Sex and Harry Potter

A journalist from Enterntainment Weekly is lamenting the "sexing up" of the Harry Potter movies:

This is a book about wizards. If you want romance, look for a paperback with Fabio on the cover.

Offensive, much? I don't think she has ever read a fantasy book before. Or met a teenager. The idea that teenagers aren't interested in sex and romance is laughable, and the idea that Fabioish bodice-rippers are the only types of literature to address the idea of love, sex and romance is just plain ridiculous. I defy you to find me a fantasy novel that doesn't have a romantic element. Or a "literary" novel.

I mean, yeah. The films are certainly implying a level of... sexiness... that the books maybe didn't. As Meg Cabot pointed out the other day, it's hard to miss the subtext in these two promotional photos:

Ron and his BROOM:
Harry and his wand:
But still, it's not like it isn't there in the books. Harry and his friends are teenagers! Of course they're thinking about touching each other!*

Anyway, Alyssa Rosenburg has some further comments on the matter of sex in Harry Potter which I mostly agree with:

Hogwarts doesn't appear to offer a sex ed class, which I guess makes sense because no one appears to be having sex. It's a really weird false note in a series full of deeply recognized characters.

Basically, she's right. Rowling is clearly very uncomfortable with writing about teenagers and sex (remember the roaring lion in Harry's chest?). Hopefully the films will be able to portray this stuff a little more satisfactorily, if not realistically (because really, we never read Harry Potter for its realism). And if not, there's always fanfic...

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*As an aside, I now have an argument for all you people who said that the reason why Dumbledore being gay was never mentioned because everyone is just so okay with homosexuality in the wizarding world that it didn't rate a mention. Remember when Umbridge is making lots of rules for Hogwarts students and says that they are not allowed to be within 8 inches of a member of the opposite sex? Think about it.