One day I’m sure I’m going to have to have ‘The Talk’ with my daughter. I’m sure it will be uncomfortable and she’ll probably already know a fair amount about what I’m saying just from watching TV. She’ll learn a lot at school as well. But I still think it’s part of my duty as a parent to have this talk with her.
Why am I bringing this up? Well, it’s because of something my line editor said.
“Would you want your daughter reading a book where the main characters didn’t use a condom?”
Of course my answer was NO, and that was her point. No matter how I inferred it, I had to add a line that said they were safe. And I’m not talking about anything real explicit here. I’m talking about the YA fade to black kind of sex.
Now, it’s not my job as a writer to teach safe sex. It’s my job to entertain readers. But I also want a mom like me to be able to pick up my book and say that she’s okay with her teenage daughter reading it even though the characters are sexually active. The thing is, even though I write fiction, the story has to be relatable to readers or it won’t sell.
So what do you think? Obviously, it depends largely on the story and what else is happening to the characters, but how do you approach this in your own writing? And as reader, how do you feel about it?