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Steve's Explanation For Loser's Sex Scene

Discussion in 'IT' started by Dana Jean, Nov 17, 2013.

  1. Grannie CeeCee

    Grannie CeeCee Well-Known Member

    Thanks for taking the time to write out what I was thinking. I was foster parent to children who were survivors of sexual abuse, and have had my own rows to hoe as well.

    Children who are used by adults for sexual gratification discover early how powerful sex is.

    I can't say that I like this scene; I accept it. The way it pulls the reader back from the story is an echo of what Beverly senses as the connection frays between her and her comrades in arms. Could she have done something as effective? Maybe. But she is Bev, and her personal story is fraught with power and sex and so she used the most powerful thing she knew. The scene is uncomfortable for me to read, it's jarring, but it feels like exactly what Bev would do, because she believed it was the most powerful act, just like Bill believed in his rhyme and Stan believed in his birds. Bev used what she had in that moment, and this was what she had.

    my lil two cents

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ...brilliant scenario....
    kingricefan and Grannie CeeCee like this.
  3. Dana Jean

    Dana Jean Reformed Dirty Pirate Hooker Moderator

    Yes, very well explained.
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  4. Steve in WI

    Steve in WI Active Member

    Short answer: I think I understand some of why the scene is there, but I'm not sure it's really effective or believable in the context of the characters.

    Long answer: It's the extremity of the act that makes it shocking, and one thing I would agree is that watering it down to try to get the message across in a more acceptable way would just make it ridiculous. There are scenes in the book that acknowledge the kind of sexual awakening of the characters (the scene where Beverly's shirt pops open and the boys see her a bit differently afterward is one) in what I think is a believable and age-appropriate way; what makes this scene different is that it goes way beyond curiosity or normal exploration. If it was watered-down to the point where all of the boys kiss Beverly or something, then it would lose any reasonable meaning in the context of the story. For it to work at all (and I don't think it totally works, but I also don't dismiss it as just a head-scratching moment that makes no sense), it kind of has to be something beyond what normal kids would likely do.

    Or another thought...what if the scene occurred at the end of 1985 in the sewers when they were all in their late thirties? Minus the fact that it would take place in front of Bill's comatose wife, there's nothing especially shocking about the idea of consenting adults having sex. But a lot of what bothers me about the scene from a story and character perspective would still bother me; there just wouldn't be any discomfort about it involving children. Beverly is a focal point of the group in a way, but structuring the scene so that it's each of the males having sex with her just feels wrong in a way that goes beyond the sexual.

    I'd still have the problem with it being about 6 characters having an individual experience with 1 character, but it would somewhat alleviate the concerns about it reducing Beverly to a sex object and all of the gender issues that come into play with that. (Though I would argue it would also make the scene even less plausible, particularly for a story set in 1958 that I would say has established all of the boys as straight).

    I have to say one of the recent frustrations I have with this scene is that its existence has inspired so many "can you believe what shocking scene they couldn't include in the movie" articles when the freakin' scene is not in the movie. Though that does lead me into a tangent...

    I don't believe that is in any way meant to substitute for the sex scene, and it has nothing to do with getting them back out of the sewers, but in the movie after Stan is attacked and he is crying and blaming his friends, they all hug him and you can hear one boy (I think it's Eddie, but they're all talking at once) say "we love you." This is a powerful scene for me because it makes me remember being that age and the homophobia involved...and I mean that primarily related to the phobia part of the word, not bigotry or hatred but the actual fear of being perceived as gay. Telling a male friend you love him or being comfortable with close physical contact is a big deal at that age, even when (and maybe especially when) there is zero sexual or romantic feeling behind it.

    So I could envision a rewrite of the sewer scene in which it's the experience of acknowledging and reaffirming their (platonic and age-appropriate) love for one another, all of them together rather than six of them focusing on one, that gives them the power they need to get out of the sewer. I'm not at all suggesting that it's an improvement on what King actually wrote, but IMHO it's a plausible way for them to find some power in their love for one another without it having to be sexual.
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  5. recitador

    recitador Speed Reader

    a freakin men. and all these sites and people think they're being original and cool for bringing it up. as if they gave two craps before It was suddenly extra popular thanks to the movie. i'm not even convinced half the people moaning about it have even bothered to read it, or have any idea about it outside of what they've heard.
  6. sign543

    sign543 Member

    I love the point that King makes about it...that people are disturbed more by this than by the graphic description of children being murdered. For Americans, at least, it’s explained by how uptight our society is about sex, especially including minors...I think we also forget that children, especially those approaching puberty, are sexual creatures, albeit, naive and precocious ones. The scene was tastefully handled, in my opinion, doesn’t read as pornographic or overtly perverse or something that would attract pedophiles. None of them seemed to enjoy it in the usual sense that we might imagine...none of them even seemed overly obsessed with Bev as a sexual creature beyond mere introspective ponderings about her appearance. None of them were recorded as having sex dreams about her or anything of that sort. They all loved and respected her, and never crossed any sexual boundaries. For me, it worked extremely well to bond them in a way that would make it so they would absolutely remember the promise to come back...and almost none of them even remembered the experience, and even Bev herself didn’t remember until she and Bill were headed to the hotel room after the library reunion. I read the novel first as a young teen, and while it seemed taboo to me at the time, I didn’t regard it as pornographic. It seemed almost sad, melancholy...something that was just a necessary act that Bev seemed to somehow know was required...first, to get them un-lost...and then to bind them. The scene with Patrick and Henry was far more disturbing to me...grotesque...perverse...icky. Patrick Hockstetter is one of the most frightening of all the characters that King has ever written. His death scene is also one of the most terrifying and disturbing scenes I’ve ever read.

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ...damn well said!....
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  8. Cameraman

    Cameraman Member

    I just got to that scene and I was like Whaaaaat! I don't think it was necessary and has no bearing on the story at all.
  9. darthclide

    darthclide Member

    Just a minor correction, but this wouldn't attract pedophiles at all as these kids were all in puberty. Hebephiles would be the term to use here, even though most people don't care to make this distinction. Other than that, your post is solid. I also agree that while probably unintentional, King did a good job pointing out the hypocrisy most people don't see. That is, Bev's scene was a horrible thing, while Patrick and Henry is just par for the course. I know I might get a lot of hate for it, but I am of the mindset that if there is no coercion, sexual activity with minors should not be treated with such hate. Over 12 years old, I don't care how old either the guy or the girl is. Love is what matters in the end.
    kingricefan and GNTLGNT like this.
  10. VampireLily

    VampireLily Vampire Goddess & Consumer of men's souls.

    I always thought that there is a balance of all things paranormal and corporeal in IT. A yin/yang sort of thing if you will. And to me, it always made sense that he added these two scenes... Bev and the Losers (the Light), Henry and Patrick (the dark).

    On one hand you have this innocent young girl willingly giving herself to a carnal act that instead of ruining her, saves and absolves them all. And she did so purely out of love... the same girl that constantly had to dodge the only father figure in her life who wanted this very act from her. But how he wanted it had nothing to do with love or respect....and ALL the boys love and respect Bev. They were the ships lost, and she the beacon in the lighthouse.

    With Henry and Patrick, this was a purely carnal, selfish act on both their parts...Henry willingly receiving without having to give anything back in return and Patrick taking without so much as an invitation. I think the difference between these two scenes is SO important because in truth, i don't think Bob Gray merely feeds off the things we fear...but the things that cause us to fail each other. And humanity fails each other moment by moment.

    Just a few thoughts.

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ....well said Madame Darkness.....

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ....Welcome to the home of the Bibliophiles......:D
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  13. Cameraman

    Cameraman Member

    I just find it unnecessary to depict a sex scene between children. I don't particularly want to read or see any sex scene to be honest but when it's between kids...well maybe it's because I myself have kids about their ages. It just grated on me.
  14. darthclide

    darthclide Member

    Personally I think that the whole "sexually/physically abusive father" trope was not needed in the book. Something far more common is emotional abuse. For the fact that King sometimes is bold like with this Bev scene, he could have had an abusive mother which is shocking for many people. A good setup for the sewer scene would have been her mother being an absolute monster to her husband (holding sex over him as a form of control), and Bev has an epiphany where she realizes that sex can be a beautiful thing filled with love, and not manipulation.

    Another reason I don't like this trope, is that it encourages the idea that the only reason the scene in the sewers is acceptable is because it didn't involve an adult male or female (okay. let's be honest, the stigmas are heavily against adult males). This topic is very complicated, and I think King had a great opportunity to explore it more.
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  15. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    Eddie's mother was very emotionally abusive Mother, albeit in a subtle way. She did massive emotional damage to him with her brand of 'love'.
  16. Cameraman

    Cameraman Member

    Well I finished IT last night and will put a review on my blog later. I just found the ending pretty sad to be honest. A real shame. I won't say any more because of spoilers but, wow, what a great book!
  17. VampireLily

    VampireLily Vampire Goddess & Consumer of men's souls.

    As a child who survived sexual abuse (a male...not a family member) i can assure you that monsters exist in many different entities and forms. A trope is a metaphor and Stephen wasn't writing about metaphors, he was writing about genuine occurrences that happen far too often. Writers and artists also tend to borrow from their own experiences so it's pretty impossible for any of us to hazard a guess as to why he added those scenes. I was just expressing my thoughts.

    As for women that 'holding sex over him'....that's not abuse. That's a woman's right over what she will and will not do with her own body. Marriage is not a passport to sex any time a guy feels he has a right to climb aboard.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2017
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  18. VampireLily

    VampireLily Vampire Goddess & Consumer of men's souls.

    TRUTH. And King writes about abusive women all the f'ing time. Annie Wilkes is a great example.
    GNTLGNT, kingricefan and do1you9love? like this.
  19. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    This. Is. So. Correct.
  20. M_O_O_N

    M_O_O_N Member

    When I read the book for the first time, I was 13. The kids are 12-13 (if memory serves). Therefore: No bump, no rub for this reader. As an adult, in retrospect, when it comes time to question the mind-scape of another adult...I rank graphic murder much worse than kids having sex with kids when it comes to imaginations. Murder kills people dead. YMMV.

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