Steve's Explanation For Loser's Sex Scene

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Dana Jean

Reformed Dirty Pirate Hooker
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
45,117
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Thornfield
I have, myself, never really gave this scene a LOT of thought. Granted, I believe I first read "IT" in 7th grade? 1993/1994. I loved it; and was freaked out enormously. There are many scenes that WERE schocking to me: The boys at the dump, the switch blade to Henry Bowers dad's throat, most of the scene's involving Mike Hanlon's torment by Henry. The one scene I remember my friends and I being UTTERLY shocked by was the witch in Beverly's house. I had never read the word c**t in a book, and the witch talking to her, spewing that filth, I knew that it was bad (and being a 12 or 13 year old, loved every moment of "naughty" things). Re-examining the 80's, which I did not grow up in (Born in 1981), I think our society, for better or worse, has taken a step back from what is/was acceptable. I would say its a mixed bag; porn is everywhere, and far more shocking than that small part in the book. Do people remember the movie "Over the Edge", by Jonathan Kaplan? Or Christine F. (junkie 14 year old prostitutes in West Berlin)? I don't think that subject matter of those movies would be touched with a ten foot pole in this current era.

Now, is that good or bad? I can't say, honestly. I am not a cultural critic. Thinking back to when I did read the novel, both of the sex scenes stuck out like sore thumbs to me. Now, having two children and aging 24 years, I can understand (but not really buy the reasoning, and still feel repulsed by the scene itself) of the emotional aspect/connection Mr. King was trying to get across. Shortly after the sex scene, they also take a blood oath. Perhaps the sex scene was put in so Mr. King wasn't being redundant (rather silly, IMHO). The blood oath has always been more bonding in Mr. King's books; retrospectively, I think that should have been enough of a bond, especially with children protagonists.

Mr. King has gone on record as being a terrible editor of himself (aren't we all?). The Stand involves a man masturbating another man with a gun up his anus, a short description of a woman getting herself wiped in a private area with barbed wire, and (as a young person reading, this bugged me the most) a child falling down a well and dying of pain and starvation. And fancier, more Pedigreed writers such as Thomas Pynchon, have scenes of Corpophagia, etc.

So, in conclusion, I don't think any explanation would make sense in today's culture. Should it be in there? Yes, it's part of the story. Was it necessary? I don't think so, but hindsight is 20/20. I love the book, and don't think any less of it for either sex scene. Stephen King taught me to love literature, and I am eternally grateful to him for that. I think placing too much meaning on the "connection/bonding" aspect of the scene is wrong-headed. Is it wrong, in of itself? No. I never thought it was an important part of the story.

Sorry for going on so long! I am a terrible editor myself! I am trying my best to keep my expectations of the movie low, even though it is getting great reviews. I want to love it as much as I loved the book. Which is a tall order! haha.
I'd like to hear your thoughts on the movie.
 

Dana Jean

Reformed Dirty Pirate Hooker
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
45,117
184,421
Thornfield
Just wanted to add my two cents what with the remake of the film coming out. (sorry, I am not hopeful it will be good. I fear their will be so many political/social motifs shoehorned into the script)

But about the book, just as many others have, I read it when I was in my teens. It was funny that my parents said "no you can't watch X-files because it is too scary" but this book slipped past their radar. I am 100% positive they would not let me read this book if they knew about this scene.

Personally, considering I have never had sex, I am surprised I always viewed this scene as an important way to hold onto their sanity, and not something to be aroused by. So I definitely would agree with anybody here saying that it has to do with magic + helping them keep their adult-like minds at least until they make it out of the sewers.

But to the people whinging about it being porn, and "completely unnecessary", I can only hope future generations can learn from your misguided views. We currently live in one of the most regressive time periods in history with regards to how we treat teens that are sexually mature. You can see all the stories in other posts here for yourself. When kids are in puberty, they aren't perfect angels with asexual thoughts. Whether a 12 year old girl has full on sex with her peers, or simply plays some type of "touch" game, it shouldn't shock you that this can happen. Does this mean I want more kids doing what Beverly did? No. But not because of uptight conservative reasons. I don't want it simply because our society is very dumb right now about this topic. The last thing I want for a 12 year old girl are tons of psychologists/cops/parents brainwashing her into being a victim. Can you imagine how twisted Beverly might have been if she escaped the sewers to only be called "slut" or "victim" for the rest of her life?

Here is an interesting question though. If this book were real, and it were possible to view these events as they happened (with no danger to yourself). Would you close your eyes during this intimate scene? Or would you embrace it for what it is? See, this is why I like King's books. Whether he wrote this scene during his troubled years or not, it brings the elephant in the room to our attention. If we are okay with reading this scene as an adult, then why should we feel ashamed if we were to see this happen in real life? It really puts a kink in people's beliefs about adults and supposed "perverts". Maybe not all sex is about power and control? Maybe some of it is about unity and love? Maybe not all adults are evil when it comes to teenage sexuality?
Well, I definitely appreciate your opinion, but I'm not misguided nor am I a conservative. Far from it. Again, this is fiction and it's Stephen's vision. I loved the book, and respect his vision. I was totally immersed in the story, until this scene. He just pulled me out of the story. It didn't seem to flow and fit with the narrative -- to me. I respect everyone's right to love or hate this scene. But I don't appreciate name calling.
 
Sep 10, 2017
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That brings to me another what if question. What if Bev had been 18? Same scene, same reasons. Darthclide's question makes me wonder. When is it too far? When is it luscivious?
 
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Dana Jean

Reformed Dirty Pirate Hooker
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
45,117
184,421
Thornfield
That brings to me another what if question. What if Bev had been 18? Same scene, same reasons. Darthclide's question makes me wonder. When is it too far? When is it luscivious?
No. I did not like the scene. It would not matter that the ages were different to me. The scene is what took me out of the story.
 

not_nadine

Comfortably Roont
Nov 19, 2011
29,378
137,451
Behind you
I honestly forgot about that scene until this thread and re-read. Early Stephen King was a bit different. That scene was not necessary all. But it is what it is.

He would do that in early years with other books as well. Remember 'The Raft?' Suddenly wild passion while all that going on. I just shook my head. There goes SK again. 'Autopsy Room?' And many more.

It was what it was.
 

recitador

Speed Reader
Sep 3, 2016
1,704
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35
When is it luscivious?
that probably has a lot to do with the author and how they describe it, as well as personal readers sensibilities. you can throw all the what ifs you want to at it (even if it's a bit of tilting at windmills, because the scene is what it is, and there's no changing it), and those two will always be the main factors. some writers have more tact than others, even when their subject matter explores fringe ideas. others could probably write the same scene and have it come off much worse.
 

Piersyl

New Member
Sep 10, 2017
1
6
47
Hello Forum,

I originally didn't want to comment in this thread- I was just reading your opinions and found some of them very interesting and sensible. I agree with most people who argue that the aspect of their age isn't the damning part in itself but rather how unnessesairy if feels. I have no problem with the simple truth of life that kids entering puperty start to experiment and as I live in europe I feel like people are way more relaxed about it here anyways (child nudity is normal here on beachers, television etc- age of consent is 14- sex ed is widely available). But I do have to say out of fairness that I am quite socially conservative (in contrast to other posters anyway) just due to the fact that I work with with abused children that the goverment had to take out of their enviroment at home for 5 years now. And I feel that there are quite some misconceptions and dangerous opinions out there.. althought I respect that everyone can have their opinion. When I read the contribution/rant about sexual "repressive" society and victim shaming/ mental bagacke for something "normal" like a Bev having sex with six boys from deathclide i felt lime I had to comment.

Just wanted to add my two cents what with the remake of the film coming out. (sorry, I am not hopeful it will be good. I fear their will be so many political/social motifs shoehorned into the script)

But about the book, just as many others have, I read it when I was in my teens. It was funny that my parents said "no you can't watch X-files because it is too scary" but this book slipped past their radar. I am 100% positive they would not let me read this book if they knew about this scene.

Personally, considering I have never had sex, I am surprised I always viewed this scene as an important way to hold onto their sanity, and not something to be aroused by. So I definitely would agree with anybody here saying that it has to do with magic + helping them keep their adult-like minds at least until they make it out of the sewers.

But to the people whinging about it being porn, and "completely unnecessary", I can only hope future generations can learn from your misguided views. We currently live in one of the most regressive time periods in history with regards to how we treat teens that are sexually mature. You can see all the stories in other posts here for yourself. When kids are in puberty, they aren't perfect angels with asexual thoughts. Whether a 12 year old girl has full on sex with her peers, or simply plays some type of "touch" game, it shouldn't shock you that this can happen. Does this mean I want more kids doing what Beverly did? No. But not because of uptight conservative reasons. I don't want it simply because our society is very dumb right now about this topic. The last thing I want for a 12 year old girl are tons of psychologists/cops/parents brainwashing her into being a victim. Can you imagine how twisted Beverly might have been if she escaped the sewers to only be called "slut" or "victim" for the rest of her life?

Here is an interesting question though. If this book were real, and it were possible to view these events as they happened (with no danger to yourself). Would you close your eyes during this intimate scene? Or would you embrace it for what it is? See, this is why I like King's books. Whether he wrote this scene during his troubled years or not, it brings the elephant in the room to our attention. If we are okay with reading this scene as an adult, then why should we feel ashamed if we were to see this happen in real life? It really puts a kink in people's beliefs about adults and supposed "perverts". Maybe not all sex is about power and control? Maybe some of it is about unity and love? Maybe not all adults are evil when it comes to teenage sexuality?
Aside from the 'very' subtle implication that age doesn't matter when it comes to having group sex in this specific post ("If we are okay with reading this scene as an adult, then why should we feel ashamed if we were to see this happen in real life?") and some other gripes i have with this post that could be summed up with the words 'ideologic differences', I felt like there is a very important element to alot of arguments made in this and similair posts in defense of the scene:

When working with sexually abused children we often have to look out for certain behavioral problems. Self mutulation (cutting/burning skin) and other destructive behvaiors are often the easiest to spot anf combat. They are quite 'surface level' due to the fact that the children know it's a bad or anormal thing they do. But one of the more deep running problems of which I had no clue of when I started working with kids and families, was the degree of sexual activity in contrast to non-abused children. When children enter puperty they begin to experiment with things and might "put it in" out of curiosity but real sexual contact almost always develops in the later stages of puperty. Sure a 14 year old girl might have sex already but a 11-12 year old girl is most usually not on that level. At that age mutual touching is considered quite mature yet clumsy but still in the field of "normal" compaired to the average. They are NOT "sexually mature teens" as deathclide put it. The complete lack of understanding or nuance that different ages during puperty have in that posts is what made me write this. Kids entering puperty are not already in ful swing hormonal sex drive mode yet. They are on their way but not "gang-bang" level as someone else phrased it.
But children who were subject of sexual abuse by someone else in their life are often already way ahead of the curve. I don't want to get into details but I've seen young kids succeeding in encouranging other more innocent children to do things that I personally didnt know of untill my college years. Children are incredibly good at adapting to circumstances and a child that way abused might end up seeing these things as 'normal'. Infact once in a while we only suspect that there were elements of sexual abuse (additionally to for example physical abuse/beating from drunk parents) after we hear from other children about/or walk in on these troubled kids trying to do fishy things with other kids in the childrens shelter. Often after carefull probing we do find out that these kids "learned it from unclen jim" or wanted to try it out on others because it was done to them and most of the time the parents end up confirming our fears. Just because a 10 year old girl thinks this is how you make someone you like happy doesn't mean it's right- and even if they already begun to enjoy some of these things. They are children and not "small adults". There is a very important difference between the natural clumsy experimenting (which also goes on Im very aware of) and full mature sexual "skills"

Lots of words. But here is my point: I read the book before I started working with children and after (last year) and the first thing I had to think of last time was these most abused kids I work with. To me, especially after realizng that Bev's father probably directly or indirectly sexually abused her, it looks like Bev is acting out things she had been introduced to way earlier than she should have. Im not implying she was raped before but certainly her father was being fishy or maybe touchy about it. When I look at that scene I see all the elements as they happen in real life. Bev the only ne who was worried about rape/ sex that much the whole time coaxing the boys into something they didn't conciously want. She had to talk them into it as King puts it.
Most of them were not even that developed (compairison of size) or didnt even ejaculate. None of the boys even thought of this as an option (group sex) nor did most know were to put it and most were unconfortable with this.
Infact King even states so himself:

'She senses his eagerness, but it is tempered and held back by his anxiety for her, perhaps because only Bill and she herself realize what an enormous act this is, and how it must never be spoken of, not to anyone else, not even to each other.'

Maybe i'm biased because I walked in on a similair scene before during my work back in 2013 but it looks to as if Bev was somewhere subconciously affected by previous experiences in her life that made her initiate a situation that any normal child of her age wouldn't have thought of. For me this was very obvious anf I thought King a genius for carefully planting all the elements of this very subtle and quite dark turn in her character development during the entire book. I actualy thought King had quite some knowledge of troubled children and was trying to sneak in some more social commentairy (especially since I think this isnt the only time he touches on the topic of how children cope with sexual abuse). To me this scene was totally shocking ag first and I realy don't like it but I didn't think it was that 'unnatural' in terms of how real abuse victims behave. She is even mortified when the supresed memories of that incident pop up later during the 80s part. This element of supressed memories of traumatic things is another thing troubled people with a traumatic childhoods have to deal with.This of course stands in stark contrast to the above mentioned post which looks at 12 year olds engaging in group sex and sexual cohersion in a more relaxed light (again, i dont want to get into viewpoint/ideological arguments about whether or not children are being sexualy 'repressed' or indoctrinated into being less sexually aware etc-). To me all signs point to the fact that this was quite sly and educated attempt to add another layer of symbolism to this book; not mythical but alegorical.

Only after reading other comments on this scene I realized that I might be in the minority with this view. I understand the other interpretations on this too but in that case i'm puzzled as to why King had to describe the scene the way he did
or why he used and described group-sex between kids (half of which cant or wont even ejaculate yet according to the text)
in the first place. Certainly King was aware of how shocking and disturbing this scene was when he even the adult versions of the kids invovled were shocked when remembering it. I kinda hope I wasn't totally deluding myself with seeing patterns in the sand that aren't there because of my job. Maybe i'm the one coping here and fiction isn't as dark as reality even when it involves child-murdering giant spiders.

Pls tell me if you think my totally wrong and full of garbage - I can take it :kiwi-fruit:
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Sep 10, 2017
8
24
48
that probably has a lot to do with the author and how they describe it, as well as personal readers sensibilities. you can throw all the what ifs you want to at it (even if it's a bit of tilting at windmills, because the scene is what it is, and there's no changing it), and those two will always be the main factors. some writers have more tact than others, even when their subject matter explores fringe ideas. others could probably write the same scene and have it come off much worse.
I meant lascivious, right?
You bring up some good points. What I am curious about is the personal reader sensibilities. My tilting is not what the scene is, you are correct, but the scene itself is fiction. It was intentionally created. And, to put a bit of my opinion into it, it was a grown man romanticizing 12 year old sex. With detail. Mr. King defended it as symbolism.
I have sympathy toward those that would be sensitive to that scene. And I don't understand those that would angrily defend it. I would like to understand.
To understate, I will say that Mr. King is my favorite author, and I have read a lot of authors.
 
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FlakeNoir

Original Kiwi© SKMB®
Moderator
Apr 11, 2006
41,413
161,592
New Zealand
Hello Forum,

I originally didn't want to comment in this thread- I was just reading your opinions and found some of them very interesting and sensible. I agree with most people who argue that the aspect of their age isn't the damning part in itself but rather how unnessesairy if feels. I have no problem with the simple truth of life that kids entering puperty start to experiment and as I live in europe I feel like people are way more relaxed about it here anyways (child nudity is normal here on beachers, television etc- age of consent is 14- sex ed is widely available). But I do have to say out of fairness that I am quite socially conservative (in contrast to other posters anyway) just due to the fact that I work with with abused children that the goverment had to take out of their enviroment at home for 5 years now. And I feel that there are quite some misconceptions and dangerous opinions out there.. althought I respect that everyone can have their opinion. When I read the contribution/rant about sexual "repressive" society and victim shaming/ mental bagacke for something "normal" like a Bev having sex with six boys from deathclide i felt lime I had to comment.



Aside from the 'very' subtle implication that age doesn't matter when it comes to having group sex in this specific post ("If we are okay with reading this scene as an adult, then why should we feel ashamed if we were to see this happen in real life?") and some other gripes i have with this post that could be summed up with the words 'ideologic differences', I felt like there is a very important element to alot of arguments made in this and similair posts in defense of the scene:

When working with sexually abused children we often have to look out for certain behavioral problems. Self mutulation (cutting/burning skin) and other destructive behvaiors are often the easiest to spot anf combat. They are quite 'surface level' due to the fact that the children know it's a bad or anormal thing they do. But one of the more deep running problems of which I had no clue of when I started working with kids and families, was the degree of sexual activity in contrast to non-abused children. When children enter puperty they begin to experiment with things and might "put it in" out of curiosity but real sexual contact almost always develops in the later stages of puperty. Sure a 14 year old girl might have sex already but a 11-12 year old girl is most usually not on that level. At that age mutual touching is considered quite mature yet clumsy but still in the field of "normal" compaired to the average. They are NOT "sexually mature teens" as deathclide put it. The complete lack of understanding or nuance that different ages during puperty have in that posts is what made me write this. Kids entering puperty are not already in ful swing hormonal sex drive mode yet. They are on their way but not "gang-bang" level as someone else phrased it.
But children who were subject of sexual abuse by someone else in their life are often already way ahead of the curve. I don't want to get into details but I've seen young kids succeeding in encouranging other more innocent children to do things that I personally didnt know of untill my college years. Children are incredibly good at adapting to circumstances and a child that way abused might end up seeing these things as 'normal'. Infact once in a while we only suspect that there were elements of sexual abuse (additionally to for example physical abuse/beating from drunk parents) after we hear from other children about/or walk in on these troubled kids trying to do fishy things with other kids in the childrens shelter. Often after carefull probing we do find out that these kids "learned it from unclen jim" or wanted to try it out on others because it was done to them and most of the time the parents end up confirming our fears. Just because a 10 year old girl thinks this is how you make someone you like happy doesn't mean it's right- and even if they already begun to enjoy some of these things. They are children and not "small adults". There is a very important difference between the natural clumsy experimenting (which also goes on Im very aware of) and full mature sexual "skills"

Lots of words. But here is my point: I read the book before I started working with children and after (last year) and the first thing I had to think of last time was these most abused kids I work with. To me, especially after realizng that Bev's father probably directly or indirectly sexually abused her, it looks like Bev is acting out things she had been introduced to way earlier than she should have. Im not implying she was raped before but certainly her father was being fishy or maybe touchy about it. When I look at that scene I see all the elements as they happen in real life. Bev the only ne who was worried about rape/ sex that much the whole time coaxing the boys into something they didn't conciously want. She had to talk them into it as King puts it.
Most of them were not even that developed (compairison of size) or didnt even ejaculate. None of the boys even thought of this as an option (group sex) nor did most know were to put it and most were unconfortable with this.
Infact King even states so himself:

'She senses his eagerness, but it is tempered and held back by his anxiety for her, perhaps because only Bill and she herself realize what an enormous act this is, and how it must never be spoken of, not to anyone else, not even to each other.'

Maybe i'm biased because I walked in on a similair scene before during my work back in 2013 but it looks to as if Bev was somewhere subconciously affected by previous experiences in her life that made her initiate a situation that any normal child of her age wouldn't have thought of. For me this was very obvious anf I thought King a genius for carefully planting all the elements of this very subtle and quite dark turn in her character development during the entire book. I actualy thought King had quite some knowledge of troubled children and was trying to sneak in some more social commentairy (especially since I think this isnt the only time he touches on the topic of how children cope with sexual abuse). To me this scene was totally shocking ag first and I realy don't like it but I didn't think it was that 'unnatural' in terms of how real abuse victims behave. She is even mortified when the supresed memories of that incident pop up later during the 80s part. This element of supressed memories of traumatic things is another thing troubled people with a traumatic childhoods have to deal with.This of course stands in stark contrast to the above mentioned post which looks at 12 year olds engaging in group sex and sexual cohersion in a more relaxed light (again, i dont want to get into viewpoint/ideological arguments about whether or not children are being sexualy 'repressed' or indoctrinated into being less sexually aware etc-). To me all signs point to the fact that this was quite sly and educated attempt to add another layer of symbolism to this book; not mythical but alegorical.

Only after reading other comments on this scene I realized that I might be in the minority with this view. I understand the other interpretations on this too but in that case i'm puzzled as to why King had to describe the scene the way he did
or why he used and described group-sex between kids (half of which cant or wont even ejaculate yet according to the text)
in the first place. Certainly King was aware of how shocking and disturbing this scene was when he even the adult versions of the kids invovled were shocked when remembering it. I kinda hope I wasn't totally deluding myself with seeing patterns in the sand that aren't there because of my job. Maybe i'm the one coping here and fiction isn't as dark as reality even when it involves child-murdering giant spiders.

Pls tell me if you think my totally wrong and full of garbage - I can take it :kiwi-fruit:
Welcome to the site, Piersyl.
 

Tiny

RECEIVED:Annoying Questions award
Nov 25, 2009
1,840
2,757
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Wilmington DE, strange little place.
good grief...they should have left in the scene/idea... but its not a big deal to me.
they may have changed some other stuff....and some of THAT might make me NOT
like this movie, but the sewer-train isnt one such scene.

it is VERY strange to me that PRIME TIME TV in 1990 left the 'reference' of the scene
in their silly TV-PG mini series, and the whole world was pretty much OK with it.

now, in 2017... we are having a much harder time even talking about it.

now let me make sure every one understands. Bev had sex with the boys
because they were GONNA DIE. they were lost and were NOT gonna find their way out
of the sewers because the BOND was broken. The 7 of them had a magic BOND that kindda
gave them Mild-supers powers [sortta kindda]. She had sex with each of them and brought
back their bond so that one of them could find the way our [Richie I think] she brought back their friendship.

FRIENDSHIP IS MAGIC [kek]
 
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kingricefan

All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.
Jul 11, 2006
28,344
115,498
Spokane, WA
Please let me express my apologies for the rudeness and my thanks for the classy reply.

For what it's worth, I wouldn't let a little coprophagia turn you off to Pynchon. After all, Bevvie takes a sip of **** in Mrs. Kersh's house...
It's all good! We're all friends here.
 
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César Hernández-Meraz

Wants to be Nick, ends up as Larry
May 19, 2015
571
4,143
38
Aguascalientes, Mexico
I corrected the spelling of middle-school students in my super classy all the time.
Well done. Spelling rules should be learned in elementary school, so ever-present errors (and any attitude the students may have not to fix them) should not exist on middle-school. I am ashamed to see many people who graduate from University but still make no effort to write well (in English or Spanish). Typos (specially when typing in a hurry) are one thing, but when the best case scenario is to use a spelling (or grammar) software and rely on it then I fear for where language is headed.

I have carefully read every post in this thread. I have a thought experiment for you. Replace Bev with Bill. Reread all the posts with that in mind. Does it change how you think or feel? (I'm not making judgement or even declaring my own thoughts.)
I think Ben's would hurt B-B-Bill more than it did Beverly. :cold:
 
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