or the description of the emotion, happen for a reason. The physical description takes the focus off of the emotional feelings and growth of the characters and turns it into something physical.
Can sex be something that's just physical?
But then, what's the point of it in the story? What's the point of it in the plot? It becomes erotica, where sex scenes are there for the sake of sex scenes. And that's not part of a young adult story, because it's not part of the story.
And I think that's what irritates me about that (and about sex scenes when they're added to classics, like Jane Eyre). It takes away from characters and ends up not having a point at all.
And I like my stories to have a point.
What do you guys think about this awfully controversial topic?
Kelly wrote a post infinitely more fabulous than mine on the same topic. Epona's Reviews also made a post about sex in YA, complete with examples -- check it out!