Monday, August 19, 2013

Ray's A CERTAIN AGE: 14-Year-Old Loses Virginity to 31-Year-Old

The back cover of the novel A Certain Age by 17-year-old Rebecca Ray reads: "When I was fourteen I lost my virginity to a twenty-seven-year-old man. And on a school night too."

However, at the age of 11, before the unnamed submissive protagonist lost her virginity to Oliver, who turned out to be 31, she used to pretend that her best friend was raping her, which counter-intuitively isn't an unheard of fantasy for some females as exhibited in  Nancy Friday's non-fiction book My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies.

At the age of 13 she shared that she: "[...] started letting boys feel me up. There was a whole bunch of them, four or five..." She let the boys touch her, because she had to find: "[...] a way of getting along. I had to let them feel me up." She said that she typically wore clothes "[...] just thin enough to show my nipples." And graphically made out (e.g., oral sex) with, Robin, another teen during lunch down by the river. 

High school coeds performing oral during lunch reminds us of Tom Wolfe’s Hooking Up where Wolfe wrote that in high schools and junior high schools  - from the plush suburbs of Washington to the underprivileged schools of the South Bronx, that there are 13 and 14-year-old girls performing fellatio on boys between classes.

Unsurprisingly, she dumped Robin after he made the relationship faux paus of telling her that he loved her.

She met Oliver when her father took her to Audiovision to buy a CD player. Oliver got her phone number under the guise of calling her to see if the new CD player was installed correctly, but he called to ask her out to dinner, which eventually led to her first full sexual experience back at his apartment. 

What stood out to us about the book was that the nymphet's parents were accepting of her age-discrepant relationship. The mother was encouraging and the father was accepting - even to the point of Oliver being invited to their house for dinner on multiple occasions. A Certain Age reminded us of  An Education (2009) and Fat Girl (2001) [French: À ma soeur!] where, in both instances, the ephebophile was invited to the nymphet's house for dinner. 

A Certain Age ended on a dramatic cliffhanger, with the father not being as accepting of the age-discrepant relationship as he was initially, which was partly due to a personality conflict with Oliver and because Oliver initially lied about his age. The fact that Oliver knew that it would be more acceptable for 27-year-old to be in a relationship with a 14-year-old than a 31-year-old is revealing.

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