Thinking Thursdays

Booking Through Thursday (#3): R-Rated


Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading hosted by Booking Through Thursday where I’ll answer whatever question is thrown at me. If you would also like to participate, find out the rules by clicking the link to the host’s blog page.


This Week’s Question:

How do you feel about explicit detail in your reading? Whether language, sex, violence, situations and so on … does it bother you? Faze you at all? Or do you just read everything without it bothering you?


My Answer:

Whether or not I can handle certain explicit content depends entirely on the novel I am reading. Below are my thoughts/examples as it concerns the question on violence, language, and sex.

Violence: If I am reading a story about a character getting mixed up in a gang, it would be completely thoughtless of me to expect the book to be free of violence. There is some violent situations that should be exposed, because they are real and aren’t going to disappear.

Language: Though I refrain from swearing too much myself, many people do take part in it. Nowadays, it’s a very common portion of conversation. Cursing in novels doesn’t bother me as long as it stays within character dialogue or narrator interior monologue (thoughts).

Sex: There’s a massive difference between a novel with a few sex scenes (it wouldn’t be realistic if an in-love couple didn’t have sex) and a novel that revolves around sex. I am an adult and frequently immerse myself in adult fiction books. Because of this, I have no problems with a novel that contains sex. This, of course, excludes erotica, which I am absolutely NOT okay with. All I can say about these novels, for instance Fifty Shades of Grey, is “not going to happen…ever!”


How do you feel about novels that contain violence? Strong language? Sex? Leave a comment below.

3 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday (#3): R-Rated

  1. Today’s topic has got me pondering adult content in books and other popular media.

    I’m a Doctor Who fan and initially watched the spin-off Torchwood and was told it was “adult.” I guess by adult it meant, we have more cussing, more nudity and the sexual content is ramped up. But none of this added to the show…in fact, it made me think it was made by 13 year old boys who were told they could be R-rated.

    Then came Children of Earth in season three and the show because truly adult. It had swearing and the like, but it also had a situation that had no happy ending and put the characters through the wringer. They had to make choices — many times with the choices not having a happy ending result or making things worse. I liked that definition of adult content.

    The same thing applies to books.


    1. I think this can be a bit more complicated when it comes to books, especially those that involve a series. If an author wants the option of eventually introducing an explicit sex scene or a vulgar character, the whole series has to be labelled adult, even if the first two or three books could very well fit in the YA category.

      I’ve experienced this with my favorite fantasy fiction series by Patricia Briggs. In fact, when I went to a bookstore to purchase one of her books for the very first time, I found myself helplessly scouring shelf after shelf in the YA section. It wasn’t until I asked an employee for assistance that I realized her books were actually on the other side of the store under “adult fiction.”


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