Sex in Novels…| Thursday Ramblings

Sex in Novels…| Thursday Ramblings
Thursday Ramblings is a casual feature/meme here on Josie’s Book Corner where I pick a topic and discuss it with you. This is a casual post, filled with rambling and chatting! So basically, we are simply having a conversation about the topic at hand!

Okay, I’m aware it is Friday today (at least, in Australia) but you know, sometimes life gets in the way of your blogging schedule and sometimes trains decide to break down and leave you standing in line for a bus home for over an hour. Things happen. BUT I did not want to leave you guys for a week without this discussion. 

One: because I already told you all on Twitter, and you’re all probably dying with anticipation (just kidding, you’re probably not). And two: because I REALLY LIKE THIS TOPIC. Or at least, I’m passionate about this topic. 

Our topic, by the by, is sex in novels. I think this is quite a high topic, especially as of late, as more and more novels are incorporating sexy times into their novels. Honestly, it’s everywhere, AND I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHY. I DON’T LIKE IT. As you can tell, I’m very anti-sex-in-novels, unless their are of the erotica genre. Because I don’t read erotica, ha.

Let’s discuss!


Sex in novels. I feel like many people will go against me, or at least shake their heads in disagreement with me when I say, I don’t think we should feature sex within novels, save for the exception of erotica. I understand why people wouldn’t mind it, such as in new adult: I know people argue that it is good to show that awareness of the act, to allow people to familiarize themselves with sex, but I don’t think this is necessary at all, and I don’t think it’s a valid enough argument. I’m sorry to be so strong in opinion and blunt, PLEASE DON’T THROW ROTTEN FOOD AT ME. *sobs*


I really don’t like the idea of featuring sex in novels. We all love a good steamy romance, and steamy love scenes and I must admit, I do swoon a little bit (such as in ACOTAR, HOLY GOODNESS THAT BOOK. SO STEAMY) but the moment that things start moving into sexy times and descriptions and visuals, I start to squirm and get uncomfortable. Is sex really necessary in our novels? I feel as though all New Adult romance fiction revolves around the sex. And featuring sex scenes in Young Adult? I strongly disagree with this for several reasons. We have enough of this in our erotica novels, and even more all over the internet. Why should we start sexualising the pages of our novels? 


I don’t read New Adult novels. One of the biggest reasons for this, I suppose, is because almost all of the books in this genre, feature sex. Most specifically, I don’t read New Adult romance because of this reason. A few months ago, I read Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover and my goodness. The entire plotline centered around sex with “no strings attached”.  Of course, I knew this when I went into the book, but I wasn’t expecting it to be so centered around it. 

All the time, whenever I read a review of a New Adult book, there is almost always the mention of sex within them. Is this seriously necessary? Out of all the life experiences that we could be exploring with the New Adult genre, from university, to mid-life crises, and so much more, we are focusing on sex? 

By focusing around this theme, it feels as though all NA romance novels follow along the same kind of plot. No matter what NA romance review I read, I’m almost bored to death because THEY ALL SOUND THE SAME. Am I being too harsh? I just don’t understand it. It makes all the storylines of YA romances so bland. We could be exploring the experiences of young people moving into adulthood and the struggles of dealing with life in a huge world, we could be focusing on mid-life crises and people dealing with the world around them. 

Especially to the readers who are emerging out of YA novels and into NA, we are romanticising the idea of being an adult, giving the impression that when you step into the wider world, your experiences with men/women is going to be all about sexy times and this is just as bad as the portrayal of some romances in YA, in my personal opinion. 


STAAAAHHHP. With all the sex within New Adult novels and the Erotica genre, we do NOT need to include this theme in Young Adult. This makes me a little sick to my stomach. Now you’re probably grabbing your pitchforks right now  and hoping to shut me up. I know, I sound a little outrageous, but come on guys, this is a harmless discussion where we can be free to express our opinions… right?

We have enough to deal with in YA novels. Mental health, growing up, self discovery, and much more. Of course, I suppose you can argue that sex is a part of self-discovery and growing up but I don’t think so, and I really don’t want to promote sex among a teenage audience. Everything in our society today is becoming sexualised: the internet, entertainment, music, movies – IT’S EVERYWHERE. If we can’t even get romance right in YA, how well will we do in portraying sex? Just… no. Please. 

We have enough media promoting sex to young people, and I think that including sex in Young Adult novels, is just sending reassurance to young people that it’s normal for them to have sex, being 16, 17, or maybe even younger. This is not something we want to promote. Leave it to our explicit music, and the internet to do that. Leave our precious books alone and untouched. Please. 

Sometimes I am shocked when I read about sex scenes in YA. It’s happened twice to me now, I believe. And both times were fairly uncomfortable for me. I am not sure if it’s just me as a person that makes me react this way, but despite all that, I stick to my opinion. We don’t need sex in YA. 


You’re all probably sitting in your chairs, or your couch, your bed… (you get what I’m saying), thinking “Josie, why do you think this way about this topic?”.  Because sex is a personal experience. It’s a private affair. I believe that it shouldn’t be something we flaunt so unfiltered in the pages of our books. In some cases, there are books what basically are written porn (cough, cough, Fifty Shades of Grey). 

Traditionally, sex is a personal experience between two people, coming together in love. But our society has turned it around into a public display. We have enough evidence of that from porn sites all over the internet. If we don’t promote porn as a normal thing, we shouldn’t accept sex in novels. Especially when they are as steamy as graphic as some can be. 

In my opinion, this is a topic, a theme, that should be kept private. Not flaunted in books. Unless we are addressing pressing issues that reflect problems in society, such as domestic violence, rape, assault, etc. then I believe sex shouldn’t be something so dominant in novels. Not even New Adult novels. 

I’m going to stop now, before I get too passionate and my revolutionary side comes bursting through the protective barrier of my soul. Because once that side of me comes out, there’s no way to stop it until it has completed it’s rant. 
Now I give this discussion to you, bookworms! Tell me your thoughts! 

What do you think about sex in novels?

Do you think it’s okay to portray it in novels? (I hope not, but no pressure)


75 responses to “Sex in Novels…| Thursday Ramblings”

  1. I can understand not wanting to read it, but I don’t think that should extend to saying people shouldn’t write it or that it shouldn’t be available for consumption. Sex is a major aspect of self-discovery, especially for those who don’t fall into hetero normative categories (and that is a major form of diversity that needs to be discussed).

    While I agree that sex is private for most people, sex is not always about love (from what I hear, it often is not), and the complexities of deciding whether to have sex is something YA would do well to approach–because modern young adults are dealing with this a lot. That’s not to say I think it’s currently being done well in YA, but I don’t think the mere presence should be censored. Am I making sense? ^^;

    Liked by 2 people

  2. WOW THANK YOU! First of all, it takes some guts to write a post about a controversial subject. Even more so if you’ve got an unpopular opinion about. Second of all, I’m so glad I’ve found someone to share my opinion with! Though I do believe that writer’s can write about whatever they want to, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s right. Especially in ya novels. Yes, I understand some glazed over scenes with sex, for example ACOTAR or The Fault in Our Stars. But when you include detailed descriptions, it actually brings the substance of the novel down. When you could be writing something that changes the world, you’re writing about a teen’s first experience at sex. Is this part of many teen’s life? Yes. Should we really be promoting that? No! And yeah, it does make me uncomfortable to read about these scenes. I feel like, at the very least in ya novels, there should be some sort of prominent way to inform a reader that there will be some sexy times involved in a book before they read it. So no, I don’t really think sex in books is okay. But, I will always defend a writer’s ability to write whatever they want to. Though I would like their to be exceptions, you really can’t take away this right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becca I am so glad you agree with me on this! It’s such a difficult thing to agree and disagree with because there are so many things we need to consider. But I feel like for the most part, talking about sex, particularly doing it is overly descriptive ways, is so unnecessary! Even if it is a big part of everyone’s lives.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post, Josie! See, you stirred a good audience here. It’s good hearing people’s perspective on such a delicate issue as this 🙂

    Like you, I think sex is something that shouldn’t be flaunt. While I have nothing against people who do it without the blessing of marriage, I personally believe that it should be kept sacred. Before it’s a vessel of pleasure, it’s a means of procreation first. In that sense, I am in unison with you in saying YA shouldn’t have it. Authors shouldn’t pose it just because it’s the trend in the community, just because it became a social construct.

    And PS books with half-naked humans in a steamy scene? Ughh *cringe*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes I’m so happy for such a great response to this post! It makes me so happy.
      I’m glad you’re in agreement with me! I really don’t think YA should have it, especially if not for awareness purposes, especially not the descriptive, close to erotic kind of descriptions!
      And YES UGH I hate books with half naked people on the covers. I won’t read it even if someone tells me the story is amazing.


  4. Thank you for such an interesting post! This is one of the only posts where I was actually interested enough to read every single one of the comments & replies.

    I think I’m definitely okay with sex in any novel as long as it fits the story. If it’s censored for no reason other than because it’s just about sex, I think that’s sad because we’re getting these characters’ whole experiences & sex is probably one of the most important experiences in life.

    That being said I totally agree that a lot of books, especially quite a bit of new adult books I’ve read, just throw it in there to heat things up for no reason. I’ve read some awfully narrated sex scenes. They’ve been cringeworthy haha

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome! And that is SO awesome! The fact that this post got you to do that makes me feel absolutely amazing.
      You’re right, we should t censor it for no reason but only when it’s necessary or if it’s too much. Or if not, there should be warnings on the outside of the book or something like that! But indeed, sex is a very crucial part of life, but I feel that if we keep on the way we do in some novels, we will be making sex into something it’s not meant to be, you know?
      Oh yes I’ve read some cringeworthy stuff too!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m not against the inclusion of sex in books per se. I could very happily do without it but what I’m against is the causal treatment of sex, particularly in YA fiction. On that point, I completely agree with you. These days a lot of YA book give the appearance that sex at such a young age has become the norm. Statistics proves otherwise. Yes, it’s on the rise among teens but that doesn’t mean that everyone is doing it. It’s not healthy and you’re right, we don’t need books to further encourage this.

    At the same time, I don’t think that something being private should be a reason to shy away from difficult topics. Personal struggles, mental illness, etc are very private matters are shouldn’t be swept under the rug either. Sex too is a difficult topic and should be treated accordingly.

    Books are also a reflection of our cultures and realities. The fact of the matter is, there are 16-year-olds and *shudders* even younger teens who engage in sex. It’s important that sex thus is included in YA books too but instead of going into the graphics of it, it’d be much more helpful to demonstrate the emotional tangles and such that arise out of it.

    Personally, I don’t actually care for sex in books. Even romance is sometimes best left out books. Other things can matter so much more than fleeting love interests.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, mental illness and other themes are just as personal as sex. That’s why I wouldn’t say that we should completely rule out the inclusion of sex in novels, but do it in a way that, as you said, is treated carefully, because I feel it’s so easy to include it in the wrong way. There are many positive ways to include sex in novels but my main issue is that most don’t portray it carefully, but instead in ways that are, to me, unnecessary.
      Thank you for stopping by!


  6. I don’t really mind reading sex in novels as long as it is important to the plot of the book or gives a better view towards the characters or the relationship between the characters. For example when you want to emphasise the bond between two lovers, or something like the main character’s first time or something.
    However, I do agree that some books contain unnecessary sex scenes that just shouldn’t be there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Fair enough, you make a good point! I suppose to emphasise the strong relationship between two characters, it would be okay. But the way that it is expressed is where my concerns and complaints lie.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I read YA, NA and Adult genres but you’ll find me reading mostly YA genres more than NA. Now a days, most of the NA books revolve around Sex which eventually made me lose interest in them but I do often read them. I’m perfectly alright with YA novels with not having sex scenes and there are lots of hit novels without it so I totally agree with you on it. Great topic BTW! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is exactly why I don’t read NA either! I don’t mind the mention of it or anything, but I don’t need it to get visual. If I wanted that, I’d pick up erotica! I’m even scared to pick up NA fantasy because I know it can get graphic :/ It’s just, CAN’T I GET A BOOK ABOUT MAGIC AND DRAGONS WITHOUT IT BEING PORN? I’m sure there are books like that out there, but I’m just scared I’d accidentally pick up the wrong one. Also some readers of YA are too young for sex scenes. I was 12/13 when I read the Twilight series and there were some graphic scenes in it at some point. That was horrifying for little me!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! I’m glad you agree with me! Like seriously, we don’t read novels for the sex scenes. Sure maybe a little bit of steamy feels but please, don’t get graphic or overly descriptive. There should be a clear line between erotica and a little bit of steaminess.
      AND YOU MAKE A GOOD POINT OMG. There’s no restrictions on the age that people can read certain books! A little child of 10 years old could accidentally pick up a book with graphic sex scenes and what could anyone do about it? AGH.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s why I like the Shadowhunters books so much. It’s implied, but not described (wow rhyme not intended haha). Cassie could’ve described everything, but thankfully she didn’t. Yeah exactly! As a kid I’ve picked up a few YA novels without knowing they weren’t meant for my age. Thankfully they weren’t really sexual, but if it had been… KIDS DON’T WANT TO READ ABOUT SEX

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Interesting discussion Josie! I personally don’t think there’s anything wrong with including sex in YA novels – particularly since teenagers themselves will have similar experiences. I was completely oblivious and knew nothing about it, but sometimes you need to know about it for like safety concerns and stuff like that you know? Yes, it is pretty uncomfortable at times – but I think that makes it all the more realistic.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Jeann! Yeah, in the case that it’s good for young teenagers to see it to get an understanding, but I feel like YA Books with sex can sometimes over-do the portrayal of it, you know? And possibly give young people the wrong expectations. But I suppose it’s not as bad as portrayals in other forms of media and entertainment.
      And yes, for safety concerns and such it is important!
      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts!


  10. This is a really interesting post. I guess I’m somewhere in between, because I’m semi-okay with sex scenes in YA, as long as it isn’t too graphic. I’m perfectly fine with the mention of sex, but when it starts to get graphic, I think it should automatically be classified in the NA or even erotica genres. I’m also not okay with 15 or 16 year-olds having sex- it’s just not okay, and it could easily encourage the reader to take action in something entirely not okay for their age. For the most part, however, I think the reader is responsible for what he/she reads, and that people should know how much reading could affect your perspective on things in real life- and this isn’t always necessarily a good thing. Very often, I get really uncomfortable with reading about sex in books, and most of the time, I’ve learned to either skip it, or, if worst comes to worst, put the book down.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I’m okay with them also if they aren’t graphic. The mention of sex I suppose is fine, because it’s something that should be common knowledge for everyone. But there is no need for graphic scenes of characters doing the deed!
      Exactly, 15/16 year old sex, we shouldn’t be promoting.
      Yeah, in the end, it’s also a reader’s choice! That’s some great points you made, thank you so much for stopping by! 💓

      Liked by 1 person

  11. While I do love reading erotica, I do believe there is a time and place for sex. In a YA book, there is no such time or place. Especially if the book is geared toward the younger ages, and not someone of 16/17/18 ish.

    This was definitely an interesting discussion! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I don’t think sex in novels is problematic. I think the real issue is HOW it’s written. In regards to new adult, a major reason why the genre came about was because readers who were going off to college were looking for books that were more relatable to them and new adult filled that gap between YA and adult. While sex is a component in pretty much all new adult books, I don’t think that it new adult should be regarded as a genre as being ALL about sex. I have read some really great new adult novels that combat the issues you spoke about. New adult is also a bit more raw in the sense that it doesn’t sugar coat things and they highlight the uglier side of life. New adult is not for everyone, but there are some real diamonds among the pile of coal, you just have to dig a little deeper until you find them.

    I do agree with you about sex in YA. I think that some YA books are taking it too far and I find myself having to check to make sure the book I’m reading is YA and not NA.I don’t think that we should get rid of sex entirely but rather just change up HOW it’s written. I personally prefer it when authors use metaphors to describe sex in YA and they make it fluffy. I don’t think that sex should be written out of YA plot though because to sex does play a role is teenage development and without it, I wouldn’t find it to be realistic.

    I’m not for writing off sex in novels, but if we change the way it’s written, I think reading through those steamy scenes would feel less awkward.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I think you’re so right and I guess this was something I was trying to say in my discussion as well. I am not completely bothered with the inclusion of sex itself as a theme in some novels but my main problem and complaint is in the way that it’s written. While I would say we should be less graphic about it and that I agree with you about the metaphor and fluffy stuff, at the same time, we can’t make it so that we are over-romanticising the idea of sex if that makes sense. Not making it so that we give false expectations and such to the inexperienced? I think being more vague and describing it in not too much detail is a way to go.
      You make excellent points that I also agree with, thank you for stopping by!☺️

      Liked by 1 person

  13. This is such an interesting discussion, and I can feel how passionnate you are just by reading all of this, Josie! 😀 I’m kind of thinking the same thing as you, in the sense that sex is a private matter between two people, and it shouldn’t be turned into a public display like that. I’m not at ease too much with that either. That being said, however, I like when some books are ( without showing off sexual actions or becoming simply, porn stories, if I can put it like that) being sex-aware, and sex-positive, in the way that they quietly but strongly talk about protected sex and stuff like that, because I think this is something that remains important in everyone’s lives. However, I totally agree with you in that it shouldn’t be displayed too much, this is mainly why I don’t read New Adult books, to be honest. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aw thank you Marie!
      I’m glad you agree, and also you make an excellent point! I totally agree that I also like it when books show sex-positivity, promoting things like safe sex. That’s something that we need to promote.
      But yes in the end, sex is personal, and I feel that it’s not necessary at all to flaunt the details that make up the act of sex.
      Thank you so much for commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, each to their own I suppose. But I think there should come as a clear warning of graphic scenes. Just as we have the audience ratings for movies, something should be done for books too, because there’s no age restrictions on books, which is what worries me!


  14. I loved this discussion. I don’t think I feel as strongly about it as you do, but I totally see where you are coming from. I’ve had pretty good luck with NA. I actually haven’t read any that revolve around sex. You just have to find the right ones, I guess! But if there does happen to be a sex scene, I really don’t mind at all. I do sometimes get slightly uncomfortable with sex scenes in YA, though. Ice Kissed by Amanada Hocking, for example, is labeled as YA, but there is a sex scene in there that I was not expecting AT ALL. It was pretty detailed for being YA. I feel like over time the sex in YA has gotten a lot more risqué. Overall, though, I’m not too bothered by it. Sometimes I even like a little sexy time between the characters, lol. But even the tension of hoping two characters will kiss is just enough, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad you liked it! It means a lot, especially the fact that you took the time to read and comment!
      I’m okay with some sexy times on novels. I was okay with ACOTAR for a while until one little sex scene that pushed my boundaries a bit too far over the line and things for uncomfortable!


  15. Haha, that was very passionate. 😉 I kind of am half and half?! Personally I don’t like reading about sex because…egh. I just don’t?! and I haaaaate NA novels were characters having sex is the ONLY plot of the novel. I just don’t see that as a plot at all!!
    However I do think sex should be talked about and not closeted away, particularly when teens want answers about things. Plus safe-sex talks in books are kinda important too. *nods* SOOOO YEAH. Half and half. xD I am entirely happy when a YA book just gets on with the shooting and zombie punching and even leaves out the romance entirely. xDXD I’m such an unromantic bean!
    But I still can’t really say “YA books shouldn’t have sex”. It depends.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I have to agree with Cait here. It’s a difficult path to tread and I think that has a lot to do with the fact that we’re seeing such poor portrayals of romance and sex in YA novels at the moment. People are trying to put it in there. They’re trying to explain that sex is okay to talk about and to teach teenagers to be safe. However, many of them are doing it incorrectly. They botch up the sex as much as they botch up the romance, or the character development, which leaves a bad taste in everyone’s mouth when it comes to that topic.

      Even so, when we closet the subject of sex entirely and refuse to face it, we’re basically saying ‘don’t do this!’ Well, what are teenagers most likely to do when they receive that kind of a command? The exact opposite. We can’t ignore the fact that it exists. There are teenagers out there who have sex and have it without appropriate precautions and a lot of that has to do with inappropriate education. Books could be that education.

      Yet, at the same time, I can understand not wanting it in YA novels because, by so doing, we are inadvertently promoting it. So, as I said, it’s a difficult path to tread. I, personally, would leave it up to the author of the novel and pray that they do it correctly if they plan to do it at all.

      Liked by 3 people

      • It really is such a difficult thing! Yes sex can be just as overdone as romance can. And I also agree we shouldn’t avoid it altogether. Because we still all need to be aware of it, and of course we can let the idea of sex become taboo (not that that would happen anytime soon).
        I think books can definitely be made to be the RIGHT sex education for people, if it’s done better, and if it possible isn’t so graphic I suppose. Because we have enough of sex in movies, TV shows, the Internet. But usually in all those other mediums, they’re not done well at all, they’re just promoting sex badly. Books can definitely be the game changer, I agree with that.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, thank you, I try 😉
      Oh Cait no, I totally agree with you also! Safe sex and all that kind of stuff should be promoted, and in that case, I do accept sex in YA. But my problem is the way some of it is written to be so graphic and revealing some of the intimate details which I believe is not necessary, because it’s a private thing, and who knows what age of person is reading it? There’s no age restrictions on books after all!
      Haha, oh there’s nothing wrong with being unromantic 😉


  16. It kind of sucks that NA has become synonymous with sex. At my age, I should be enjoying books in the NA bookshelf, but it’s all awkward and lacks variety to be interesting. Like everyone else, I agree with the points you mentioned and I feel like sex in YA is not appropriate for its audience. I don’t have anything against sex but I sure don’t want a lengthy paragraph of it in my YA books. It’s a bit similar to my reaction when I’m watching movies or tv shows and just suddenly, people start shredding their clothes off *rolls eyes* I mean, can’t they have a conversation and repress their sexual drives at the same time?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Exactly! They all feel the same, feel like they follow all the same plot lines.
      Sure sexy times are great, and sometimes they fit nicely and give a great atmosphere to the story and the characters relationship but making it too details is just not the way to go!
      I know right?
      Thank you so much for stopping by! 💕


  17. I couldn’t agree more.
    I cannot agree why is sex becoming something so important and viable in our YA books today. There are better themes to focus on. Maybe, it is assumed that this is what the YA audience would like in a book. But even if that could be a potential reason, it should be in no way entertained. I believe our books esp. YA, must help us in developing perspectives and self discovery. And I don’t know how sexual themes are going to help. Good Post Jose!

    Liked by 2 people

  18. I can mostly see where you’re coming from. Like you, I have a strong sense that sex should remain in the realm of the personal and private. It really bugs me when sex scenes are added just to titillate the reader. Unless you’re writing actual erotica, sex in a novel usually works better if it’s implied, or very very understated. I agree that full-blown, play-by-play sex scenes have no place in YA. I liked the way that “Ruin and Rising” (of the Grisha trilogy) handled sex – it’s vaguely implied, yes, but it’s brief, nothing graphic at all, and is the culmination of a longstanding deep emotional connection.

    However, I respectfully disagree with some of your other points. Yes, sex is a private affair – but we’re in the heads of these characters, with a window into ALL their private thoughts/feelings/secrets. Why censor sex if you’re not going to also censor their other private thoughts? Why not also censor out their insecurities, jealousies, angry thoughts they have about their mothers? That wouldn’t make a very good story. It strikes me as odd to single out sex as the one private thing that should be off-limits to readers.

    Sex is a normal and vital part of most people’s human experiences. I think it should stay in our YA and NA literature, as long as it’s treated with respect and discretion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you’re definitely right, and I guess I come off a bit too strong with this topic!
      I do think we shouldn’t completely cross out sex from novels but just tone it down a little. As you say, treat it with discretion and understate it. There is no reason to censor it out completely because it is, as you said, part of life. I just don’t like it when these scenes are written so graphic, almost like erotica, when it’s not meant for that at all. Particularly graphic, descriptive language in these type of scenes.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Josie, I’m so glad that you wrote this post. I am totally I’m the same boat as you! I steer clear of NA because I know it’s going to contain content that I’m just not interested in/comfortable reading. I’m kind of on the fence here. Personally, I would not want a daughter of mine reading explicit sex scenes in her books. At the same time, people have brought up a good point in that YA books could be used as a tool to promote safe sex. I’m not actually sure what the statistics are on high schoolers who are having sex…so I wouldn’t want books to make high schoolers think that all of their peers are doing it–I’m sure that’s not the case. Overall, it is not personally something that I would want to read, but I can see a potential benefit to it. Either way though, explicit sex scenes especially in YA are completely unnecessary in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m glad you agree! Neither would I like my daughter to read sex scenes, not until she is mature and old enough I suppose. But i guess there are worse places to experience sex scenes than in books!
      For safe sex, I agree, that’s a good way to use it in YA and NA even.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Gauging by the books that are being published, NA is a weird genre, mainly because there’s waaaaaay more to being a “new adult” than sex. That romance and the act of sex is so prominently featured in all NA novels: #1 insulting. #2: means NA will be folded into the romance genre very soon. To my friends who read romance novels–I’ve tried but romance novels just doesn’t float my boat–I joke and say, “Romance novels are women’s porn,” and they all agree! Romance, yes, allusions to sex, yes, but I definitely don’t think the act of sex belongs in YA books.

    Liked by 3 people

    • NA really is a weird genre! And I don’t think it should be that way at all because there is so much more to it than that! While I’m not yet part of the audience for NA, I am coming close to it though.
      Romance novels are women’s porn! Oh gosh I love that!


  21. I agree! I love steamy romance, but when it moves to sex scene with description and everything, we as a reader, would imagine that happens visually. And I hate imagining my beloved characters, of 16-18 years old, having sex in a middle apocalyptic war/hell/whatever crisis happens in YA book. I personally find sex scenes unecessary, because well, it’s intimate moment. It’s an intimate moment between the characters that I wouldn’t like to know. If they only mentioned like “we/he/she had sex” it’s okay, but when we actually get the scene? Nope nope nope. *skips the pages*

    Liked by 3 people

    • Exactly! They are fairly in unnecessary, in most cases and plot lines.
      Sometimes sex scenes can be written in an okay way, if they are understates and skim over details. That’s what I like. But in most cases I tend to skip as well!


  22. I prettty much agree with everything you just said. My opinion on sex in novels however depends on the culture and the society the book is portraying and the influence it has on the characters, and also censorship. For example, if you give me a novel set in 18th century and then show me a somewhat modest or religious teenage character having sex before marriage…well that’s going to bother me, because in that era and culture things like that did not usually happen.

    In TID, (WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD) when Tessa and Will had sex I did a double take at first given the timeline the novel was set in, but then I remembered that the Shadowhunters at the time were not really as conservative as the mundanes, so that was fine by me. But in this case, my problem was the audience TID was targeted for. YA is for children as young as 13 and Idk about anyone else but I sure as hell would not want my 13 year old sister to read about sex. In these cases, I think it is very importany for the writer to specify the age group.

    As for your thoughts on NA, I totally agree with you there. It’s all about sex with no strings attached. Tbh there is no real plot in NA anymore.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, when approaching a different time period and culture it’s important to stick to ALL the customs even rules about sex. I was fairly okay with the sex scene between Tessa and Will, and was pretty much swooning if I’m being honest because… Well it’s Will Herondale!
      But the AUDIENCE. That’s why I think books need to have some kind of “WARNING: EXPLICIT SCENES INCLUDED” somewhere as a warning, or at least a heads up for readers. That would be something I appreciate.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Me too. My sister has just started reading YA. Every time she wants to read a book, she makes me read that same book before she does and decide if it’s appropriate for her. It gets annoying sometimes esp when I have ARCs to review.

        Liked by 1 person

  23. (Sorry in advanced – I have written you an essay!)

    First, I think it’s great that you’re sharing your opinion on something that could be somewhat ‘controversial’. Go you, Josie!

    Second, I completely understand the points you raise. I share your opinion that sex is a private and personal affair. Some of my friends share their sex lives with each other, but I could never relate to it (and that’s not their fault, but it’s just me). Personally, I don’t share what goes on in that area of my life with anyone because that’s between my partner and I, and that experience should remain as such. But, in saying that, I’m a very private person.

    But anyway, I feel extremely uncomfortable hearing about people’s sex lives. If my friends want to talk to me about sex because they have concerns about how to do things safely or they are having problems and they want to talk to me about it, or if its related to social issues, I don’t mind at all — but when they tell me details about what they did, I just cringe and feel uncomfortable. I feel like an intruder when they tell me such intimate details — even if they want to tell me. (I feel like it may be because I’m demisexual, I’m not sure.)

    Personally, I don’t mind it too much when sex is in a novel but I don’t like it when it’s unnecessary or superfluous, or the ‘tone’ is off (unsafe/abusive sex is portrayed as ‘sexy’ or something, just no). However, I do think that in some books, sex can be used to convey the intimacy or deep connection between two characters. One of my favourite book series (and I won’t say which because their relationship is a bit of a spoiler!) have sex, but if I recall correctly, it isn’t described in thorough detail but is implied. To me, I thought it was a good balance – the honesty that their relationship involved physical intimacy, and minimal detail.

    With regards to having sex at a young age, I’m not against it per se, but teenagers are a) less likely to have safe sex, b) may have inadequate sex education, c) may be doing it due to social pressure/the wrong reasons. I think what is more important is that we improve sex education, so that if teenagers do it (and there will inevitably be teenagers that do), that they do it safely so that it doesn’t harm their health and wellbeing. In ways, I can see how some books may not contribute to this, as they rarely broach on safety but exist because of the romance.

    To conclude this super long essay, I think it really depends. Some teenagers may not feel comfortable going to their parents for sex education, schools may give really inadequate sex education (like mine, lol), and friends may be misinformed about sex and give people the wrong information. (The internet is also a useful tool, but some teenagers might feel ashamed to read about that stuff.) Can YA teach teenagers about sex/safe sex, etc? I don’t know – I’ve yet to encounter a book that has, but if it did, I think it could be a positive thing.

    ALSO, one of my Let’s Talk About topics will be about how NA can be more about sex! I hope you’ll like that one, Josie! 😀

    Liked by 7 people

    • Well said CW! I honestly have no problems with sex scenes being detailed or with them fading to black. But I am 19, and while sex in YA does not bother me, I still do not approve of it because kids as young as 13 read YA.

      Now if there was such a YA novel that focuses on safe sex and all that then that would be great…esp in my culture where very few of us have the sex talk with our parents. It’s not because we think it’s a dirty or unspeakable topic (atleast I know my parents don’t feel that way) but rather because our society expects us to not have sex until we are 18 and so we develop our knowledge as we grow and mature.

      Liked by 3 people

      • Thanks Tanaz! You raise a really good point that I overlooked. Being in my early 20’s, I guess I’m at that age where a lot of my friends are finding partners and having sex lives — which is completely fine by me. What I mean is, I suppose it is more prevalent and common for me to be surrounded by those experiences.

        But yes, I think being so young, there are other things we should be teaching teenagers rather than sex. Tbh I’m reading ACOTAR now and was REALLY surprised to read the quite vivid sex scene (as vivid as you get in YA, anyway). I wasn’t really sure how I felt about it. Regardless, thank you for bringing this up – I suppose I still have to develop my thoughts on YA because like you, I’m not against sex, but the audience and age for YA is very, very broad and ambiguous. It’s quite multifacted, huh??

        Don’t worry, I completely understand. It is similar with my parents too – I wasn’t expected to have a boyfriend until I was older because I had other things to focus on first. (Heartbreak and emotionally immature boys are very distracting!)

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes they are. I was meaning to ask you btw: what’s demisexual?

        I am probably the only 19 year old on this planet who’s never had a boyfriend so I actually like hearing about details of my friend’s love lives. I find it quite entertaining.😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Someone who is demisexual is a person who only has sexual attraction towards someone who they have a strong emotional bond with. Sooo in other words, I literally cannot fathom having a one night stand with someone – the idea just goes against my being. (I’m okay with other people doing it because it’s their life, but I just personally couldn’t, ever.)

        Oh babe, don’t worry. I didn’t get my first boyfriend til later but if there’s anything I’ve learned: IT’S OKAY TO WAIT!! Purely from my experience and my friends’ experience, it is better to be single than to be with someone who is not at all prepared for the responsibilities and compromises that come with relationships, or don’t have the emotional maturity to have a relationship. X’D

        Liked by 3 people

      • Lol I don’t really worry about it. I am not sure I even want a boyfriend right now. 😋 Also, I really, REALLY like my men “mature” AND metrosexual and so far I have not met any.

        If that’s the definition of demisexual then I guess I am demisexual too. I don’t want to waste my time with someone I cannot see myself very emotionally tied to. I’d rather settle for nothing than settle for less so I totally get your feelings about one night stands. ✋



      You’re totally right, I think books can possibly, maybe, be a turning point in educating people, especially young people, about sex, which they might not get outside of reading books.
      And I do agree that sex in some novels can be used to display how close two characters are, I can relate it to some of my favourite couples too!
      I just really don’t like the way sex is written in some novels. While I wouldn’t want to rule it out completely, I would want to change the way we write about it. Be less descriptive about minute details which are basically unnecessary.
      I’d like to see a novel that uses sex to educate how sex is a very big part of a persons life and not something we should throw around, because of the emotional attachments that can be created.

      Thank you once again CW! 💓😊

      Liked by 1 person

  24. I think you’re correct in saying that they should not be incorporated in novels atlleast YA. And I too feel uncomfortable reading them and sometimes I think before recommending that novel to anyone because I know it is there in the novel but I don’t know how will they react when they read it. And I think it seriously makes the great novel a good one.
    But sometimes its good too! Like in Fault in our Stars if they didn’t have the plotline wouldn’t have gone ahead. But the disadvantages are more so why not keep it clean.
    Sorry for such a comment. Like you, I got carried away! ;P

    Liked by 1 person

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