Teenage Biting by Leia Shaw

Help! Teenagers are Running Amok and Biting Each other!

The news story below caught my attention recently and I ended up in a heated debate about it.


“The forbidden love story of Bella and Edward of Twilight is sending many teens into a biting frenzy. Teen biting, sometimes to draw blood, is a secretive but growing trend steadily picking up steam. Doctors caution that breaking the skin can lead to serious illness.”

Some people are blaming authors for their teenager’s poor judgment. Now I think I speak for all of us when I say, in the dictionary, under the word teenagers are the words “poor” and “judgment.” But this accusation goes beyond wanna-be Edwards and fang-struck teenage girls. It extends to adults too. Specifically, romance authors who write graphic or taboo sex scenes.

Sex can be dangerous.

Don’t laugh. It can.

An example would be breath play. Gags. Bondage. Anything involving impact play or BDSM. But is it the author’s responsibility to write a story involving these elements correctly and with the right information? Or is the reader’s job to be well-informed before exploring these activities?

Do authors have an obligation to educate as well as entertain; especially when it comes to potentially dangerous recreational hobbies that people are curious about? Some readers and writers say yes. They have a moral obligation to research what they write about and give correct information. And if they don’t, they are a bad influence for young and curious minds.

Maybe authors should do their research and provide accurate information as it relates to the story, but ultimately, its fiction. Fiction has no limits. That’s what makes fiction writing such a fantastic career. I can say the sky is purple and there’s no such thing as gravity, but if you jump out of a tree and expect not to fall, it ain’t my fault you end up in the ER with two broken legs and a bruised ego.

In my opinion, it’s the reader’s job to acquire the correct information about something they’re interested in from reliable sources. If they choose to take a fiction book as a manual for life, they have bigger problems than contracting a disease from being bit by their boyfriend.

Is it fair to blame the book if it claims to be nothing more than a work of fiction?

What do you think? Who’s at fault when someone gets hurt trying something they read in a book? Should authors be careful what they write so they don’t become a bad influence for others? Or should they have the right to let their creative freak flags fly free?

Either way, I smell a lawsuit coming on for Stephanie Meyers. And to hell if I won’t take advantage of that. Ouch! My husband just bit me, breaking the skin and leading to serious illness!


About Susan Hanniford Crowley

Paranormal Romance, Fantasy, and Science Fiction Author
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5 Responses to Teenage Biting by Leia Shaw

  1. It’s pretty sad how impressionable kids are. I can’t imagine the pain the biting must cause. Hopefully they smarten up, Marian

  2. Casey Wyatt says:

    I often think we live in a sad world. Remember when people blamed rock music, WWE and Beavis and Butthead for other people’s lack of common sense? If people are going to sue Stephanie Meyers, then they better include Bram Stoker’s estate (if there is one), Anne Rice, J.R. Ward, Kresley Cole and every author with a vampire story. Geesh!

    • Leia Shaw says:

      oh yes, that crazy devil rock music. okay, i sound like my grandma. but yeah, almost anyone can blame their stupid behavior on a form of entertainment. but we live in the country where people regularly break into homes then sue the family when they trip over the cat.

  3. gailingis says:

    Good question Justice. Kids follow and are influenced by the world around them. Writing, movies, music, the internet, their parents, their friends, school, the list is infinitum. It is up to their parents to be good role models and guide and protect, even if the kids fight for their independence. Writing is an art, but follow your heart and do what YOU think is right. Don’t you remember, you were a kid once?

    • Leia Shaw says:

      good point about parent’s involvement. though i hate putting all the pressure on parents because once kids go to school – and even more so when they’re driving – your influence begins to wane and peer influence takes over. not to mention parents of teenagers don’t even know what their kids are doing much of the time. growing independence is necessary, as is making mistakes. kids do eventually turn into adults and make their own decisions. during youth is the best time to make mistakes because you are somewhat buffered with the consequences (i.e. no hard jail time).

      but the point of the post is less about parenting and more about a philosophy on writing i guess. *shrug* just came up in conversation and i thought it was interesting. most writers thought it wasn’t a writers responsibility to provide truth, while a few very adamantly fought that it was.

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