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No Sex In The Twilight Zone
January 22, 2009, 1:33 am
Filed under: Twilight | Tags: ,

eriously, are you two EVER going to have sex?!

Let me say this much: I tried. I made my best effort to get into the vampire vs. wearwolf, near neck-suckings, face stroking, golden eyes blazing, Edward’s skin-shimmering-in-the-sunlight-of-the-forest-clearing sort of thing that allegedly makes Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight such a diamond in the rough of fan-fiction. But throughout this literary masterpiece, the lack of fornication (or even frisky petting) between Bella and Edward really started to peeve me. And I was patient. I read over 400 pages.

No sex? are you serious?

Needless to say, when I finished Twilight, Stephanie Meyer answering my question with a clear ”heck no, not ’till marriage! :),” I was a bit ticked. I would venture to guess many folks who enjoy a a little raunchy paperback romance every now and then felt the same way. Bella’s passivity also really pissed me off. She was willing to be with a dude who she knew might kill her if he “ever got to close?” She was down to forego a future of healthy young adult freaking to be in a sexless union with Edawrd the violent asshole? I don’t care how sparkly his skin was. She made a bad call.

In fact, she made no call at all. She did whatever Edward thought was best, save for one time near the end of the book when she breaks with his plan and almost ends up dead as a result of her own stupidity. Just as Twilight holds zero humping, Bella holds no capactity to make her own decisions. Her role is to turn Edward on.

The kudos go to Christine Seifert, a contributor to Bitch, a feminist publication with a knack for sniffing out the larger social implications of seemingly innocent mainstream fan-fiction. In her 2008 article “Bite me! (Or Don’t)” Seifert highlights that the abstinence in this tale, coupled with Bella’s passive character in Twilight, send a least a couple of strong messages to a (largely female) teen audience: 1: Teenagers don’t have sex, period. And 2: You, ladies are to be objects of male sexual desire, you ain’t got no sexuality to express.

Seifert goes on to to reveal the ironic (although pretty well-known by now) consequence that results from the first of these two messages: The more you tell people not to have sex, the more they want to. (e.g: my gigantic frustration with Twilight.) Thus with all the tensions brewin’ in the novel, Meyer does not make teens reading Twilight less likely to have sex. If anything, she makes them hornier. Silly me. I thought abstainnt proponents sought to quell teen horniness.

Furthermore, it becomes completely up to Edward-for he is the subjective decision-maker in the story-to keep both kiddos from doing it. Their abstinent courtship does not resemble a joint effort between both partners in the relationship to remain pure, but his personal struggle to keep his little vampire in his pants. We now see Twilight’s third subtle hint to teenage girls: Leave it up to the your boy to decide when, where and if you do the nasty.

“Edward has taken on the role of protector of Bella’s human blood and chastity, both of which, ironically, are always in peril when Edward is nearby. Bella is not in control of her body, as abstinence proponents would argue; she is absolutely dependent on Edward’s ability to protect her life, her virginity, and her humanity. She is the object of his virtue, the means of his ability to prove his self-control. In other words, Bella is a secondary player in the drama of Edward’s abstinence. ”

This is kind of important right now. In 2006, the federal government pumped over 100 million dollars into abstinence only education programs in US public schools. Kids are still having sex. (The CDC estimates about 48% of high schoolers were getting down in 2007). Instead of making abstinence sexy, we need to educate youth (girls and boys) about sex. Both Bellas and the Edwards need to know they hold equal power to make responsible sexual choices.



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