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reading sexual fanfics when underage

hi I'm 13 and my brother told me it was illegal to read sexual fanfics when I'm underage can you help none of the people in the fanfiction are underage

Ask Sam

Sam

Hi there,

It's normal to begin to be curious about sex and to have sexual thoughts as you get older. Some young people watch porn or read sexual stories as a way of finding out more about sex. It's not illegal to read sexual stories, but there are things to be careful of if you look at them online.

The laws around pornography cover how it's made, its contents and who it can be sold to. It's not illegal for you to watch porn or read fanfics under the age of 18. And it's also not illegal to sell written sexual stories to someone underage, like it is for some kinds of porn. But you may find book shops choose not to sell these books to you.

Books sold by a publishing house normally have editors who read the contents and agree that a book is okay to be published. Some stories published online, like fanfics, may not have been through this process. This means you may read stories that you find shocking or that make you feel uncomfortable. There are also laws that say you can't publish something that's considered offensive - either in written material or in pictures. But these laws can be difficult to enforce online, so you may read something you wish you hadn't.

Just like visual porn, the way sex is represented in stories can be very unrealistic. If you read lots of these kind of stories it can give you a distorted view of what sex and relationships are like in real life. Reading or watching sexual stories or porn can become addictive too. So it's important to think about whether it's affecting other things in your life.

If you're worried, or just want to talk, remember that Childline counsellors are here for you.

I hope this has helped, thanks for sending this letter to me.

Sam

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