Illicit sex ?

    Sex, in it's many forms, is, based on my reading, the lifeblood of fandom. A lot of it I dislike, and a lot of it I think its pointless. Some of it is done well and some is just gynaecological (the Witch, The Wizard and the Wall anyone?).

    I find it hard to write my favourite couple without sex wandering into the story which I put down to the fact that I've been with my wife for so long I find it hard to imagine a relationship without it. Either that, or I'm just a pervert.

    I was amused, therefore, to read this review on a chapter of Hunters and Prey By Northumbrian

    Well I’m disappointed to see you’ve chosen to have your Harry and Ginny characters participate in illicit sex, that is, sex outside the marriage relationship. Separate and aside from moral issues, I find this distasteful as it produces an air of tawdriness in their relationship and is destructive to its romance as well. I also consider it quit OOC since both Harry and Ginny were presented by JKR as highly honorable people. Therefore, I do not think they would dishonor their relationship in this way. I come to this site to read stories that honor the beauty of romance, so this is not a story for me.

    Now you’re certainly entitled to your opinion on this and as the author you may write any story you please, but I would suggest you put in the appropriate warnings.

    Appropriate sex depends on your view point. I happen to think (based on my religious beliefs) that the right place for sex is in inside a marriage and that marriage be between a man and a woman. I am well aware that, in the UK at least, that is not a widely held view and that there will therefore be characters in well-written (as opposed to MOARSEXPLZ! fics) stories where characters are having sex in other circumstances.You could also argue that given a cross section of the population there will be a variety of sexual relationships and that should be reflected in the society the writer presents.

    There is no evidence of abstinence before marriage in the Wizarding world or that same sex relationships are disapproved of and to therefore view a sexually active Harry and Ginny as some how OOC is puzzling to say the least. I wonder what the reviewer thought H&G were doing in the hours spent by the lake? I'd struggle to believe that they went all the way but I would be very surprised if all they did was peck each other on the lips and talk about the patterns the clouds made in the sky. Certainly, after Voldemort was dead and they could more easily get away from prying eyes, anything would be possible.

    One final point. I do think that Harry and Ginny were/are honourable, but we see in Harry at least, that he's prepared to use unforgivables when he thinks it's right. Morally (and I mean from a non-religious pov) what's worse; having sex with your girlfriend before marriage or casting an unforgiveable? Answers on a postcard to .....

    Comments

    That person needs to read the books again.

    Quote:

    Molly: "She gave me such a telling-off one night when I got back to the dormitory at four in the morning—"
    Bill: "What were you doing out of your dormitory at four in the morning?"
    Molly: "Your father and I had been for a night-time stroll"

    http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Molly_Weasley

    parakletos's picture

    creaothceann

    creaothceann wrote:
    Quote:

    Molly: "She gave me such a telling-off one night when I got back to the dormitory at four in the morning—"
    Bill: "What were you doing out of your dormitory at four in the morning?"
    Molly: "Your father and I had been for a night-time stroll"

    http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Molly_Weasley

    I'd forgotten that. Fits in with my view that Molly and Arthur have always been a passionate couple.

    Chatmandu's picture

    Sex in the Harry Potter world

    Canon Harry Potter is about good versus evil and literally (pun unintended) the choice of doing what is right over what is easy. Romance/sex does not fit into that narrative very well without going off topic. Somewhere along the line in the Wizard world large families seem to have fallen out of favor with the wealthy. Draco's comment, "... and more children than they can afford." is a brief glimse into that social mindset.

    When someone tells me how immoral today's youth are compared to the past I usually smirk and reply with something like, "Not from my experience." I also remember an exhibit on the first American Census, in 1790, at the Smithsonian's American History Museum. According to that Census the median age of a bride was 18. It also noted that half the brides were already pregnant when married. Why don't we hear more about teenage sex 200+ years ago? Perhaps because to the people of that time such information was unremarkable.

    Morally (and I mean from a non-religious pov) what's worse; having sex with your girlfriend before marriage or casting an unforgiveable?
    Depends on the circumstances. The characters Harry and Ginny are abnormal teenagers in the sense they are incredibly intense about what is important to them. Harry uses Unforgivables in the story, but he does not use them indiscriminately. They wouldn't have sex just because, however that doesn't mean they will avoid it because sex is "wrong" either. If that is how a fan fic story is structured I'm okay with that. If another reader isn't? Well... Isn't it wonderful that we are each unique personalities!

    Sovran's picture

    Call me new-fashioned . . .

    . . . but I'd always rather hear or read about sex between two people who are aware of what they're doing and who have genuine feelings for each other, regardless of their age (within reason) or marital status, than about sex between two people who happen to be married, regardless of their age, feelings, preparedness, or willingness. I'm a big fan of marriage, and I believe that marriage and sex reinforce each other in entertaining and productive ways, but I can't really imagine one as a prerequisite for the other.

    In other words, people will have sex, regardless of social stigmas, and forcing anyone to equate marriage with sex will only lead to meaningless sex and meaningless marriages. Of the two options, I think that meaningless sex alone is a far lesser evil. Better "illicit" sex than "illicit" marriage.

    At least the original reviewer has one thing right: if that's how s/he feels about it, s/he shouldn't be reading the story (or many others).

    rachel's picture

    I was surprised with that

    I was surprised with that fan fiction review. The only time sex is around is in the fan fiction stories. They are more geared toward adults anyway. As for the books, well they are intended for children. And although on the dark atmospheric side in the latter books, sex is not really there. Even the "romance" (if you can call it that) is barely part of the story.

    Sex in fan fiction belongs there if it makes sense and is well written. I would say the same in scenes of violence. Sex is part of human behavior anyway, so I see nothing wrong with it being there. In or outside marriage. It exists. A good writer is there as much as a bad writer. What he/she does with it is they key. No matter what the subject is.

    Illicit sex ?

    Given the Edwardian level of Wizarding culture presented in canon, I can accept that sex is treated much differently there than in the modern UK or USA. The fact that Molly, through Ron mostly, talks about "scarlet women" fits that sort of society, where sex outside AND inside of marriage was not talked about in front of children. Affairs were very discreetly handled and NOT allowed to interfere with dynasties--everyone was properly shocked when they were disclosed--and careers would be ended.

    So I perceive that someone like Draco would be very careful about any dalliances. The Weasleys, like any farm family at any time, would strive for the ideal and know that young adults will stray, but they'd also work very hard to keep the younger ones in line and out of trouble until out of school.

    Harry, with his incredible sense of honor and lack of experience, was very unlikely to go too far with Ginny during his 6th year. Not only did he share a dorm with Ron, he knew her brothers would hex him thoroughly and leave him unable to repeat his "crime." After the war, well, it would all be up to Ginny.

    Now, what sort of attitude would Ginny have towards sex after her diary experience? We've been left in fanfic to guess what Riddle did with the young girl as he gained control over her. Was he sexually perverse? Did he abuse her? How does that affect her?

    My experience with women thus abused leads me to believe that she'd initially be very hesitant to experiment with sex until she was thoroughly convinced of Harry's love and her own self-worth. That's why hearing that she delayed marriage and children several years according to JKR makes perfect sense to me. Ginny probably had a LOT of healing to do. PTSD doesn't go away on its own in real life.

    duckster's picture

    TruckerRon wrote: Now, what

    TruckerRon wrote:

    Now, what sort of attitude would Ginny have towards sex after her diary experience? We've been left in fanfic to guess what Riddle did with the young girl as he gained control over her. Was he sexually perverse? Did he abuse her? How does that affect her?

    My experience with women thus abused leads me to believe that she'd initially be very hesitant to experiment with sex until she was thoroughly convinced of Harry's love and her own self-worth. That's why hearing that she delayed marriage and children several years according to JKR makes perfect sense to me. Ginny probably had a LOT of healing to do. PTSD doesn't go away on its own in real life.

    For what I think is an excellent exploration of this idea:

    http://ladychi.livejournal.com/239683.html

    Chatmandu's picture

    Illicit Sex

    I never got the impression of sexual abuse by Riddle. First of all Horcrux Tom is nothing but vaporware (although while Ginny remained alive how was he able to hold Harry's wand?) so there is no "touch". Even within a D/s relationship there is a measure of give and take. Tom Riddle/Voldemort gives nothing. The abuse came where Riddle went after Ginny's self-esteem. We see Voldemort do this time and time again with the Death Eaters, the Ministry personnel, Order members, and Harry. So if the writer is using canon Voldemort as a baseline I lose interest fast without a decent reason for a sexually abusive Tom.
    How does this battle over her self-esteem impact Ginny as her mind and body mature? How much of Ginny's self-esteem remained after the final showdown in the Chamber? My opinion is Ginny is far more Prewett than Weasley. She will not be defeated but rather go choose to down fighting; look at her uncles, Fabian and Gideon. She is closest in termperament to Fred and George. As far as sexual mores go she is probably close to Molly, too. Molly may talk in public about "scarlet women" but she has SEVEN kids, and there are those tangential references to her and Arthur at Hogwarts. I doubt there is anything "scarlet" in private for either Molly or Ginny, which to refer to an above post is also an Edwardian POV. But what they do behind closed doors with their lover will be on equal terms.

    parakletos's picture

    duckster wrote: TruckerRon

    duckster wrote:
    TruckerRon wrote:

    For what I think is an excellent exploration of this idea:
    http://ladychi.livejournal.com/239683.html

    Good fic, thanks for the rec.

    I had a similar sentiment

    I had a similar sentiment levelled at me after I write the fade to black scene in Rebuilding Life. I bet it's the same reader. They stopped reading mine also.

    I'm so frustrated when people interpret Ginny's experience with the diary as being sexual abuse. I just never saw anything in there to indicate that. Voldemort is so self centred I don't think he was even trying to tear down her self esteem - it was just a by-product of is efforts to get to Harry through Ginny. Sort of like "Oh, look how insecure she is already (because all 11 year old girls are) I can use that ..."

    bransfolly's picture

    Chatmandu wrote: Canon

    Chatmandu wrote:

    Canon Harry Potter is about good versus evil and literally (pun unintended) the choice of doing what is right over what is easy. Romance/sex does not fit into that narrative very well without going off topic.

    From experience i can tell you finding time alone at boarding school with a girl was never easy. It was right though ;o)

    parakletos's picture

    I thought of this thread

    I thought of this thread when I came across this in a fic that's posted on both SIYE and PS.

    ”Oh, come off it Ron!” Ginny shouted. “And you haven’t been buggering the birthday girl all morning in your bedroom.”

    is this illict or just inappropriate? Answers on a postcard to ....

    Does the author realise what

    Does the author realise what buggering means would be my question. I do not think it means what they *think* it means ...

    (I mean, *I* know what it means ... and I don't think it's something Ginny would shout across - presumably - The Burrow on a cool September morning ...)

    It does make for some good

    It does make for some good alliteration, though!

    My main problem with sex in Harry Potter fanfic is that I sometimes wonder if people realise just how young most of the characters are. Yes, I remember being a teenager and hormones and stuff but seriously, even if the characters are supposed to be the embodiment of true love itself I simply do not want to read about 15-year-olds getting it on - and that's before you realise that although Harry may be 15, Ginny is in fact a year younger. Urgh.

    Your personal squick-factor and mileage may vary of course.

    The Rat
    _______________________________
    Standing here in my Reckless Hat

    Sovran wrote: I'm a big

    Sovran wrote:

    I'm a big fan of marriage, and I believe that marriage and sex reinforce each other in entertaining and productive ways, but I can't really imagine one as a prerequisite for the other.

    Sorry to say, Sovran, but sex is a prerequisite of marriage. Marriages can get annulled for non-consummation.

    moshpit's picture

    The funny meanings of words

    If we swap the phrase "required before" for the word "prerequisite" (the literal definition of the word), then this statement:

    Quote:

    sex is a prerequisite of marriage. Marriages can get annulled for non-consummation

    is changed in interesting ways. Fundamentally, you're saying that sex is required before marriage can take place, which I suspect is not what you're intending.

    Sovran's point isn't whether sex comes with marriage, but rather the idea of sex being required before marriage, or marriage before sex, is a bit of nonsense. It's a personal decision for the parties involved based on life experience and life values, nothing more, nothing less.

    Before there was marriage as a concept, there was sex. After there was marriage as a concept, things like mistresses and out-of-wedlock babies came along.

    I thought Sovran was meaning

    I thought Sovran was meaning that it's not imperative that one have sex before marriage - possibly because I once had a reviewer that slammed me for Harry and Ginny not getting it on in the six weeks between their engagement and wedding because 'that just doesn't happen and it's archaic and Victorian!'

    And I was all ... well I did it twice - within the last 20 years, but whatever ... (also it was fiction and it was used to effect comedy so reality was irrelevant to my purposes)

    Also I thought he additionally meant that it was not important if fictional characters got married before they played hide the sausage (although there is certainly at least one H/G fan who strenuously believes this with great vigour)

    Either way I don't think imposing your views on others is necessary.

    parakletos's picture

    Kezzabear wrote: I thought

    Kezzabear wrote:

    I thought Sovran was meaning that it's not imperative that one have sex before marriage - possibly because I once had a reviewer that slammed me for Harry and Ginny not getting it on in the six weeks between their engagement and wedding because 'that just doesn't happen and it's archaic and Victorian!'

    And I was all ... well I did it twice - within the last 20 years, but whatever ... (also it was fiction and it was used to effect comedy so reality was irrelevant to my purposes)

    Also I thought he additionally meant that it was not important if fictional characters got married before they played hide the sausage (although there is certainly at least one H/G fan who strenuously believes this with great vigour)

    Either way I don't think imposing your views on others is necessary.

    I know plenty of couples who didn't have sex before they were married, its just what you consider appropriate. I'd also add that once they decided to get married they didn't have one of these 'let's get married in 12 months time' type things they booked a date fairly quickly. In a country that tops the league for teenage pregnancies, I would say that's something to be applauded and not critisised.