Yes I know what you mean. The sex scene could have been avoided.
I remember my first romantic encounters were around that time as well. I was 13. I remember the long hugs, the holding of hands, laying underneath the same blanket, watching the sky, laying under the stars breathless from the excitement of being there with the person you love, thinking that that would last forever. As kids do. That life wouldn’t change things.
Kids do have sex with each other. The thing that is perhaps most disturbing is an older man describing the sex scene (and the characters are indeed 12 in the scene).
One helpful reviewer offers her advice:
“There was power in this act, all right,” Bev reflects, “a chain-breaking power that was blood-deep.”
When she experiences her first orgasm (with Ben), “she feels her power suddenly shift to him; she gives it gladly and goes with it.” This was the only material power that bev had to confront the creature, the only “talisman “ she had. The others had their… Richie his voices, Eddie his aspirator that he envisioned was “battery-acid” to the creature… brought about only by the power of his imagination and faith. Bill had Silver and the mantras that he used to cure his stuttering.
This was completely within her character… asserting her power as the Priestess or shaman of the group, and saved them all from being lost forever. A great ritualistic metaphor by King, I think.”
I understand that some would think this to be patriarchal and insensitive. To think that the only power Beverly had to offer was her sexuality, somehow objectifying women. I grant you that much. There is a lot to question. Could we exclude it from the book? Most likely. Yet, there is some bond that is created here, that seems essential to the plot.
The book explains it like this:
“The others are there — Eddie with his aspirator clutched tightly in one hand; Ben with his big belly pushing palely out through the tattered remains of his shirt; Richie, his face oddly naked without his glasses; Mike, silent and solemn, his normally full lips compressed to a thin line. And Beverly, her head up, her eyes wide and clear, her hair still somehow lovely in spite of the dirt that mats it.
. . . [Bill] looks at Beverly and she is smiling at him. She closes her eyes and holds her hands out to either side. Bill takes her left; Ben her right. Bill can feel the warmth of her blood mixing with his own. The others join in and they stand in a circle, all of their hands now sealed in that peculiarly intimate way (1442–3).
Is this intimate folding of hands the same as the sex scene? Is it possible that King sees no difference between the two actions?
This, mind you, is after they get out of the sewer, escape the monster IT, and have their disturbing little sex scene.
One thing is certain, King wanted to connect the characters with the most intimate bond. For some, that is sex. Sex could be the most intimate bond of them all.
This could be King’s way of saying that there is something that has bonded the characters forever. They are forever together, because of this experience. Despite growing up in separate places and not seeing each other they come back to Derry to reflect on their past.
It seems like something that hasn’t happened. And they barely remember it. As if it was all a dream.
I appreciate the comment!