The purpose of this post is to establish my thoughtful and considered opinion regarding intimate relationships in fiction - especially in regards to teenage sexuality.
I have discussed this briefly in the past, but today, I wrote up the note that I'm including in each of my books from here on out (and will link on all of my chapters here on Hive.)
I have noticed that this is a very taboo subject. I’m not quite sure why it is acceptable to have graphic violence in the movies, yet it’s not okay to have sexual reality.
Do you remember what it was like to be thirteen or fourteen with your first crush? Did you abstain from sexual contact or did you give in? Why or why not?
If you abstained, was it because you didn’t feel old enough? Or were you “righteous” because that was what your parents and your church wanted for you? Or was it simply because you didn’t know what to do – or have the opportunity?
If you gave in, did you have regrets? Or did you enjoy every moment, wondering why parents/church didn’t want to admit you were mature enough to have such longings, feelings, hormones and instincts?
So many of us are the result of unanticipated encounters. Our parents gave into lust at the precise moment that would begin our own lives. Maybe they considered abortion – but for whatever reason, they didn’t do that. Hopefully, you are grateful for that (at least most of the time.)
The fact remains – contrary to what many churches want us to believe – we are animals with very animal instincts and nothing is stronger than the desire to procreate (even if you decide to postpone that event as long as possible.)
In ages past, it was normal for a teenager to marry and have children. (Sometimes the marriage happened first, sometimes it happened second – perhaps at the point of Daddy’s gun.)
Indeed, it is thought that the Virgin Mary was 14 – as was Juliet. Why can’t adults understand that teenagers are as grown-up as we allow/teach them to be?
Can we discern the difference between a child and a teenager? While a child (below the age of puberty) is unable to understand sexuality in a way that can imply any form of consent, a teenager does know and understand.
Child sex and child marriage (below the age of puberty) is abhorrent and should be opposed in every way possible. Exploitation in all forms is also abhorrent and should be opposed absolutely.
These are matters of consent. Any sexual relationship based on anything other than complete consent is abusive, exploitative and immoral in every sense of the word. This includes situations where the perpetrator uses position or other weapons to coerce consent where there wouldn’t have been any otherwise.
I have run into many roadblocks when marketing my works – simply because I feature underage lovers. Some sites will state categorically that the age of consent is 18.
Not only is this legally rubbish (age of consent varies from state to state, country to country), but it’s biologically inaccurate. In the USA, the average age for giving up virginity is 17. Meaning that at least half of teens have had at least one sexual encounter before they are of legal age to consent. (Look it up.)
Why do we make a crime where there isn’t one?
As a writer, I feel the need to cover reality – not just the politically-correct version of life! That includes the reality of teenage lust, the reality of bad people, the reality of coercion and rape as well as rampant hormones that induce us to make bad decisions at the worst time possible.
I also feel the responsibility of having consequences for actions. I will never glorify an abusive relationship – though sometimes, the characters will manage to find a way to deal with it that you may or may not agree with. Maybe the character will “wake up” in the future – or maybe they won’t… The details will vary from situation to situation.
My goal is to help others see dangers that might have happened to others – to help them avoid them themselves… learn about both good and bad relationships and encourage them to achieve better in their own lives. But my main goal is to be honest – to not judge others for the choices that seemed right at the time – and for consequences to befit the actions and decisions made… whether that be a marriage to give stability to a newly-conceived life or jail (or worse) for someone who took advantage of others.
So, when you read my works, please look at the situation from the point-of-view of the character who is “speaking” - remember your teenage hormones and think of the teens you knew personally (or heard of) who clearly made similar decisions based on the basic animalistic need to procreate.
With that in mind, I hope you enjoy my writing as much as I enjoy creating it.
If you have liked any of my books, please take the time to leave me a review/rating at Goodreads
Previous issues of Ask the Author
This is the cover scene from Building on Promise and features Yewan Avicent and Tirry Jelham on the beach in Loxos, Gaskarii.
Figures posed in Daz 3D studio using Genesis and other free bits of clothing and hair.
Background image taken with my Samsung NX11 in Seaside, Oregon.
Editing done in Gimp and Photoscape.
All image work done by the author.
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author/designer at A'mara Books
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