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Old 11-03-2003, 05:39 PM
It's been awhile since I read It, and I can't for the life of me remember the "penis" reference in The Shining (perhaps you can supply some context), but it's important to discern between an author using sex and sexual references to establish or develop character or theme or what have you, and when he or she is using it to titillate the reader. I've noticed most "good" sex in King's novels, i.e. sexual relations between two consenting individuals as an expression of love or bonding, is usually covered pretty briefly. "Bad" sex, like Patrick touching Henry (and offering fellatio, if I remember correctly) is given more detail, but it's made to be distasteful and even grotesque. King's intent with the dump scene in It is meant, pretty obviously, to deliver a sense of discomfort and wrongness. Also, in It, the kids are heading toward adolescence and becoming aware of their own bodies and the changes that are taking place. These references, as I remember, are pretty sexually neutral, and I never got any salacious impressions from these passages. The "gang-bang" in in It, I will admit, caught me completely off-guard, and I'm not exactly sure I understand its point to this day, but again my recollection is a bit foggy and if I sat down and read it again King's intentions, whether successfully employed or not, might become clearer.
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