Is it possible to write a sex scene for middle-grade readers? I missed the original conversation, but you can catch the gist of it here and here . For those who don’t know what middle-grade is, it’s for 8- to 12-year-old readers. So, yeah, sex scenes are really just a no-no. That’s just wrong in so many ways. However, kids read “up” – about main characters who are a couple years older than them – so the main characters could be having sex. That is, unfortunately, a reality in today’s world.
So this is really just a writing challenge to see if we could write a sex (or love, call it what you want) scene for a young audience. Basically, no details, make it PG. I just learned about the challenge over the weekend and really didn’t plan to participate. But since I’m once again procrastinating on other things and really not feeling like writing the other blog post I planned to make, I decided to give it a shot. After all, it’s definitely a break from my writing style – the main character is male and young and yes, I do like to write hot and steamy scenes. So this is a good stepping-out-of-my-comfort-zone and stretching-my-writer’s-wings experience for me.
I just wrote it in the last hour, so it is what it is. Let me know what you think (unless it’s really horrible, then you can just lie).
My hands shook as I drove the old farm truck down the country lane to Chastity’s house. How ironic that’s her name. We’d just learned the vocabulary word “chastity” in Mrs. Long’s eighth-grade language arts class last week. This Chastity, my Chastity, rebelled against everything, including her name.
She’d had this planned for a while. It was her idea, her plan. She was the one who sneaked into the drug store. She was the one who called me last night to let me know her parents would be gone this evening. Of course, I wasn’t about to argue with her.
I’d been dreaming of this moment for far too long, except not with Chastity. At least, not until very recently. It had always been with Jessica Alba or Angelina Jolie or even Stifler’s mom. Or sometimes with the hot high-school cheerleader – the dark-haired brunette with the green eyes. A couple weeks ago, though, Chastity started talking about it.
“We’ve been going out seven months now,” she’d said.
That was probably a long time for kids our age in a bigger school, but when there aren’t many people to choose from, you hang on when you have a good one. If you let go, there’s a whole grade or two of others who’d pounce on the opportunity. So we hung onto each other.
I slowly turned onto the half-mile driveway from the gravel road to Chastity’s house, set back on her family’s forty-acre property. I was fourteen and had a farm permit, which allowed me to drive for farm business only. This was not farm business, but Dad let me drive anyway, as long as I stayed on country roads and didn’t drive too fast. If he knew what was about to happen, he’d probably not have let me. But you never know with my dad. He might have been all excited, ready for me to finally be the Man he’s always wanted out of me, forcing me to grow up in every other way since I was ten. Or he might have beat the crap out of me.
I crept up the driveway. I felt like the first time I stood in line for the Speed Demon, the tallest and fastest roller coaster at Crazy Sam's Fun World. I'd only been eight or nine then. Part of me couldn't wait to take on the Demon, but something in my stomach twisted and squeezed with excited fear.
If Chastity was nervous at all, she didn't show it. She impatiently paced the front porch, her blond ponytail bobbing behind her. She ran the last fifty yards and jumped into the truck.
“Hi,” she said with a bright-blue-eyed grin. “Let’s go by the pond.”
“I thought you said your parents were gone,” I said, knowing the pond was hidden from the house and road.
“Oh, they are. The pond’s just kind of romantic, don’t you think?” She moved across the bench seat, pressing her left thigh, bare from her short jean shorts, against my right one.
“Uh, yeah, I guess.” I never thought of romantic. I honestly wasn’t exactly sure what it meant. Flowers, candy, jewelry…that’s all I really knew. A pond, though? Girls are so weird.
I cajoled the old truck up the rugged path, through the trees and over the hill, to the pond at the very back of her family’s property. I cut the engine and sucked in a deep breath. Before I even let it out, Chastity climbed onto my lap. My hands trembled as if I’d chugged three energy drinks. She didn’t seem to notice.
"I love you, Tyler," she said, placing her hands on each side of my face.
"I love you, too, Chaz," I murmured. It was true. I thought. Who knew what love really was, though?
Chastity pulled her t-shirt over her head. Nothing was new to me, to either of us. We'd already done everything butthis. But in a strange way, it all felt new. And weird.
In all of the dreams over the last few years, it never went like this. I was smooth, knew what I was doing. This was awkward. My mind went numb, forgetting what to do, at the first touch of her always soft skin. But Chastity kept encouraging me, her voice soft. I could hear a faint tremble in her words, though. I think she cried at one point, although she smiled and nodded with more encouragement. Good thing, because it was too late for me now.
I was really doing this. This was really happening. And it was greater than plunging over that first hill of the Speed Demon. Greater than winning the all-county basketball tournament. Even greater than those hilarious teen movies made it out to be. This was real!
I fell against Chastity and she wrapped her arms around my neck, pressing her lips against my ear.
“We did it,” she whispered and I could hear the triumph in her voice.
After we dressed, we sat on the lowered tailgate, staring at the glass-smooth pond reflecting the setting sun. Chastity pulled a cigarette out and waved it at me. I shook my head. She shrugged and lit it for herself. She wrapped her arm around my waist.
“We’ll be together forever, Tyler,” she said. “We’ll have a wedding right here by the pond and lots of kids running around. That’ll be fun, won’t it? Together forever.”
I kissed the top of her head and grunted some kind of noise she took for agreement. The next four years…perhaps. It’s not like I had many other choices. But if little, young Chastity from this tiny town could do that to me…what could those city girls do? I suddenly couldn’t wait to get through high school and out of this po-dunk place.