Anonymous said: I am 16 and looking to publish. The book I wrote is quite sexual - its not erotica, but a lot of the characters do have sex. I'm worried about what my parents, friends, teachers and boyfriend will think.
Okay, so quite a few Young Adult novels have (often graphic) sex scenes because it’s actually pretty important for teens to read things like that, so they get an idea of how it is rather than things like porn and cute rom-com movies with hot-and-heavy one night stands between twenty-somethings.
I personally don’t feel entirely comfortable writing explicit sex scenes, so I don’t. I write them in but don’t write them graphically.
BUT, it doesn’t mean that it should bother you. If it’s important to your book then that’s absolutely fine. And if you get your book published, that’ll probably be a bigger deal than the fact you have some sex scenes in your book, you know?
I’m sure that your parents, friends, teachers and boyfriend will understand. I mean, it’s not like yours will be the only book out there with sex in. Let alone the only writing a teenager has done with sex scenes (have you read any fanfic? Like, M-rated fanfic is out there in abundance and most of it is written by teens, some younger than you!).
Let’s face it - teachers are well aware that some students will be having sex, because that’s what some teenagers do. It happens.
Your boyfriend and your friends - they might tease you a little bit, playfully, but they’ll understand.
Your parents - that might be a bit cringey, but I’m sure they’ll understand too. Even if you’re not having sex right now, a lot of teenagers will end up reading books that have sex in them, or watch TV shows and movies where the characters have sex, so you’re not the only one your age who knows about that kind of stuff.
I hope that’s helped put your mind at ease, and good luck :) xo