About Me

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J is an unpublished author, represented by Carrie Pestritto of Prospect Agency. J's first novel is a YA fantasy horror, regarding a siren who must choose between the haunting life and humanity. J draws on occasion, reads quite often, and is a founding member of the critique group 'Thoughtical Verbosity.'

Monday, January 30, 2012

Requestion of the Week: Uncomfortable

Hello, and welcome to the first ever

Requestion of the Week!

For those of you not in the know (at this point, that's everyone) here's the Requestion of the Week deal:

I, J Larkin, will begin with a little pondering about something. A question will be posed, and I will answer it for myself. Then, I will pose a follow-up request/challenge for you, my lovely readers.

All those who are interest, take up the challenge. Answer the question. Post your answer (or preferably a link to your blog where I can read your full, flowing, frabjuous response) in the comment section of the Requestion page. I will read and attempt to comment on all of your responses, and on Friday (which should give those interested plenty of time to procrastinate and then madly dash out a post in the last twenty minutes) I will put up a link or a quote from my favorite Requestion answer. For the moment, that's the big prize*. Free publicity.

And now, onto the main event!

I was (shock) reading a book recently. It was an okay book. The writing was a little 'meh,' the main character a little overly stupid, but the plot was interesting enough that I plodded forth in the hopes that it would get better. One of the subplots involved the main character, a 16-year-old virgin, dancing around the idea of sleeping with her boyfriend.

The main story is about a serial killer who is targeting magical creatures, by the way. Far more interesting to me than a teenager debating whether or not to give into her lust, but that's besides the point.

So I'm plodding, I'm plodding, waiting for another body to show up, and oh, hey, the sex subplot is moving again. Bleh. Don't care. Oh, she's going to his house. Whatevs. Hormones abound. Okay, fine, can we get back to the murders?

Ah. They're going up to his room.

Urgh...clothes are coming off. Boy Howdy, do I ever not want to be hearing about this from a first-person narrative. Yeah, teenagers do things and stuff with their bodies in places, but...

Oh! Ew! Stop it! Fade to black, fade to black! Come on! Ewwww!

It wasn't graphic. It wasn't glamorized. It wasn't steamy or lewd or nasty, per se. In fact, it was fairly sanitized. Removed from the emotions of such a personal experience. But it told you (in first person, no less!) everything you wouldn't want to hear about a girl's first time with a boy she, like, really, really likes.

It was not, in any way, shape, or form, what I wanted to be reading. For me, non-prude though I consider myself to be, it was pure ick.

I haven't really been willing to pick the book back up since then. That ill-conceived (ha!) scene got my thinkers rolling, though. The scene wasn't necessary. It could have been handled with, "I went to my boyfriend's house. Things happened with rose petals and stuff. It was great but awkward, then we had a fight and then plot happened." In other words, the scene was completely unnecessary. It didn't add anything to anything except whatever it took to tip the bar of my discomfort level. And that has never happened before in my reading.

So, why was it included? It wasn't titillating. There was no lesson to be learned about biology, emotional integrity, chemistry, or anything else that won't be picked up in health class or on TV. It literally added nothing to the story (the scene itself, not the action) except Uncomfortable Sauce. If the author wanted a steamy sex scene to make people squeal, they could/should/would have...well, made it whole-hog steamalicious.


SO, the Requestion of the Week is based off of all that up there.

WHAT makes you uncomfortable when you read/view/think about it? Violence? Sexy times? Political scandal? Pop culture?

HOW do you react to said Uncomfortable Sauce when it is thrown in your lap? Can you just not handle it? Do you edge around it like a pool full of acid and sharks (in acid-proof armor)? Do you make sure no one else is looking whilst you read?

WHY do you think people include that Sauce? Titillation? Fear mongering? Trend snarfing?

WHO is the Sauce cooked for, if not you?

WHERE and WHEN did you last encounter this Uncomfortable Sauce? You can go all censor-bar on this one, as I attempted to do, or you can fling fingers all you want. It's your Requestion response, just use it wisely.

Ready? Set...GO!

*Doughnut slinging and book querying doesn't leave much kale for glorious prizes, I'm afraid. Maybe in the future there will be something cooler for those involved. For now, though, just enjoy the cerebral experience.


  1. The last book I read with questionable scenes was "Water for Elephants". I took one of my girlfriends to see the movie, and when she asked me if the book was worth reading, the thing that came foremost to my thoughts was to warn her it was smutty.

    I figured Gruen wrote that stuff in because the book was going to be targeted to a male audience, except my husband has also read it and he didn't think the scenes enhanced the plot of the story to the point where his opinion at the end of the book would change if they weren't included.

  2. Hmm.. you really want me to revisit Uncomfortable Sauce? Willingly? It makes me squeamish for a reason! ..ok, ok, but just for you. Because you asked, and because I think you're a cool sort of person.

    Extreme cruelty to little kids (and sometimes animals). Also rape. Not cool. Um, last/worst one I remember reading stuff that made me squirm was a Bernard Cornwell I ambled onto, and I ended up finishing. Stupid innocent looking Bathroom Books, preying on their inert captive audience, like mouse traps waiting to spring on the unsuspecting. I don't remember which one it was but had some really graphic, seriously disturbing rape scenes and possibly kid killing. I'm not sure.. wasn't too happy about it. Did I put it down? Stupidly no. I waded though wincing and tense hoping for justice and or resolution. Who was it written for? Persons of stronger stomach and more testosterone and violence than I. Why said person's would like such things is beyond me.

  3. Also didn't appreciate the opening chapter of "American Gods" (Neil Gaiman). Yet another Bathroom Book. ..and as it was at the beginning and I wasn't invested in it, I promptly didn't read it anymore.