This post contains a mild spoiler for the book series The Immortal Doc Holliday.
Following up on yesterday’s post about sex and violence in a new book series I’m writing… I think the author intentionally hung a lampshade on the fact that she writes about violence but not about sex — or, at least, fades away from the sex.
In one of the later books, one of the characters, a young witch named Jules, comes across a file box full of information someone has been amassing on Doc Holliday over his hundred-plus years of life. Doc asks how detailed it is, and Jules says it’s very detailed. He feels a little worried because he’s had a lot of sex and Jules is a teenager, but Jules tells him that whenever he has sex with someone the author “is a bit of a prude” and just puts “a bunch of periods”. Doc is relieved — he doesn’t want to expose Jules to anything she’s not ready for — but I, as an author, got a sardonic kick out of this exchange.
To be fair, the author does sometimes show a little sex — mostly kissing, and “feathering” of fingers along someone’s arm or thigh. But that’s as far as it goes. In a book where your main character literally has sex for hours on multiple occasions, and on other occasions tortures villains for information, I think the readers can handle a little sex.
But maybe the author is right in not showing sex. I mean, a PG-13 movie can show dozens of people getting killed in a gunfight, but show one boob and it’s R-rated. TV shows can give us images of grisly murders, but show one boob and the FCC brings the hammer down. The problem is with Americans, not with the author, and she’s just giving us what we’re expecting.
I would love to expect something different, but I can’t.
Oh, and I’m not going to stop reading the books. They’re actually quite enjoyable, even though Doc is vastly OP.