>Friends With Benefits

>Interesting term isn’t it? Got any idea what it means? According to my attitude-ridden, high-school daughter it means you can be just friends with someone and yet it’s ok to have anything from kissing to sex without going steady (or dating as they call it now) with that person. Plus it leaves you free to go and carry on with the same behavior with anyone else at the same time.

Basically it means – NO COMMITMENT.

WTF? My natural instinct is to think that some high-school guy came up with this concept to make it to third base with every girl he can possibly convince to buy into this whole stupid idea. But there’s a part of me that knows this entire thing could just as easily been dreamed up by a girl, just so she could sleep with any guy she wanted.

So what does this have to do with writing? Well, I’m an erotic romance writer. I have explicit, graphic sex in my books, and this is MY daughter coming home and telling me all this crap. So did I do the smart thing and talk to her with all the wisdom and thoughtfulness I’m known for? Yeah RIGHT! No, I threatened and listed ultimatums. Then she turns the tables on me and says, “Well, you have lots of s** in your books.” All this did was add oil to the fire. *sigh*

Later on I was reviewing the whole incident and wondering if I’d over-reacted considering that I believe I’m teaching both of my girls the right things when it comes to sex and their behavior. I mean Oldest and I have had the big “TALK,” and she’s clear on what her parents will and won’t accept as responsible behavior.

But this whole thing has me feeling conflicted. Here I am writing erotic romance which I would never sell to anyone under 18, but in truth, there isn’t anything to keep kids from buying my book online (well they do need a credit card, but lots of kids have those). But there’s no rating system in the bookstores either. Let’s face it, sex is a HUGE responsibility, and there aren’t many kids under 18 who’re ready for that kind of responsibility.

Now, I’m a BIG advocate for people taking responsibility for themselves and their offspring. The DH and I take our responsibility for our kids seriously. They’re well-mannered, polite and well-behaved kids for the most part. Nothing irks me more than seeing kids acting rude while their parents just stand by and do nothing. So am I responsible for kids whose parents don’t take the necessary steps to oversee their actions, monitor their behavior, etc.

So as a writer, how much responsibility do we take on for kids who aren’t really ready for our explicit sex, love and happy ever afters? Although I am conflicted about the question, I have to fall back on the notion that I can’t parent the entire world population. I can’t accept responsibility for others. What do you think?


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About Monica Burns

A bestselling author of erotic romance, Monica Burns penned her first short romance story at the age of nine when she selected the pseudonym she uses today. From the days when she hid her stories from her sisters to her first completed full-length manuscript, she always believed in her dream despite rejections and setbacks. A workaholic wife and mother, Monica believes it’s possible for the good guy to win if they work hard enough.

4 thoughts on “>Friends With Benefits

  1. >Here’s hoping we both got it right.

    Amen to that, Teri. Good luck with your son, raising kids reminds me a lot of writing. It doesn’t get any easier. *sigh*

    Thanks for popping in.


  2. >Boy Monica, you brought up some really good points. I think you have a measure of control over it and it sounds like you’ve taken all the right steps. I guess you try to teach them responsibility, with a small dose of real life facts so they have a true picture and pray you got it right.

    I’ve got a thirteen year old who seems to have grown up this week. He wants to do it all now and its been a rough week for me to let him go. Your words hit home for me right now big time. Here’s hoping we both got it right.

  3. >Thanks for for the reassurance Ellen. I confess that I’m really looking at this from a Mom standpoint as opposed to an Erotic Romance Writer. I’m two different people in that respect.

    As I told someone the other day. I think because it’s MY KID, I’m looking at it with an eye of Oh God, how can I make her see this kind of behavior could be a HUGE mistake. Although I’ve raised her with good sound advice, I also see so much of myself in her when I was that age. Idealistic and certain the world is a good place, when in many instances it isn’t. *sigh*

    What will be, will be. I need to except I’ve no real control over the situation.

    hugs, Monica

  4. >Monica,

    I think we have responsibility as writers to a certain point. If you’re writing erotic romance, it’s CLEAR to one and all that the content is adult. You can’t control the readership, any more than you can keep kids from getting their hands on a Playboy or Playgirl. IF a teen is reading a story with sex, I like to see the couple protecting themselves if possible. But in historicals, this is more awkward and probably not as accurate for a couple who fell in love in the 19th century.

    Your stories that I’ve read so far are about a man and woman who fall in love, not a “Friends with Benefits” where they sleep all around. It’s DIFFERENT. Very different. You’re sending a message of love and commitment.