Realistic Sex Scenes and Why They Are Important

I am just going to break the ice. Today, we are going to be talking about Sex. Yup, you read that correctly: S-E-X.  I'm not talking about anything crazy but I am referring to that couple of pages in your favorite novel where your ship takes the next step in their relationship/friendship/decides they just want to have sex. 

When it comes to sex everyone has different views and that is 100% alright. This post isn't saying what you believe is wrong. Everything is simply my thoughts and opinions. There are plenty of teenagers and young adults who are in healthy consensual sexual relationships with their partners, it is not too far fetched, and some aren't interested in sex at all.

Sex is a natural part of life and in some cases sex scenes in a YA novel is necessary for character growth and development or for plot purposes. Teenagers have sex, hormones are raging and this is a point in their lives where many are deciding what to do with the freedoms they have with their bodies and if they want to keep that to themselves or share intimate parts of themselves with another person. Sometimes these points are written really well, realistically and in a matter that isn't cringe worthy. Other times they just aren't realistic, and that is what I am trying to get at. 

I asked about Sex Positive books on Twitter and was blown away with responses:

Here are some things that make realistic sex scenes important:
  • The discussion of consent.

  • Sex isn't perfect. Sometimes it's awkward and funny and isn't always going to happen they way you plan it. 

  • Knowing your partners sexual status. If they have been sexually active, have they been screened for any STDs that they could have possible been exposed to?

  • Birth control and other forms of birth control. 

Sometime's teenagers don't have a person they trust to go to with these questions are problem and most of what they know is from books. Unrealistic sex scenes in novels can set a standard for sex pretty high or pretty low depending on the novel you are reading. 

But let's never forgot our favorite moment in movie history:

What are you thoughts about sex representation in YA? Let us know below! 


  1. I think it's so important to discuss sex in a positive, realistic way for teens. I know it can be kind of awkward to bring up, but we're not doing teens any favors by pretending/ignoring that they or people their age are having sex. I think Jenn Bennett does it in such a great way, not only in Alex Approximately, but also in Starry Eyes.

    1. It can be awkward to bring up and I think that is one of the biggest reasons no one has ever really attempted to make a difference about it. You're right that we aren't doing teens any favors. Some teens only have books and going into a sexual relationship based off something you read in a book isn't the greatest idea. Jessica loves Jenn Bennett and mentioned her when I was discussing this post idea with her.


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