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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sex in Media: Books, Magazines, Films, TV & More » Sexuality as explored in Dumbing of Age

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Author Topic: Sexuality as explored in Dumbing of Age
CSandSourpatch
Activist
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So, my boyfriend recently started me on reading the webcomic "Dumbing of Age" by David Willis.

In my opinion, it's a very well-done webcomic, and it seems very realistic in terms of how it treats college-age kids, some of whom are just learning about (and being terrified by) their sexuality for the first time. The creator has, in fact, stated that the main character Joyce is basically who he was when he entered college--a naive fundamentalist whose heart does often seem in the right place. (She's often shocked by how other people live, but offers to help in her own way instead of condemning them to a life of suffering.)

Right here, I will warn you that some of the topics covered in the comic may be triggering, especially Joyce's first college party.

The comic has thus far covered only about the first week of these kids' time at school, and already, so much has happened, but the thing that piqued my interest is a development in the past few weeks' worth of comics: Joyce (who has had a traumatic experience and is terrified of her own sexuality) has developed romantic feelings for Ethan (who is gay and apparently quite self-loathing in this regard, and is not exactly publicly out), and Amber, a friend of his, is angry at him for what she perceives as Ethan leading Joyce on in the same way she felt Ethan led her on in high school. (This particular set of comics starts here.)

The comics from April 3rd and April 4th, in particular, are frustrating to me, because I am upset that these characters hate themselves for who they are: humans with sexual wants. I understand that society is not always kind to those who do not share the majority sexuality/gender identity assigned to them at birth, and I'm very frustrated by this. I get the idea that self-denial makes some people feel like they're better (whether they profess a belief in one or more deities or not), but, again, that's precisely what made those comics so upsetting to read. I believe that we're all human, and that's all that matters. It is, of course, okay not to want sex, or to want sex but not act on those desires, or to act on those desires as long as any other parties involved consent of their own volition. Like I've said, I'm just saddened and frustrated that these characters (and people in real life) feel that their desires make them horrible people who need to be "cured", even when they're perfectly natural.

If anybody else has read this comic, what are your thoughts on this? I am seeking to understand, since the worst I've ever felt about my sexuality/sex life is slight judgement for having sex before marriage.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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I'll have to check this out!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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