Today we have Terra McVoy here to answer a few questions that Lex and I had on our minds!
Sexuality is at large in teen books. Why do you think this is?
Well, it’s pretty much when you are a teenager that you’re first discovering and experimenting with your own sexuality, so it makes sense that books for teens would include it. Plus, there are a lot fewer obstacles to talking openly about sex in novels for teens these days (or anywhere, really), so I think we see more of it.
What would you say to a teen who was thinking of becoming intimate with his or her partner?
I think I would want to make sure that my teenage friend had thought about everything involved (emotional as well as physical) before he or she got into anything serious. Not to scare them, but to, you know, make sure all the bases were covered. Also I’d let them know they could always talk to me, no matter what.
Some people are quick to blame the media when it comes to an increase in sexually active teens. What are your thoughts on this?
I’m certainly not an expert on this topic at all, but I do know there are a lot of opinions out there. One thing I’m not sure of is whether teens are being more sexually active now, or if we are just more aware of it because there’s more about it out there in our culture. Look at Forever, by Judy Blume; Endless Love by Scott Spencer, or even the movie “Grease,” (just to pick one)—teen sex has been out there for awhile, right?
Girls always hope their first time will be amazing. This is fairly unrealistic between two teens in my opinion. Do you agree?
I think there is always the potential for your first encounter with anyone (whether it is your very first time or not) to be either fantastic or a disappointment. That’s what makes the whole thing so thrilling and special—and a little scary, too!
What ideas do you think Pure gives when it comes to sexuality?
It wasn’t my intention for Pure to be a book about sex, really. It’s a book about friendship, and forgiveness, and about choosing your own morality and making decisions for yourself. I think –well, I hope—that Pure does bring to light the unavoidable truth that there are multiple factors to consider when it comes to making decisions (including and perhaps especially your sexual ones), and that it’s important to weigh as much as you can before going through with anything.
So many novels give sex the free, easy and fun vibe. Is it important for teens to see that it’s not always that way?
Not to sound like a broken record, but I think it is always important for everyone to know the potential plusses and minuses of any choice they might make, whether it’s about sex, or a job, or who to vote for, or where to go on vacation. It’s why reading, education, and critical thinking are so valuable to me—seeing something only from one side, from one angle, isn’t really seeing it very well.
I’ve asked so many general questions but have yet to ask what your opinion of teen sex is. So I’m asking…
What I think is that sex can be really complicated, both emotionally and physically, no matter how old you are. It’s easy to know you want it. What’s harder is figuring out why you want it, and to make sure you’re thoroughly informed about (and cool with) everything that could happen around it. But personally I can’t say, “I’m totally for teen sex,” or, “I’m totally against teen sex.” I just know that having sex with someone is an intimate, individual responsibility—at every age.
Any last thoughts?
Thanks so much for these really thought-provoking, interesting questions! I hope I’ve been helpful, and hope that you both enjoy the book!
Thanks so much Terra for coming. If you guys have yet to get your hands on a copy of Pure be sure to do so. We know we will :)