Stephen King’s massive 1986 novel It is 1,200 pages of child gang activity, child murder, child attempted-murder, and about 10 pages of a child orgy. He doesn’t really understand why you’re so hung up on the last part, though.
In a 2013 forum post, a fan shared an unsourced statement from King which read, in part:
“I wasn’t really thinking of the sexual aspect of it... The sexual act connected childhood and adulthood. It’s another version of the glass tunnel that connects the children’s library and the adult library. Times have changed since I wrote that scene and there is now more sensitivity to those issues.”
This weekend, Vulture got in touch with King to see if that statement actually came from him, and to ask if he would like to expand on the sentiment now that It is cleaning up at the box office, in spite — or maybe because of — all of the perverted bloggers who can’t stop talking about the child orgy.
He told them, “That sounds like my statement. To it I’d just add that it’s fascinating to me that there has been so much comment about that single sex scene and so little about the multiple child murders. That must mean something, but I’m not sure what.”
We weren’t shocked by all the murder in the book about murder, but we were shocked by the child sex? We just wish King killed every single character in his book and then there was no book at all? Is that what we’re saying? Okay, seems like we’re out of control and shouldn’t weigh in anymore!
Having not been alive in 1986, I will have to take Stephen King’s word for it that nobody felt weird about this scene at the time. After all, it feels likely to me that it is only in recent years that a graphic description of a fictional preteen’s first sexual experience as a marathon during which she manages to have an orgasm with both boy #5 and boy #6 became a taboo. Also, she’s in a sewer. Please stop dwelling on it. It’s making you seem very creepy!
Anyway, the child orgy isn’t in the new movie (or the famous 1990 miniseries), obviously, and both are pretty good.
Maybe it’s time to let bygones be bygones, but I’m still finding this whole conversation incredibly funny and would just like to also point out that this is how Stephen King described the sex between two adult characters in the book: “His consciousness began to drain downward, becoming focused more and more strongly on their connection. Her pores had opened, releasing a lovely musky odor.” [fade to black before I get fired]