Pervasive Sexual Innuendo

As promised last month, when I got off on a Hunger Games tangent, this is my actual, intelligent post about Team Edward vs. Team Jacob. But I’m getting ahead of myself. The King of Hearts recommends beginning at the beginning, and so I shall.

So this novel I wrote (Enchanted) comes out next month, and the reviews (which I read) are pouring in from every direction. These reviews are all over the place–from one star to five stars–but that’s good. I don’t want everyone to love my book. I want some people to love it and some people to hate, because that sparks a conversation, and conversations make the world go round.

But this post is not about reviews. This post is about sex.

One reviewer on Goodreads (who shall remain nameless only because I lack the energy to hunt it down), mentioned that she couldn’t even finish Enchanted because of all the pervasive sexual innuendo.

Now, I’m a fan of reading about sex, but I don’t write about it. And that’s okay. There are plenty more authors (here on this website, even!) who are more talented than I when it comes to writing sex scenes. I like the cheesy, embarrassing, falling in love part of the relationship. I write YA, so this is not a problem. (I also have no problem with YA titles that include sexual situations, so let’s not go there.)

But I was baffled that this novel I wrote was apparently SO RAUNCHY that a reader couldn’t even finish it. And I wasn’t even trying.

GO, ME!!!

My curious cat was satisfied when another reader–who also hated the book–went on at length about why, including and explanation all the “pervasive sexual innuendo” that permeated the first part of the book. (Thank you.)

The hero of Enchanted, Rumbold, grew up as a spoiled brat prince with no mother and a misogynist dad. He had all of life at his fingertips, money was no object, and–oh yeah–he couldn’t die until the frog curse kicked in on his eighteenth birthday. When eighteen came and went and the curse didn’t kick in, he just got frustrated and lashed out.

If you were an eighteen year old boy with all the money and power you could ever want and you couldn’t die, what would YOU do?ย  WHATEVER YOU WANTED, right? So he did.

Then the curse kicked in, during which time he met the love of his life, and he worried about what she might think of his incredibly sordid past…

(That’s about all I can tell you without getting into spoiler territory)

So here’s what I think: This all boils down to being a matter of Team Edward versus Team Jacob. While I never finished reading Twilight (I didn’t care for Bella and Edward made no sense to me), I’ve consulted with many folks who have. They agreed that it’s fair to say that Edward is the Celibate Guy Who Waits Forever For His One True Love and Jacob is…well…a Wolf.

I never had cause to think of it before, but Rumbold is definitely a Team Jacob kind of guy. He was young. He was a mess. He had opportunities. He took them. He had all the starry-eyed romance ripped from his life when he was a child, and then when he actually found it, he put a lot of work into picking up the pieces.

I suspect this is why Edward made no sense to me. From what little of Twilight I read, he spent about a century and a half alone and going to high school. (Seriously, how much does a guy have to hate himself to go through that torture?) If there was a particular reason that Edward wasn’t looking at every pair of legs that walked by, then I might have been a little more emotionally invested in his character.

I’m guessing that all the Rumbold-haters in the audience are probably of the Team Edward persuasion. But even in my fantasy stories I have to be realistic.

Girls, Ladies, Young Women: The guy you find, that one guy for you, is not going to be perfect. Don’t try to make him perfect. But he’s going to want to be a better man, for you, and that’s what matters.

Those of you on Team Jacob — I highly recommend placing your preorder for Enchanted right now.

Those of you on Team Edward…well, you’re just going to have to wait for the sequel.

Which Team are you? Or do you want to fight with me about Twilight? Bring it on. Conversations make the world go round.


12 thoughts on “Pervasive Sexual Innuendo

  1. Hi Princess. Listen here, I’m pretty passive when it comes to most things. But, now the flippers are coming off. (I’m totally not serious right now, but sort of)

    I read all 4 Twilight books seven times. The reason is simple:

    1) I like attention in a weird sort of “don’t pay too much attention to me kind of way” and had a fascination with a man who would keep his paws off me but also spend his evenings watching me sleep.

    2) My absolute favorite part of these books was Bella’s relationship with her dad. Which I think is the most important part of any discussion about any book. You never know what aspect is going to be that important to your reader. Maybe it’s the sexual innuendo, maybe it’s living vicariously through the heroine, and maybe it’s reading about a father and daughter hanging out in the kitchen because you miss that so much in your own life.

    I hereby declare myself Team Bella and Charlie with a side of Team Edward and full on forever and always, TEAM ALETHEA and whoever her boys and girls on the side are.

    Flippers back on ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. Alethea,
    For starters, I, like Carlene, am completely Team Alethea too. ๐Ÿ™‚
    I read the Twilight books, and I did like them. I never got into the whole Team Jacob thing at all because Bella and Edward were it for me. As a matter of fact, in the second book, it took everything I had to keep reading since Edward was a no-show for way too long.
    Also, like Carlene, I adored Charlie. His love for his daughter and her love for both of her parents made her character what it was. That being said, I can’t stand the way she’s portrayed in the movies. She and Edward grate on my every nerve in the movies. I’m Team Jacob all the way in this case. ๐Ÿ™‚ Just keep taking off your shirt, there, cutie. LOL.
    With regards to the sexual innuendo…some people want to see what they think they should be seeing when it’s not really there. I’ve read your reviews, and pretty much everyone said 13 and up, but several said even younger readers could read it. The funny thing is this–there is SOOOO much sexual innuendo in most Disney or Dreamworks movies. Why? So that adults can laugh at adult content while it goes right over the younger viewer’s heads. I remember watching Grease when I was nine, and I thought it was fun. Years later, I watched it with my kids, and was like, “What the hell is the matter with me??? I’m the worst mom EVER!” But, they didn’t get all the references that I thought I was going to have to explain.
    There will always be that person that WANTS to see something to complain about for no apparent reason. And you’re right. It does tend to get a conversation going.
    Thanks for such a thought-provoking post, Princess!
    Go, Team Alethea!

    1. Kim,
      Grease was my favorite movie ever when I was about 7. One day, I said to my dad that I kept watching the scene with Rizzo and Kenicke in the backseat over and over again, trying to figure out what they meant when they said, “It broke.” What was “it”? My dad shook his head, turned bright red, and said I would find out later when I grew up. Ha!

      1. I remember running around the house singing, “Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee, lousy with virginity…” Yeah. Maybe not the best thing for an elementary school girl to sing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. I have not read Twilight so I am neither Team Edward or Team Jacob. If I have to pick a vampire, I’m Team Eric. (Can I get a hell yeah?)

    However, I love this so much – “Girls, Ladies, Young Women: The guy you find, that one guy for you, is not going to be perfect. Donโ€™t try to make him perfect. But heโ€™s going to want to be a better man, for you, and thatโ€™s what matters.”

    For typing that Alethea, I give you a loud and proud hell yeah.

  4. @Avery – Hell, yeah!

    I let the Twilight series pass me by – was always creeped out by the set up – 100 year old vamp going after a teen girl? Major ick. So in that respect, I guess I’m Team Jacob (I’m with you on those tee-shirts, Kimberly!), if I have to choose.

    But, Alethea, I really understand why readers might have widely divergent reactions to Rumbold when placed within the Twilight rubric. And (as if it weren’t already on my to-be-purchased list) it makes me all the more eager to get my hands on a copy of Enchanted. Yum, yum.

    Go Team Alethea!

  5. I’m one of the rare few that haven’t read the Twilight series (gasp!). Not even a little bit. I had enough of it when I had to bring my daughter to the midnight releases to pick up the latest book. So, I can’t really say which team I am on. However, in my reading preferences, is all about the growth (of the character, um, the character’s traits, not parts. ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and if the character starts off squeaky clean, then it’s kind of a drag. So with my limited knowledge of Twilight, I guess I’d have to say Team Jacob.
    Oh, and I loved Grease growing up. My parents had to buy me the album twice because I wore out the first copy playing it so much!

  6. How fun! I read the first Twilight book, but couldn’t make myself read further. I was never able to shake the idea of a guy who is dead shacking up with a young girl and (gasp) even getting her pregnant.
    This came up in conversation at school today with a couple of my students (remember, I work in an all-boy school). Completely on impulse I downloaded a sample of Twilight to the school’s NOOKs. And told the boys that I’m so literal-minded, I couldn’t shake the idea of what it’s like to have sex with a fellow who has “cold,marble lips.” AND wondered (out loud!) HOW he manages to have sex.
    One of them assured me that it’s magic. pfff, pfff, pfff. It’s adverbs.

    I’ll get off my grammer/vampire hater horse now.

  7. Hey Althea,

    I was excited to see that you had a book out, especially since I’d read the DH companion and wondered when I’d see your own YA books. I’m excited to say that I downloaded a copy from Amazon and will be reading it right after I write this. ^_^””

    Honestly, I’d never read Twilight and I couldn’t get myself to even consider it. I know, I know, wrong of me to not even consider and give it a chance. The thing is, I’d been spoiled with traditional vampire/werewolf lore and even the more creative spins for each that when I found out about the sparkles, I just couldn’t do it; it was a huge turn off to read about a century and a half year old celibate vampire that sparkled in the sun, a werewolf that was going through puberty, and a girl that was sane enough to be ok with it all AND balance family relationships into all of it… It just didn’t gel for me and it wasn’t believable.

    I know, I know. Vampires and werewolves are believable?? The thing is, I’ve read enough Vampire/shifter paranormal romance novels, novellas, and fanfics that have made the heroes and heroines believable. And what makes them work is that the heroes make mistakes, take unnecessary risks, and act human; they go through a journey. I think it’s human to live on the edge; think about that bucket list you have or the top 100 things you’d do if death, money, and conventional norms weren’t the issue.

    If I choose a team, I’d choose Team Lestat.

Comments are closed.