Westminster Professor’s Analysis of Twilight Series
Earns Inclusion into Best Sex Writing 2010
Christy Seifert’s article Bite Me! (Or Don’t) elevates her as a “sexual outlaw” & Twilight series expert with teenage girls and middle-aged women alike waiting with bated breath for the premiere of New Moon this week, the announcement of Christy Seifert’s inclusion in Best Sex Writing 2010 couldn’t come at a better time. Not only has her article Bite Me! (Or Don’t) won her national acclaim, but it has elevated her as an expert on the ever-popular young adult book series known as Twilight.
Being recognized as one of the year’s best sex writers wasn’t exactly what this Westminster associate professor of communications had in mind when she wrote the article since it actually explores the sexiness of not having sex. Her piece delves into an analysis of a new sub-genre she coins “abstinence porn,” which is becoming increasing popular.
“The Twilight series has created a surprising new sub-genre of teen romance: It’s abstinence porn, sensational, erotic, and titillating,” said Seifert. “And in light of all the recent real-world attention on abstinence-only education, it’s surprising how successful this new genre is. Twilight actually convinces us that self-denial is hot.”
It’s this discussion of self-denial, as well as Edward and Bella’s abstinence from sex and biting that peaked Rachel Kramer Bussell’s attention when she decided to include Seifert in her newest anthology: Best Sex Writing 2010. Bussell describes the 25 authors included in her 2010 book as “sexual outlaws” – those who have inspired her to think about sex in a new way and not to accept the norms.
“Each of these writers brings a powerful way of looking at sex to this book,” said Bussell.
Seifert, who has taught at Westminster since 2005, originally wanted to write the article as an academic piece, but decided to make it a more popular article, which was published in Bitch magazine in 2008. Little did she know it would create such a stir, both within the writing community as well as the Twilighter community – the faithful fans that obsess over the series. Her article has taken some hits from die-hard Twilighters for its discussion of some of the religious undertones, as well as her feminist outlook, but that has all been outshined with her inclusion in the 2010 anthology.
“It’s exciting to be included in the Best Sex Writing anthology,” said Seifert. “Ultimately, I hope the article gets people thinking about Twilight as a cultural artifact that reveals interesting and important things about ourselves and the young adult fans who love the books.”
Seifert is currently working on her own young adult book entitled The Predicated, which she hopes will be selected for publication in the near future. It’s the first in a trilogy.