Is it getting hot in here, or is it just this book?!? For my final I Read YA Week post — What should characters read? — I decided to go with a book that I think teens, real or fictional, should read before they become sexually active. While plenty of YA books talk about sex and have scenes in which characters lose their virginity, they aren’t often as sexy as this story. Sex is so often treated as a taboo topic in this country, and it’s good to know that there are authors out there who don’t shy away from how great sex can be when it’s part of a respectful, loving relationship. Last night, I was contemplating how I would handle this book review, and then I saw an article a friend posted to Facebook — What If We Admitted to Children That Sex Is Primarily About Pleasure? One part in particular struck a cord with me:
“Our son asked why they didn’t tell him this stuff at school. The mate explained that adults stupidly think that if you tell children the truth about sex, they’ll have sex earlier than they really should. He added that the evidence indicates otherwise.”
Since so many parents are squeamish about talking to their kids, and schools focus on the doom and gloom — unintended pregnancy! diseases! — I think books like this are a great way for teens to learn about how wonderful sex can be. And, let’s be honest. I would much rather my children learn vicariously about sex via books instead of watching R rated movies with their friends — because their brains will only fill in the details they are ready to process, and it’s easier for kids to walk away from a book they aren’t comfortable reading than to explain to their friends that they don’t feel ready to watch that movie yet. When they’re ready to start having sex, nevertheless, I hope they will do it for all the right reasons, with the right person, safely, and enjoy every moment of it like Charlie and Wren.