Conservative northwest Iowa is not immune from the spread of sexually explicit materials targeting minors in school libraries. A search for 26 explicit books of Sioux Center High School’s online library catalog yielded three results.
One the books, “Out of Darkness,” contains inflammatory racial commentary, derogatory terms and mild profanity, violence, explicit sexual nudity and explicit sexual activities including sexual assault and battery of a minor.
Yet it can be found in the school library utilized by minor children.
Here is an excerpt from page 39 of the book:
“For the boys, pussy or the idea of pussy or the idea of the idea of pussy.”
And page 66:
“Better was big enough to include Rosie Lynn Horton, who sang soprano in the choir and had slightly mismatched nipples on nutmeg brown breasts that were otherwise perfect.”
And page 81:
“She was there when Henry came into the bathroom and closed the door behind him. She watched as he placed both hands on the wall beneath the mirror and pressed his forehead against the glass. A moment later, one of his hands slid down into his pajamas. It was like some small creature was trying to escape from his throat. His hand moved fast. His body jiggled. He kept his forehead against the mirror and his eyes closed. Then he grunted once and seemed to shudder all over.”
It continues on page 82:
“He took one of her hands in his and squeezed it. “Come on over here.” He pulled her to her feet, close to him. He shifted in his pajamas, and the part of him that made him a man stuck out, reddish purple and frightening. She had never seen one before except on a baby. This was different. He lifted her hand to his mouth and licked it. Then he lowered her hand down and closed it around the hardness his hand moved hers. His left hand gripped her shoulder, pressing her head tight against the hard, flat plane of his stomach. She watched her hand move back and forth like it didn’t belong to her. …A moment later, the thing leaped. Henry’s whole body shuddered, and a hot mess lay across her palm and between her fingers.”
From page 227:
“A moment later he was behind her. Naomi’s whole body stiffened. A rough hand gathered her hair and pushed it to one side. His face nuzzled her neck. He smelled of grease and dirt, liquor and cigarettes. …She tried to wriggle free, but his arms circled her waist and tightened like and iron band around her rib cage. “Stell, baby,” he whispered. “Let’s dance.” A thumb slid up the side of her breast. “Stop it!” Naomi hissed. …”Christ, I’ve missed this, ” Henry murmured. “It’s been so long.” He slotted one of his legs between hers and pressed himself in closer. She closed her eyes tight and thought of her tree, thought of Wash, thought of the river. She prayed that when she opened her eyes, she would be there. It didn’t work. “Stell-” “I’m Naomi!” she said, wrenching herself around to face him. She was still locked in his arms, and now his face was inches from hers. She felt the hardness of him against her hip, and the sour-sweet smell of whiskey filled her nostrils as he breathed onto her face. “Stop it!” she said, leaning back as far as she could. …”Come on, now,” he said, pressing his hips against her. She worked an elbow up and jabbed it into his chest. Henry laughed. “Oh, honey, go on and be mad, that makes you look even more like your ma. She liked to pretend to fight, too.” “So you know who I am, then. Behave yourself for heaven’s sake!” “You like playin’ mama, don’t you? I can help you play all night if you want.” He grinned at her as if none of her resistance had registered. “God, I’d like to give it to you just like this-” He lowered his hands to her bottom and rubbed himself against her. “That’s enough, Henry!” Naomi gave him a shove, but he didn’t budge. He smile widened. “Say it again.”
From page 390:
“but I heard from my preacher that God meant blackness as a curse for the Tribe of Ham. Which I took to say, God don’t like niggers, neither.” He resettled the rope on his shoulders and cracked his knuckles.”
For a full report on “Out of Darkness,” visit this link.
Another book, this one called “Nineteen Minutes,” can also be found in the school’s library. This book is rated as “not for minors” as it contains sexual activities, sexual nudity, profanity and derogatory terms, violence, controversial social and political commentary, controversial religious commentary, alternate sexualities, hate, abortion and suicide commentary.
From page 17:
“The one whose boobs are two different sizes?” …“The one who always carries a box of tissues for her allergies?” Josie said, sliding into a seat. “Or not,” Haley said. “Guess who got sent to rehab for snorting coke.” “Get out.” “That’s not even the whole scandal,” Emma added. “Her dealer was the head of the Bible study group that meets after school.”
From page 213:
“When Matt touched her lower lip with his thumb, Josie could feel it everywhere— from her fingertips to her throat to the heat between her legs.”
From page 218:
“Matt,” Peter said, coming up on his knees. “Do you have a big dick?” “Wouldn’t you like to know,” Matt said. “Not really.” Peter staggered to his feet. “I just wondered if it was long enough for you to go fuck yourself.” …Peter shook his head, tears streaming down his cheeks, streaking the blood. “Get . . . off . . .” “I bet you wish you could,” Matt sneered.”
From page 223:
“She felt Matt’s lips move from her cheek to her neck to the spot behind her ear that always made her feel like she was dissolving. She was a novice at fooling around, but Matt had coaxed her further and further each time they were alone. It’s your fault, he’d say, and give her that smile. If you weren’t this hot, I’d be able to keep my hands off you. That alone was an aphrodisiac to Josie. Her? Hot? And—just as Matt had promised every time—it did feel good to let him touch her everywhere, to let him taste her. Every incremental intimacy with Matt felt as if she were falling off a cliff—that loss of breath, those butterflies in her stomach. …Now she felt his hands moving under her T-shirt, slipping beneath the lace of her bra. Her legs tangled with his; he rubbed up against her. When Matt tugged up her shirt, so that the cool air feathered over her skin, she snapped back to reality. “We can’t do this,” she whispered. Matt’s teeth scraped over her shoulder. “We’re parked on the side of the road.” He looked up at her, drugged, feverish. “But I want you,” Matt said, like he had a dozen times. This time, though, she glanced up. I want you. …She heard the rip of a foil condom packet—How long had he been carrying that around? Then he tore at his jeans and hiked up her skirt, as if he still expected her to change her mind. Josie felt Matt pulling aside the elastic of her underwear, the burn of his finger pushing inside her. This was nothing like the times before, when his touch had left a track like a comet over her skin; when she found herself aching after she told him she wanted to stop. Matt shifted his weight and came down on top of her again, only this time there was more burning, more pressure. “Ow,” she whimpered, and Matt hesitated. “I don’t want to hurt you,” he said. She turned her head away. “Just do it,” Josie said, and Matt pushed his hips flush against hers. It was the kind of pain that—even though she was expecting it— made her cry out. Matt mistook that for passion. “I know, baby,” he groaned. She could feel his heartbeat, but from the inside, and then he started to move faster, bucking against her like a fish released from a hook onto a dock. Josie wanted to ask Matt whether it had hurt the first time he had done it, too. She wondered if it always would hurt. Maybe pain was the price everyone paid for love. She turned her face into Matt’s shoulder and tried to understand why, even with him still inside of her, she felt empty.”
For a full report on “Nineteen Minutes,” click here.
Finally, a book called “Breathless” is already rated as not being for minors, yet on the shelves inside Sioux Center High School. The book contains obscene sexual activities, sexual nudity and controversial social commentary as well as alternate sexualities.
Eight pages in you’ll read:
“Saz a couple of hair ties. “By the way, it doesn’t count losing your virginity if your hymen doesn’t break. I bled buckets my first time.” “That’s not true,” I say. “Hymens don’t actually break. that’s a big, fat, ignorant myth. Not everyone bleeds, and besides, not everyone has a hymen. Don’t be so heteronormative. Virginity is a bullshit social construct created by the patriarchy. Saz holds up her hand and I high-five her. As much as I completely, one hundred percent believe this, I’m still desperate to have sex. Like, right now. …She says from under it, “Fun fact: Did you know you can order hymens on the internet? There’s this place called the Hymen Shop that claims they can restore your virginity in five minutes. She pops back up, picks up her phone, and immediately starts googling.”
“Alannis says, “That’s nothing. I read somewhere that girls in China pay seven hundred dollars to have their hymens surgically rebuilt. I stop eating because, sex-obsessed as I am, the idea that you could place a price on virginity is, to put it mildly, insane. I say, “This whole concept is so antiquated. As if all that matters is penis-plus-vagina sex. Something like twenty percent of Americans identify as something other than completely straight, so why are we still so focused on a woman’s first time with a man? And why is a girl’s virginity such a big deal anyway? People don’t get excited about a straight guy having sex. It’s all high fives and ‘Now you’re a man.’ they don’t sit around wringing their hands and searching the internet for replacement parts. ” Saz snorts. And another thing. Have you ever thought about the way people talk about virginity? As if it’s owned by other people? Someone ‘takes it,’ and suddenly it becomes theirs. Like it’s something we give away, something that doesn’t belong to us. She lost it. She gave it up. Popping her cherry. Taking her virginity. Deflowering—” “Deflowering?” Mara stares at me over her phone. “Who says deflowering?” “Virgins.” Alannis raises her perfectly groomed eyebrows at me. Alannis Gyalene Catalina Vega-Torres has been having sex since ninth grade.”
“It’s what I love about making out with someone. The possibility that this could be the one. Cue the lights. Cue the music. Love raining down on us all. Not that I’m all that experienced, especially compared to Alannis. I’ve officially given a few hand jobs and three or four unsuccessful blow jobs, had five and a half orgasms—not including the ones I’ve given myself—and made out with three boys, counting this one. Shane is kissing me, and his hands are everywhere—Oh yeah, I think, there. That’s good. The kissing is strictly for my benefit because Shane, like a lot of other guys at Mary Grove High, is more about all the things that aren’t kissing. His goal, always, is to get in my pants. I know this and he knows this, and he will kiss me for a while just to get there. And I’ll let him because he’s actually good at it, and hey, I love kissing. And then all he’s doing is grabbing me, but it’s working because he’s so obviously into me that I’m starting to feel a bit into me too. I think, Don’t let it get too far, even as I’m helping him unzip his jeans. And then we’re kissing again, harder and harder until I half expect him to inhale my tongue and my mouth and my entire face, and in the moment I want him to because of the way my body is pressing into his, wanting to feel more. I feel swept away and powerful at the same time. What are you waiting for? Shane has his tongue in my ear, but I can still hear the music Outside. Laughter. Someone yelling something. At first I’m like, Oh God, yes, but then his tongue is a little too wet and he’s giving me swimmer’s ear.”
“Men suck,” she says. “That’s why I’m thankful I like women. ” That night my phone buzzes and it’s Shane. I stupidly think maybe going to apologize for—what? Wanting to have sex with me? Not being the boy I wanted him to be? He’s sent a photo, and at first I’m not sure what exactly I’m looking at, but then I recognize it. Shane naked from the waist down, and the caption This is what you’re missing. Let me know if you change your mind. There are a thousand things I could write back—Your dick is the last thing on my mind, for starters—but instead I just delete the whole thread.”
You can find a full review of Breathless here.