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I have already read the first book (The Three Body Problem), and I'm thinking of buying the whole series for someone I know and respect. The problem is that relations might be genuinely strained if I gave a book with a sex scene to that person (please just trust me on this and don't quiz me about this), so I was wondering if I should buy the second and third books as well for that person.

Speculations about sexuality and gender on a societal scale are fine, but stuff like 'he kissed her, panting with desire and quivering with urgent need' or anything describing genitalia being used for sex would be out of bounds.

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    Can you say a little more about what is in and out of bounds? AFAIR there are no steamy makeouts described, however, sociological aspects of changes in human sexuality and gender are detailed when the story's view on human history starts taking some leaps and bounds forward.
    – Lexible
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 3:33
  • @Lexible, speculations about sexuality and gender on a societal scale are fine, but stuff like 'he kissed her, panting with desire and quivering with urgent need' or anything describing genitalia being used for sex would be out of bounds.
    – Anon Anon
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 4:20

1 Answer 1

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In a word, no. There are no explicit sex scenes in either of the subsequent novels in the series. Pretty much the only semi-adult scenes are a very very brief sequence in which a character is able to see into the bedroom of another character and admires her (clothed) physique.

But Verenskaya seemed all right. She was still in deep sleep, and her firm breasts slowly moved up and down as she breathed. Normally, Ike would have admired such a sight, but right now he only felt a supernatural fright.

And the (quite chaste) description of an end-of-the-world sex party.

“Are those people?” Luo Ji asked in wonder.

“Naked people. It’s a tremendous sex party, with more than a hundred thousand people, and it’s still growing.”

Acceptance of heterosexual and homosexual relations in this era was far beyond anything Luo Ji had imagined, and some things were no longer considered remarkable. Still, the sight before them came as a shock to both of them. Luo Ji was reminded of the dissolute scene in the Bible before humanity received the Ten Commandments. A classic doomsday scenario.

“Why doesn’t the government put a stop to it?” Shi Qiang asked sharply.

“How would we stop it? They’re completely within the law. If we take action, the government would be the one committing a crime.”

Note that these passages appear in almost half a million words of text, and aren't shocking in context.

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  • Excellent! Thank you for answering my question :)
    – Anon Anon
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 18:58
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    @AnonAnon - I enjoyed them. I only rarely read long fiction but they were recommended to me. I'd suggest that you try to read them back-to-back as they basically form a single narrative.
    – Valorum
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 19:20
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    +1 I will add that Ken Liu does a really lovely job as the voice talent (and translator!) for the 1st and 3rd audiobooks. I did not care for the second audiobook's reading by P. Ochlan, but I know that some people who feel otherwise.
    – Lexible
    Commented Aug 24, 2021 at 21:08

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