Sex Scenes in books

So I was spending some time cruising a few blogsites, to get the lay of the land-so to speak, and I stumbled across one that was really interesting.  I tried to repost it here, so I could make a comment, but I guess these things don’t work that way..hehe. So here’s the link:

It’s his Sunday August 21 post. Basically, the author talks about the inclusion of sex scenes in books, and people’s reaction to it.  He has some very valid points in his post.

I have to admit, I wondered about that subject myself in regards to YA books. I myself have tried to be fairly careful on what to include and elude to, and what would be considered too risque for a YA audience.  The thing is, (without admitting that I was any kind of slut by any means) when I was a teen, I was pretty familiar with the whole sex thing.  And I was definitely one of the millions of teens addicted to harlequin romance novels which often had a substantial spattering of sex. But I suppose those were meant for a more mature audience.

So just how much sex can a YA novel reader handle?  Does the YA stamp, actually mean that the author is responsible for providing good clean role models in their protagonists? And is the inclusion of non-explicit sex scenes (kissing, fondling, then fading to black) okay?  Would say, 10% or 20% of the book be acceptable?

I myself am a fan of sexual tension in stories, so I do spend a lot of my time playing around with that angst in my stories. But as they say “sex sells”. So if the sex plays an important role in moving the story along, and adding a integral layer to the character building, what would be wrong with including it?

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