By: Larissa | May 8, 2015 | (50) Comments

discussing through midnight

This meme was created for YA Midnight Reads as a weekly discussion post of all things bookish (though sometimes not-so-bookish)

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Alright, this is me we’re talking about so by now we all know when Larissa does a discussion that it either doesn’t relate to books at all, or does so in some very roundabout way but always has some sort of feministic angle. Fuck yeah. Now that we got that established let’s get into my (inevitably long) addition to Discussing Through Midnight. Which is actually pretty sexual this week #noregrets

The day has come upon YA Midnight Reads, a day which will divide us into opposing forces: reasonable, self-respecting people against 50 Shades of Grey, and the those fans who romanticize the toxic relationship in the book.

(I suppose there could be a 3rd, neutral party who hasn’t even heard about this war or doesn’t even care, in which case, you chose best, my friend. Run while you still can.)

To recap: Everyone knows that book is a useless doorstop of poor writing, abusive relationships masquerading as both love and BDSM, with the tropiest Mary-Sue-y-iest of awful characters, and it is completely useless at this point to bother reading it even to fuel your argument against it (which is why I haven’t. Which is why I am trying to let other sources do the talking). The people who don’t know this are baffled by the army of fans, wondering how on earth they could ever support something so ethically terrible and with such a poor grasp on words.

What must be done is a widespread resource campaign to get them to become educated. People will more likely change their views on something if given the opportunity to come to that conclusion on their own, at least, if they believe they did so on their own. And sense I doubt there is any school in America giving classes on BDSM 101, I have taken pity on these people.

I am going to start this off with I think might be one of the funniest stories of my life, which would definitely go in my memoir.

When I was eleven or so, I accidentally purchased erotic fiction from a thrift store.

How does one accidentally purchase erotic fiction? Well first, you probably have to be a really idiotic 11 year old with a crazy short attention span that when plucking a seemingly innocent book (actually it was several books, it was a series, and I was so excited that the store had all of them) off the unorganized shelves of a local thrift store, you fail to read the entirety of the summery on the back before you decide to buy them. You see I was in a hardcore (not in the pornographic sense, thank you) fairy tale retelling phase. My favorite book back then was Snow by Tracey Lynn which was part of this awesome YA series that retold all the fairy tales you could ever hope for by various authors; but they weren’t terribly easy to find in bookstores. I was hungry for anything vaguely like them.

So, when my aunt took me to a thrift store and I find some extraordinarily inexpensive books retelling the tale of Sleeping Beauty, with really unsuspecting covers, of course I am going to want them. And my aunt, either not paying attention or not knowing, bought them for me without hesitation.

Additionally, I was really ignorant about sex at that moment in my life. I can’t at this point put myself in the frame of mind that I had as an eleven year old, but it was sort of a vague understanding that this thing called sex existed, and that it was dirty and I wasn’t supposed to be talking about it, or knowing about it probably, because it was for adults, and it would probably get me in a lot of trouble. I was terrified of getting in trouble, so I wouldn’t even say the word until I got into the Sex Pistols at an older age. How I ever figured out anything about the subject is mostly a mystery to me now, and for everything prior to my formal in-school education, I blame TV for that knowledge because my parents were absolutely useless in teaching me anything.

After we left the thrift store, I took my new books and thought I should probably finish reading that back cover; and I when I did, I panicked. The summery described that our princess would not be awakened with a kiss, but sexual intercourse (in more words), and I was smart enough to know that an endorsement from playboy probably meant I shouldn’t be reading this material. I don’t recall what I said, but I confessed to my aunt immediately. I knew she would tell my parents and I could just imagine all the trouble I was about to get in. Mostly, I was really annoyed that my exciting new books had turned against me and I no longer had anything to read.

I was probably crying when my aunt told my dad what happened; he was laughing. Laughing! I was miserable and he thought the whole thing was really funny. I didn’t get in any trouble for some reason, and my aunt brought them back to the thrift store and lectured the poor workers about being more ethical about how they sort things (I am sure they were as ignorant as I was). It was all very traumatic for me, despite the way the adults seemed to find it all really amusing, and made a deep impression on my memories.

Now, I am almost entirely certain the books I bought were the Anne Rice Sleeping Beauty trilogy (at least 2 out of the 3, if not all of them), original editions no less.  I’ll let you search these books on your own, but in short, even the summery on the back of the book barely gets into what they’re really about.

And the reason why I remembered this story is because I actively sought out that book last week, and in some sort of rebellious act against 50 Shades, read it.

I don’t really have a great moral lesson or self-realization to go along with that story, now that I am writing it out. I just really liked the irony involved, or maybe the really weird coincidences in life.

I think, the thing I wanted to share is, I now lack the shame I had then. I am discovering, very recently, that I am an adult, and I can do as I please. And that is very, very exciting. I want to tell my eleven year old self to chill (and frankly, my current self too sometimes). And I wanted you all to know it’s ok too.

It also makes me wish that there was more (or better) sex positive education out there, in a sense that healthy and safe sexual relationships are promoted. I don’t want there to be confusion and a lack of information out there for people who are trying to seek it. I don’t want sex to be so taboo and misinterpreted that it explodes in an ugly abusive form like in Fifty Shades. I don’t want quotes (like these creepy ones) to be romanticized and seen as something to strive towards.

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Larissa was born and still is living in the land of ice, snow and maple syrup. She's 18 years old and really has no idea what to do with her life lately. Larissa's plans are constantly changing--though there’s one thing has remained constant throughout her seventeen years, and that’s reading. It takes her to another world and puts her into impossible situations and that’s why she loves it so much.

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50 Responses to Discussing Through Midnight (52): Fifty Shades of Abuse

  1. Lily Lau says:

    Hahahah, oh my! I completely feel you there, I was exactly the same as you when I was a child… 😀
    Lily Lau recently posted…Nuria Blanco’s Zoo Collection | Tableware Turned Into Art Inspired By AnimalsMy Profile

  2. That was a funny story, even though it was traumatic, you can look back on it now and laugh I totally agree about the whole Fifty Shades thing. I won’t read the book as I am not into poor writing and abusive sexual relationships. Fun post.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Friday Forecast May 10th-16thMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      LOL yeah it’s honestly an hilarious event. While typing this I was laughing my butt off. And yeah, fifty shades of Grey isn’t my thing and honestly it promotes such abusive behavior/relationships

  3. Well, I’m still in high school so I’ve never read any erotic fiction, and even when I’m an adult I’m not sure that I’ll want to. I’ve come across suggestions of it in some YA books, and I hate when that happens so I’m always really paranoid about checking books before I read them. Still, sometimes I don’t realize and then lots of skimming is involved.
    Ana @ Butterflies of the Imagination recently posted…Interview With Krista Van Dolzer, Author of The Sound of Life and EverythingMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah I’m in my last year of highschool and my erotic fiction is limited to some NA and that one Anne Rice LOL. And yeah I understand where your coming from.

  4. Woah, that story sounds horrifying but I’m also trying hard not to laugh (I’m sorry!).

    Imagine a little girl accidentally picking up Fifty Shades because all the older girls are reading them though. Their view on relationships would become so messed up and who knows how many abusive relationships could be forgiven due to this book o_O I feel sick just thinking about it.
    Ju @ Fictional Skylines recently posted…Anime Alcove: Terror in Resonance ReviewMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      LOL LAUGH. It was funny so laugh girl.

      Oh god. Yeah, that sounds awful. I imagine some girls would be quite impressionable and that 50 shades would create such toxic ideals about sex, consent and love ugh.

  5. “reasonable, self-respecting people against 50 Shades of Grey, and the ignorant legions of its fans”

    I don’t mean to be disrespectful but I have to say, Larissa, I take offense with this comment because you’re not talking about the book here, but you are saying that the fans of 50 Shades of Grey are ignorant and lack self-respect. I’m not comfortable with what goes on in the book, and sure I’ve made fun from time to time of the book with friends, but just because I didn’t like the book doesn’t mean I would say things against people who enjoy them. People are allowed to enjoy 50 Shades and not personally endorse violence. In fact, I know friends who are self-respecting women who liked the movie or the books, but who would never be in a relationship like the one depicted in the book. Sometimes, people do read for fun and not to learn a life lesson out of a book.

    I’m personally taking offense with this comment mostly because I’ve had people say to my face that only dumb people enjoy books like Twilight knowing full well that I enjoyed Twilight. It hurts when things like that are said and in a sense, it felt like I was being shamed for what I was reading.

    As for the main point of your post, I would love to see more sex-positive relationships being depicted in books too, especially YA. Thankfully, this year, there have already been a good bunch of them. Have you read The Summer of Chasing Mermaids? It has a fantastic and realistic depiction of teenagers having sex. I think authors are realizing the importance of it more and more now.

    • Larissa says:

      Alright, so like I said in my comment below I have now edited that part of my post because it was written in the heat of the moment and can be taken offensively quite easily. I didn’t choose my words wisely, what I was trying to get across there was that 50 shades has spawned a bunch a bunch of readers who believe the ‘romance’ in the story is something positive. I don’t think this is okay. I think everybody is allowed to read whatever, so I certainly am not shaming those who have read it. Just poor word choice on my part. I was more so trying to target those who think who romanticize the relationships in Fifty Shades/Twilight. Hope that clears up any confusion and sorry if I hurt you.

      Really the main part of this post was the promotion of sex positive relationships, so I’m glad you were able to get that from this post c: I WANT TO READ THAT BOOK SO BADLY OMG. Love Ockler’s writing.

  6. Listen, I get people that hate this book or that have no interest in reading it and that is completely their right. I’ve never read any of the books and honestly, I have no interest in ever reading it. But I do have friends who have read it and loved it and friends who have read it and hated it. I do think that it’s incredibly insulting to call fans of the series ‘ignorant.’ To me, that’s no better than adults saying YA books are ‘childish and immature.’

    I don’t think there is anything wrong with liking or loving the series. You can love the series and not be pro-violence because at the end of the day, it’s just a book. If I were judged by the books I like to read, they would probably make me look like a terrible person. But I’m not. Just because I hate babies in books and I like to read books about killers doesn’t mean that I am a baby hater and pro-murder. I don’t mind reading about cheating in books but I of course don’t agree with it in real life. Reading books is an escape for most people and that escape comes in different kinds of genres.

    I’m not exactly sure what the point of this post was but I don’t think a person should ever be judged or made fun of what they like to read. I do think we need more sex positive books, especially in YA and NA. Maybe a post showcasing these types of books would be better than insulting readers (even if it wasn’t your intention).
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Review: The Friend Zone by Kristen CallihanMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      I think I have cleared up the whole fan comment thing with you on twitter and my comments on this post. Thanks for being so understanding in regards to the fact you knew I didn’t mean to offend anybody (:

      I think there’s a difference between those who have loved a book (and no judgement there) and those who romanticize a book like 50 shades which promotes abusive relationships. This post was again targeting the latter, which I suppose wasn’t too clear because bad word choice here. I get that reading is an escape (I like to read murder books myself, and I’m not no serial killer haha) however there are some more impressionable people out there who do romanticize unhealthy relationships and strive for them.

  7. Larissa says:

    Just wanna make it clear right now that I do see how the “legions of fans” statement can be taken badly, and I apologize for that. It was written in the heat of the moment. I will edit it to say something instead about the relationship posed in the book is been romanticized by many. I totally understand why some people can like a book and others not. What this post was about what about the promotion of unhealthy sexual relationships and in particular it’s been romanticized in fifty shades of grey.

    I will address each comment individually when i get a chance, gotta go to work.

  8. Great post, Larissa <3 HAHA I can't wait to read your memoir if it contains more stories like this one.
    Emily @ Loony Literate recently posted…In Which I Play Match-Maker and Ship Characters From Different BooksMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Thanks Emily c: I had fun with it haha. I honestly do have quite a few embarrassing to me but probably funny to others stories to share (:

  9. Laura W says:

    This is such a great topic! Sex is such a taboo subject and I have no idea why! Everybody should be comfortable talking about it so that we as a society can promote safe relationships and such. 50 Shades is for all those people who never talked to anyone about sex and are now getting all their ideas from a book leading to abusive relationships in real life. Not a good thing!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks
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    • Larissa says:

      Thank you Laura. I certainly think it’s an important topic that should be talked about more. And yeah, 50 shades isn’t good in terms of what it promotes and it’s basically adding fuel to the fire for the acceptance of abusive relationships

  10. I won’t address the whole fan comment, because you already have, but I do wonder what it is that people see in the books. I understand your heated feelings, I do. Because I can’t wrap my head around it either. Now, I don’t want to say anything bad about said fans at all, in fact, I would like one of them to explain it to me! I am being serious here, not sarcastic, because I did, in fact read them. Many years ago, when they were first released, because every time I had something bad to say about them (again, we’re going back about 5 years here!) people would give me the whole “well, what do you know, you haven’t read them!” response, and I never back down from a challenge 😉

    Like you, I was VERY sheltered, my parents never, ever spoke of sex, and I always thought it was dirty, etc. But the sex in the books almost bored me after the first time or two! I mean, it was just a repeat of the same thing over and over, and honestly, it was maybe the LEAST offensive part for me. The relationship in general? Yeah, that takes the cake. It was such a horrible message for women, I couldn’t even believe I was reading about it in 2011! (Ish.) It seemed like some awful thing you’d have seen in a 1930’s women’s magazine, and I just… UGH. The writing was so awful on top of it, that I wanted to scream. I seriously felt like a group of middle school boys got together and wrote this drivel. The only good thing that came out of me reading it was that now I COULD argue to all those people, and I did. I didn’t have my book blog then, but it WAS my first ever book review. And um, it made the local news (not kidding!) so it probably pushed me into book blogging, to be honest!

    I guess my point is- I am not into erotica at all, but I have no issues with it. I like people to read whatever they like! And I have never before said that I don’t think a book has any redeeming qualities, until I finished the Fifty Shades series, and I never have since. It is probably why I have yet to give a zero star review- nothing will EVER be as awful as that- I hope 😉
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    • Larissa says:

      <33 your long comments always make my life

      Glad I'm not the only one who doesn't see the appeal in the books. The fact you read them and still don't see the appeal gives me hope haha. Like yeah, it does promote abusive relationships and I find it hard to understand why some people would give the books a free pass for that.

      Lol I wouldn't say I was sheltered per say- because yeah I was exposed to a lot of things. However, it was more so my parents wouldn't explain anything/didn't make an effort to. Yeah, I totally understand where you're coming from with the toxic relationship being the key issue with 50 Shades in particular. Like look at the quote- clearly there's no consent or love in this relationship. The people who romanticize that relationship and hail it as "goals" .... WTF. No, that shouldn't be the ideal at all. Ooooo and girl!! I'm going to find that review you wrote now haha.

      I'm the same way as you, I don't actively seek out erotica but I'm not fighting it. I hope you won't have to give another zero star rating either haha

  11. Lexa Cain says:

    I’m delighted to see someone come out against 50 Shades and the terrible role it promotes of women in relationships. Now you just have to add Twilight and the terrible role model of obsessed I-have-no-life-without-you Bella. These young women need to learn some self respect and that their lives can be meaningful and important outside of relationships. Thanks for the article!
    Lexa Cain recently posted…Celebrate: Favorite Summer Vacation Blog Hop & FreebiesMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, well somebody had to say it. Honestly it’s the toxic relationships that is the problem. In 50 Shades there is a lack of true consent, fear and manipulation in the relationship. It’s something we shouldn’t promote or romanticize.

  12. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I do have friends that love these books and saw the film. A friend of mine devoured these books and now she reads all sorts of novels, so I’m really happy about that. In general though, I don’t want to read these books and I do feel they are depicting an abusive relationship that I HOPE people will not read about and romanticize. There should be more sex-positive novels, I agree!
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, I do know that a lot of people have read and loved 50 Shades despite the relationship portrayed. What I don’t understand is those who like it BECAUSE of the relationship and end up romanticizing it.

  13. Jo says:

    I definitely understand the frustration here. I personally don’t get the appeal either. I cheated a bit and saw the movie (the only reason I don’t regret watching it is because it only wasted two hours of my life as opposed to however long it would have taken me to read the book). And I know that’s it’s not exactly like the book, but nothing about it suggested any sort of a love story to me. Now, after grilling my friends about why they liked it, they told me that it was because they had to give up something in order to be with each other. I’m not clear what exactly they gave up, but I guess it made their relationship meaningful. Considering that they do end up having a family together, I guess that means that he stopped with the abuse and she became a little more independent? IDK I didn’t read it.
    Back to my point. Whether I see their point or not is almost irrelevant. They saw something to like in the book and they are not ignorant by any means.
    Now I’m personally a bit of a contradiction when it comes to sexual things. I love everything short of actual, well, sex. I get that I’m in the minority here. But while I don’t think abuse should be romanticized, I don’t think teenage sex should be endorsed either. I get that it happens and that it’s not always bad. In fact, when it happens in YA I tend to think something like, FINALLY. But that’s because I know it’s not real.
    So I don’t really know what my point was here. I guess I’m just weird.

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, I was definitely frustrated while writing this haha. I haven’t read the book or movie, but have read enough reviews and quotes to get the general abusive gist of it. But yeah, those who consider it a love story???? Color me confused. Lol, so they had to give up something of their’s to make the relationship work- any sort of control in Ana’s case? Eh. I don’t really know anything about the future novels, only the first.

      Yeah not ignorant. But yeah, I get your contradictions haha. And see where you’re coming from (: On my end it’s more like we should abolish the unhealthy and not end up romanticizing it like in 50 shades.

  14. Haha, I would TOTALLY buy your memoir if you wrote one!! I’m the kinda reader who would read something really descriptive/explicit and it really wouldn’t bother me. Maybe that’s not a good thing? But I generally have a very blasé manner when it comes to reading sex in books. I generally find that when you’re younger, sex/nudity gets treated as something… wrong? Which it’s not, and when you cast such a taboo pall over something, teens are more likely to view it as something wrong — or even worse, something to be ASHAMED of. That’s not to say, of course, that there should be caution when it comes to teens and sex, but still. Abuse, though? I’ve definitely noticed an upswing of abusive men (in NA fiction especially) which sends a terrible message to girls these days IMO.
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    • Larissa says:

      Lol I’ll put you on the ARC list c; And yeah, at this point I’ve seen and been exposed to a lot of explicit stuff. So it wouldn’t bother me too much, as long consent was involved and it wasn’t abusive. AND YES KARA YOU’VE EXPLAINED IT PERFECTLY- everything you said about sex being taboo is so correct, It’s not something we should be ashamed of. And yeah abusive men/relationships being promoted just makes me feel so icky

  15. I’ve seen this book on a lot of this past week’s Top Ten Tuesday lists (for books you’d never read. It was definitely on mine.

    Personally I would hope fans of 50 Shades actually WERE ignorant about the series. And by that, I mean literally ignorant, as in they don’t know any better, they honestly can’t tell that the relationship is bad or don’t know it’s not a healthy depiction of BDSM. Personally, I don’t know how anyone can like 50 Shades knowing it POSITIVELY portrays an abusive relationship. If the relationship were frowned upon or thought of negatively in the book, then that’d be great, but it’s not. And that’s so freaking disturbing to me… T

    That’s just me though, people can like whatever they want, I just don’t understand how there could be any possible good in the series. Like, unless a person was going to say “I like the book because it shows what a bad relationship looks like and if you’re in one like that, you need to attempt to get out or get helped out of it”.

    But anyway, that is a hilarious story Larissa, I definitely knew where you were going with it when you mentioned being into fairytales. I’ve heard about the Sleeping Beauty series Anne Rice has, haha. I’ve never read the books though or really wanted to. 🙂

    I seriously can’t remember when or how I found out about sex. I imagine it was in middle school because, you know, we had a sex ed class in gym before. I think. My gosh how’d I discover sex. Forgive me, my memory is terrible. 🙁

    But anyway, similar to you, my parents never told me about sex and I was definitely sheltered in that whole “we don’t talk about sex” thing. Not the whole “Don’t go there, don’t do this” thing.

    I would definitely like to see more sex positive YA though.
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah, I’m going to be determined in my stance against this book and won’t read it.

      This is what I was going with in my post, LOL just think it didn’t translate well. Like yeah, I hope these fans who romanticize this abuse just aren’t aren’t aware of it. Cause if they are…. that’s even more concerning O.o

      I’m with you, people can like whatever they desire. It’s more so those people who try to convince others that the relationship in 50 shades is healthy and something we should aspire to??? Ummm.

      LOL yeah that story is a special one for sure. Hahaha I still love fairytale retellings [;

      And what a positive setting a gym sex ed class is. Joking obviously. Mine was rather the same and I remember it all being about abstinence which is fine and dandy…except for the fact there was nothing about protection ummmm.

      Agreed!!!!!

      • Definitely be firm in your stance against the book. Lol. I think it translated okay. 🙂 Maybe lost a little focus there with the story and positive sex talk, haha, but I think it was okay. 🙂 Yes, I definitely hope no one aspires to be in a relationship like this because it’s not healthy at all. Ugh…

        But anyway! I like fairytales but I’ve never read a retelling! I have seen movie retellings though (A Cinderella Story, Beastly, etc.).

        Haha. Well for my gym class, we had the actual gym, but then in the basement type area, there was a classroom where we had the class, it went on for one day a week for a month I think. We went over condoms, birth control, stds, etc. Though to be honest, it’s kind of foggy, but I still know everything. 🙂 If that makes sense. Ooh, abstinence only….that’s definitely not bad, I “believe” in abstinence actually, but to now showcase protection methods is horrible.
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  16. Finally there’s someone who brought this topic! Even until now, I don’t understand how that book got published, let alone made into a movie. When my friends told me about it, I was kinda confused, disgusted, and don’t understand why people like it. It’s basically about an abusive sex turn into romance (which I think would never happen in real life). And as a girl, I feel offended that a book that use women as ‘sex object’ still exist.
    Anyway, great topic, Larissa!
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah honestly, I can see why it’s popular and why it got made into a movie etc. etc. And it makes me so incredibly sad. The fact is the abusive relationship has been not only been accepted but romanticized and heralded as something “new and sexy.” Ugh.

  17. Lyn Kaye says:

    Oh, I so agree with you! There are such better books out there with healthy relationships, and we get this piece of crap as a “leader” in the erotica field. When women at work state “I want a man just like Mr. Grey!” I just stare at them. I don’t get it. Is the money? The authority? The lack of guilt of having sex because it was forced upon them??
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    • Larissa says:

      Right! Like the fact there’s such a fixation on 50 Shades when there’s so many other options with actually healthy relationships???? Mind boggling. I would so give those women strange looks.

  18. Thanks for sharing such an interesting memory in your life Larissa! I had absolutely no clue about sex when I was 11, I thought it was making out hahaha! It just goes to show though, the whole “thinking it’s dirty” thing is something that we found really hard to shake off you know?
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    • Larissa says:

      Hahaha no problem Jeann. LOL yeah, thank god I did manage to get educated on my own or I’d be so clueless. And yeah that’s certainly true.

  19. Kelly says:

    Oh I’m such a bitch. I can’t stop laughing at your 11 year old self. I’m glad you can look back and see how amusing that would have been at the time though. Being older, I can even read new adult because it’s so sexualised. I’m not a prude, but really. It’s unrealistic and doesn’t instill a healthy sexual relationship in young adults, late teens and the likes. Young women don’t turn from virgin to sex pot, and any type of loving and secure relationship isn’t based on two people keeping secrets but having explosive sex all over the place. I must admit, I’ve never read 50 Shades, but know enough that it’s not healthy, or realistic. How anyone can romanticise what is taking advantage of someones sexual inexperience and flog them into orgasm is beyond me. I’m not against sex in books, I welcome it. But REALISTIC sex, healthy sexual relationships based on trust and not just the male taking the lead as the slut and teaching the virgin how to get off. (excuse the lack of eloquence).

    These authors need to get real, as do readers. Stop putting these book assholes on a pedestal and demand more of our character relationships. And NO MORE Travis Maddox type characters! Phenomenal post Larissa <3
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    • Larissa says:

      LOL NO PLEASE LAUGH. Lol I was wondering if I was the only one who found my story funny, cause all of the other comments seemed pretty nonchalant when it came to it. I agree with you that REALISTIC, consenting and healthy sex is the way to go. None of this stuff where there is outside pressures, force etc.

      YES. I agree completely with everything you just said. We need positive relationships and men an YA, not unhealthy and abusive. Thanks Kelly <33

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  21. Shannelle says:

    I’m all for sex to be treated maturely. God, the jokes in my class is enough to piss me off, and I just wish that the general treatment of sex is more respectful. And I really hope that there’s better portrayal of it. I don’t think all the sex in NA is all realistic.

    And I am really so, so sorry about your experience, because it is simply hilarious and I was smiling so hard when I read it. Although, really, didn’t the bookstore people notice?
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    • Larissa says:

      Yeah I’m with you. And yeah, the immaturity surrounding sex even in my final year of highschool is outstanding.

      LOL c: It was so funny looking back on it. And I think it was because it was a thriftstore that people were like ehhhh. They didn’t look too closely at the books HAHA

  22. Cynthia says:

    Great post! I thought your story was very funny. I actually read one of those books as a teenager and here’s the scary thing: I didn’t recognize it as abuse. I actually thought it was erotic. But looking back on it, I cannot believe I didn’t recognize it for it was. There was no healthy sexual exploration in those books. I agree completely that there needs to be a safe space to discuss what a healthy, consensual sexual relationship looks like.
    Cynthia recently posted…Bout of Books Challenge – Bookish SurveyMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Thank you girl! And yeah, looking back on the story definitely made me giggle. And oh no, I think that whole situation you went through exemplifies the issue at hand. Those who are younger and impressionable won’t recognize those signs of abuse and may think it’s the norm or something to strive for.

  23. Rashika says:

    I am kind of giggling at 11 year old you as well, Larissa 😛 I am sorry <3

    But I think your post brings forth a good point. We live in a society where sex education is not promoted to the point where I have friends whose sex education was basically 'abstain from sex'. That is neither healthy for the kids nor very educating and I think that is a problem.

    I think YA has been doing a better job recently of introducing the idea of sex which is awesome because books for young adults need to be more sex positive!!

    Lovely discussion post! 🙂
    Rashika recently posted…ARC Review: The Improbable Theory of Ana and Zak by Brian KatcherMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Haha so am I <33 11 year old me would hate you but 18 year old definitely understands and feels you.

      Yeah, when I had my first sex ed classes it was all abstinence. Nothing about protection or safe sex. Just that we shouldn't do it. Ooookay. I don't view that as helpful advice at all quite frankly.

      I agree! We need sex positive relationships, that way we can highlight those instead of having these abusive relationships.

  24. I think that people should be able to read whatever the heck they want to. Just as people criticize adults for reading YA, some criticize those who read Erotica. I try not to judge and just let it be. I don’t agree with what 50 Shades supposedly promotes, but then again I haven’t personally read the book myself so I think everyone interprets things differently. You definitely shouldn’t feel any shame! I accidentally picked up a sex toy at this weird odds and ends store and my parents were dying of laughter. I was too young to know what it was xD
    Rachel @ A Perfection Called Books recently posted…ARC Review ~ The Wrath and The Dawn by Renée AhdiehMy Profile

    • Larissa says:

      Yeah exactly. I think we shouldn’t criticize any reader. However, on the flip side I think we shouldn’t promote these abusive relationships you know? But yeah and looking back on it I don’t feel any shame now. LOL omg Rachel though hahahahaha. Your story is killing me. You win.

  25. Valerie says:

    ARE YOU GOING TO WRITE THE REVIEW FOR THE BOOK YOU READ? You did say you read it right? I didn’t misunderstand that?

    But oh man your story is HILARIOUS. And I feel so bad for laughing, but HAHAHAHAH. But yeah, I agree that healthy sex IS GOOD and should really be accurately portrayed in books. Especially in YA.
    Valerie recently posted…ARC Review: Crimson BoundMy Profile

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