In my story The Summer of Consent: A Novel, Gloria is an eighteen-year-old high school graduate who has a sexual relationship with her former teacher. I wrote the story because it’s a fantasy fulfillment. Who hasn’t had a mad crush on a schoolteacher at some point?
The Summer of Consent (aka SOC) is about the sexual relationship that develops between the characters and its ramifications. I don’t expect my story to appeal to everyone, but I hope it appeals to readers who don’t mind indulging in (former) schoolgirl fantasy.
The age of consent in my story world, is eighteen, but the school where the story takes place is fictional, of course. The setting where the story takes place is vague, too, because I’m not trying to pinpoint any one state or city. If anything, my setting is a composite of several locations.
Eighteen is “Adult Lite”
Like the song says, “Age ain’t nuthin’ but a number,” which, ironically enough, was sung by Aaliyah who married R. Kelly when she was fifteen and he was twenty-seven. Scandal ensued, the marriage annulled, and people debate whether it was real or just a publicity stunt. Regardless, it brought up issues about the age of consent then, and it looks like it’s going to get addressed—yet again—with Mr. Kelly.
I discovered several things while writing SOC that I really didn’t know before. For example, I assumed the age of consent was the same throughout the US and that age was eighteen. It’s not. It varies from state to state and runs between sixteen and eighteen. But I had made my assumption based on things that people can do legally when they turn eighteen years old.
Being eighteen might as well be called “Adult Lite” because other things aren’t legal for eighteen year olds until they are twenty-one. In the US, when you turn eighteen, you can drive, you can vote, you can fight (and die) for your country, you may even be able to buy a gun legally. You can enter legal contracts and be tried as an adult. I’m sure there’s other things, but these are the big ones I can think of. However, you can’t buy or drink alcohol, and if some states get their way, you can’t smoke tobacco.
Statutory rape is no joke, and you better make sure you know where you stand on the legal scales lest they tilt against you.
So, for the rest of my post, with regard to relationships, the word “student” will mean a child under the age of eighteen and still in school. I’m not talking about college or university students because that’s another kettle of fish for another post…not necessarily written by me.
Age of Consent
What does “age of consent” mean? It means the legal minimum age, as set by state statute, in which people can engage in sex without getting in trouble with the law for statutory rape. There are other considerations such as the age of parties involved and their marital status.
Whether we like it or not, kids have sex—mostly with other kids—at ages younger than many of us would admit, let alone condone. Therefore, laws have been established and have evolved over the decades to provide some kind of barrier of protection for everyone involved.
The variance among state laws hardly helps the matter. Some states set the age of consent below eighteen, which is scary in my opinion. But if you put it into a historical context and remember how cultures around the world have married off children at some point or another, modern guidelines are quite conservative. Want to read something really scary? Read the Wikipedia article on the subject for a crash course.
I’m all for protecting children—of any age—from sexual predators, but there needs to be a level of common sense applied when it comes to sexual relationships where minors are involved.
But what is worse? An eighteen year old having sex with a seventeen year old, or a twenty-eight year old having sex with a seventeen year old?
Age ain’t nuthin’ but a number that can equate to the years you spend behind bars.
“Barely Legal” and “Lolitas”
These two terms are quite evocative, and for some, you may as well be writing about pedophilia. Well, let’s face it. When it comes to Lolita, Humbert Humbert would be busted under a number of different charges. But it is the term “Lolita” that has become synonymous with “jail bait” and also associated with sexually aware girls who have barely passed the legal “age of consent.”
To be honest, with the exception of the story potential it presents, I’m not physically attracted to barely legals. Thinking about prepubescent children, tweens, and young teens having sex does nothing for me. Squicks me out.
But I’m not blind. I can see how boys and girls of a certain age with their growth spurts and raging hormones can appeal to some adults. There’s always going to be that boy or that girl who looks—and possibly acts—with a maturity that belies their chronological age. Some will be honest about their age, but many won’t be, and an adult risks finding themselves on the wrong end of some embarrassing questions and in need of a lawyer.
But “barely legal” is still legal, even if it’s just a matter of hours. Scary to think you need to know the laws in your area before you think about having sex with a young “adult.”
Perhaps it’s best for adults to write off the entire age range from their list of potential sexual partners just to be safe. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.
So what do you think, Goldilocks? Is the age of consent to high, too low, or just right?
Have you ever wanted (lusted) after a teacher so bad, it didn’t matter how old you were?
Leave a comment. Be sure to change the names of the (not-so) innocent!