Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Ask Andrew - How Young is Too Young


Dear Andrew

How early is too early for boys to be naked with each other by choice and eventually sexual? I have a story (placed just before the civil war in a rural area for context) I'm working on that had two boys become friends at age three.

Krista

Dear Krista

I want to thank you for your question.  I know there was a lot more detail in the original note you sent me, but I thought this got to the heart of the matter.  As a writer, we must handle situations like sex in a way that fits the story.  In a realistic, specifically a rural historical setting, children will be exposed to sexual situations sooner than children today.  As young children they would be exposed to animals doing what animals do and they are very naturally curious.  Another thing to consider is that within the historical context, people grew up, married, and had children much younger that we generally do today.  I do believe its important to make sure that sexual interactions you choose to include, especially at a young age, are only included if they are truly important to the story you're telling. 

Now some words of caution. Even though you are writing a historically set story, readers have a modern sensibility, so its important to make sure that sexual interactions between the characters are handled in a way that doesn't turn readers off.  Sex between children must be handled very delicately.  You want readers to enjoy your story and in todays legal environment, its important to be careful, especially when dealing with children. 

Here is a possible solution.  Rather than writing the childhood interactions as part of the main story, they can be included as part of the back story and recalled at an appropriate time by one of the characters.  It makes the action seem a little less immediate and gives the reader some removal. 

I will say that you presented me with a tough question and one that doesn't have a single straight forward answer.  I hope I have been helpful.

Hugs and Love
Andrew

Ask Andrew is your chance to ask questions of a gay romance author.  The questions can be about the writing process in general, writing sex scenes, gay men, sex, characters in romance, characters having sex... okay you probably get the picture.    I promise to answer your questions as frankly and with as much humor as I possibly can.

So if you have a question, please send it to andrewgreybooks@comcast.net.  This is different from my usual email so your questions don't get lost.  I will answer one question a week.

Please remember this is meant to be all in fun.  (I was going to say good, clean fun, but who wants that.)    So send me your questions and let's see what mischief we can get into.

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1 comment:

  1. Great answers. I agree that even though kids may even today have sex at an early age people don't necessarily feel comfortable reading about it. When it comes to children people tend to want to protect them even when they aren't real.

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