I got an interesting email this week that got me thinking and I thought I'd share my thoughts with you. In other words, I'm going to foist my ideas off on you and your only defense is to stop reading this post now! Okay. Forewarned.
The reader told me that he really enjoyed the story but was a little disappointed in that I'd said no sex for the first twelve chapters but then, oh what follows. He had yet to see any sex and now I've put this "No penetration" clause in the dating agreement. So when are we going to have sex?
Dang! I thought we were. Unfortunately, we seem to have the idea that unless there is a penis plunging in and out of a vagina, there's no sex. I guess we can thank Bill Clinton for that definition. In the first twelve--actually only eleven--chapters, I had to operate under the rule that no character under the age of fourteen can be in any sexual situation, including masturbation. That's an SOL rule. In chapter twelve, the night Brian turned fourteen, a naked fourteen-year-old Girl Scout crawled into his sleeping bag with him. Did they "have sex?" Not by any stretch of the imagination--or perhaps in his imagination. For me, when Brian and Liz played Seven Minutes in Heaven in her bedroom, they were having sex. And let's face it, in the first chapter of Part II, he gave three girls orgasms at the lake. That's got to count for something!
I guess what's more important to me, and I have to look to see if there is a better way to code the story, is that this is a story about a couple dozen kids growing up and becoming adults, experimenting with each other, trying to find their boundaries and trying to push them to the limits. It isn't a story about sex, but there's "some sex."
And don't worry that there will be a long build-up and the minute they consummate a relationship the story will end. Long build-up, yes. "Slow." But I expect the story to span about fifteen years and believe me when I say that nobody is going to wait that long! I'm going to add the code "Masturbation" to the story, but I'm not going to add "First" until there is actual penetration. We'll be in chapter seventy-something by then. But the boundaries and some other things will be stretched in as many ways as possible before then.
Hope this helps you plan for the future with Living Next Door to Heaven.