playing it safe

Age, Sex, and Crossing the Line in Erotic Romance

When it comes to age, sex, and crossing the line in erotic romance I take that very seriously. In fact, I was once banned for a book (Skater Boy) that had the word “boy” in the title during the paypal censorship debacle a few years ago, and that book had characters that were all over eighteen years old, and it was stated very clearly in the book description. I did that on purpose so no one would get the wrong idea.

And because of search engines, the book was still banned. I have posted about this numerous times, and I’ve stated that I never have, and never will write a book or story with an underage character.

I assure you, there are no underage characters in this short book. I don’t judge those authors who decide to do things like this, but I’ve never done it and never will do it. In fact, the main character, Jared, the guy referred to as a the Skater Boy, is only a quasi skater boy. He’s in his twenties and is clearly a consenting adult.
But I am curious about something, and I’m hoping someone can offer an opinion. It’s not something I’m writing, but a friend asked me this question and I’m not sure how to answer. I hate censorship, but my gut instinct is to play it safe at all times with things like this. You can e-mail me in private at rfieldj@aol.com or leave a comment here or on social media.

What I’d like to know is this. If there is a character in a book or story that is twenty-two years old and that character has erotic thoughts about another character who is seventeen years old, would that be off limits? Would that be offensive and considered taboo? There are no physical scenes; it’s just thoughts. And that’s explained well, and the character even feels terrible about his thoughts and he swears he’ll never act upon them.

My gut instinct is to make the character eighteen years old instead of seventeen. I would rather play it safe, especially if it’s not going to make a difference in the story. But I could also be paranoid because of the things I’ve been through, and I could be wrong. In the same respect, it’s not something I would ever do in erotic fiction.

Any thoughts or e-mails will be appreciated.