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  • Writer's pictureEdie Montreux

It’s Getting Hot in Here

For the record, I hate this song. The choreography is cool, though. Nelly must have his song locked up like Fort Knox if this is the only way I could find it …

I’m rewriting an edgy Young Adult horror novel into a Young Adult M/M romance.

I’m hoping Young Adult has changed since I last read it. The YA books I remember glossed over any sex on the page and focused on the feelings, not the action. The aftermath, kissing and cuddling, is where the real meat of the story happened.

I just wrote the first time my boys are alone together. Let’s just say, it’s not like the YA books I used to read. It’s only 223 words, but it has a heat index of erotica. Even the dialogue.

Now, the questions I have to ask myself (these are my favorite YA publisher’s requirements for sexual content):

  1. Is it appropriate to my characters?

  2. Is it excessive?

  3. Is it crude?

  4. Is it too explicit?

It’s definitely appropriate to my characters. It’s early in their relationship, but I make sure to show the less experienced of the two showing consent at every increased level of intimacy.  Consent is important to me, so it’s important to my characters.

Is it excessive? I could probably cut a few words here and there.

Is it crude? It’s sex. Glorious, beautiful sex. I can make sex awkward, clunky, or downright wrong (wrong person, wrong time), but crude? I don’t see it that way. I hope I’m not wrong about my own mad skillz…

Is it too explicit? Maybe. There are words like, “cockhead,” and a comparison to masturbation. Is it too much for kids?

“But Ms. Montreux, it’s just a blow job.”

As a teacher, it shocked me to learn that my students thought oral sex wasn’t sex. (They label things a little differently at the Catholic School than they did at my public school and state university, apparently.) I’m still of the opinion that, if you’re doing it with someone else, it’s a sex act, even if you’re just jacking off in the same vicinity. You’re sharing your body’s most private joy with someone else. Your sex noises. That look on your face when you come. How is that not a communion with someone else?

This scene is light, and fun, and definitely a first time.That might mean it’s too explicit. I can cut a word here or there and make it better. I won’t cut the scene. Kids don’t get enough sex education, or the right kind of sex education, in schools. If we also police the type of information they read, they’re going to think there’s a “wrong way” to use their bodies. Worse, they won’t know how to ask for consent, or how to stop when they don’t get it.

I will dial the heat back a notch. It is YA, after all. However, I won’t cut it completely.

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