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Literature / Youth in Sexual Ecstasy

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Youth in Sexual Ecstasy (Juventud en Éxtasis) is a novel by the Mexican author of self-help books Carlos Cuauhtemoc Sanchez.

The novel is dedicated to young readers and deals with the themes of love, dating and sex, while promoting the more conservative values on those topics.

The plot is centered on Efren Alvear, a college-aged young man with an active sex life, who on the night's prom starts a conversation with Joanna, the school's most attractive girl whom he has a long-standing lust for. After a few drinks and dancing, he sleeps with her, but finds it a hollow experience. Worse, he acquires an STD; while looking for a physician he comes across the card of a specialist on "sexual dysfunctions" called Dr. Asaf Marin. Efren goes to him for his STD treatment but the doctor in his several sessions with him makes him change on his views on love and sex.

A sequel/follow-up was written by the same author. On it Efren, now an older man, has to deal with supporting and protecting his college-aged daughter from her abusive boyfriend and dealing with the strange murder of one of her friends, while arming his daughter and her classmates with the ideas of the previous book.

Compare and contrast to The Game (2005)


  • Aerith and Bob: While many characters have common sounding names (Jessica, Joanna, Luis) there are others that sound sort-of Lebanese (Efren, Asaf) and downright exotic (Dhamar).
    • And the sequel reveals the name of Efren's daughter as Citlalli which means "Star" in the Aztec language, although to be fair it's a fairly popular name in Mexico.
      • Fun fact: There were quite sizable inmigration of Lebanese families to Mexico, Mexico's current richest man descends from Lebanese inmigrants. The characters were probably thought as part of this group.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Discussed in a few chapters, by Efren and his friends, Dr. Marin and Efren's mother.
  • All Men Are Perverts: Also discussed by Efren with his friends and a teacher.
  • Amicable Exes: Efren's mother and Dr. Marin. It is revealed that they've been in touch for the last years, with Efren's mother providing translations of the doctor's work and him giving her a collection of carbon paintings. By the end of the book the doctor leaves his Big Fancy House to Efren's mother to live in it.
  • Am I Just a Toy to You?: Joanna's attitude to Efren after he sleeps with her.
  • As the Good Book Says...: One chapter is dedicated to the Song of Songs from The Bible.
  • Attempted Rape: Efren's stepfather attempted to rape his sister Marietta (aged 11) after coming home drunk one time, he was stopped by her mother.
  • Author Filibuster: Dr. Marin serves as the author's mouthpiece for exposing his ideas on sexuality.
  • Author Tract: The novel is one big tract promoting waiting for sex until marriage and only by love.
  • Brainy Brunette: Dhamar.
  • But We Used a Condom!: Efren mentions to Dr. Marin the contraceptives as one of the biggest incentives for the sexual liberation. The doctor then points out that there's no 100% secure contraceptive, and some can have side effects that make them impractical for frequent use.
  • The Casanova: Efren at the beginning.
  • Cerebus Retcon: At the beginning of the book Efren and his friends joke about Efren's ex-girlfriend, Jessica, and congratulate him for dumping her since she was a "prudish girl". Later we learn that Efren had impregnated her and Jessica truly loved him and was torn apart when Efren broke up with her; Efren, even after trying to find out, never knows what happened to her in the end.
  • Cure Your Gays: Unlike the first book which only had a passing reference to homosexuality, the sequel deals with the topic and gives it the treatment that gays can become straight via voluntary conversion therapy.
    "Homosexuals need comprehension, not support."
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Efren, his mother and Dr. Marin have one.
  • Depraved Homosexual: The villain of the sequel.
  • Disappeared Dad: Likewise, Efren always thought his father had died after he was born, he learns at the middle of the novel that his father is alive, and at the end it is revealed to him that his father was Dr. Marin all along.
  • Distant Finale / Book Ends: The book starts when an older Efren asks his teenaged daughter if she wants to have sex with her boyfriend. The epilogue closes on that same scene.
  • Domestic Abuser:
    • Citlalli's boyfriend in the sequel.
    • Efren's stepfather, Luis.
  • Everyone Is Related: Lampshaded by Efren when he learns that Dhamar and Joanna are cousins.
  • Everyone Has Lots of Sex: Deconstructed, Efren says this to Dr. Marin to justify his lifestyle, the doctor then points to the long-term effects of this.
    • In the sequel, this is the case on Efren's daughter, Citlalli's, college.
  • Foreshadowing: "I know your mother." -Dr. Marin, also Dhamar mentions that the Dr. frequently asks his patients about their family history to find psychological connections to their issues, Efren then says that he has never asked him about his family.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: The novel has a strong Pro-Life message, overlapping with Abortion Fallout Drama: In his backstory, Efren impregnated his old girlfriend Jessica and wanted her to abort, while she pleaded and begged for their baby, Efren gave her the money for the abortion which she took and vanished from his life. Also, when Efren mentions to Dr. Marin that abortion is one of the incentives for having sex freely, the doctor then gives him a copy of The Silent Scream. Efren has a Heel Realization and My God, What Have I Done? moment after watching it.
  • Happily Married: Efren and Dhamar at the end.
  • The Hedonist: Efren in the beginning.
  • Hidden Depths: Efren is surprised when he hears the whole story of their past from his mother, he even thinks that he never imagined his mother would have such depths.
  • Hollywood Atheist: Efren at the beginning was a hedonist type atheist, it's not until he reflects on his past actions that he slowly converts. Also Dr. Marin was a "freethinker" before the failure of his first marriage with Efren's mother. After that, in his own words, he "went though a spiritual journey to find the answers for the questions he always thought he had the answer for" before fully embracing the Christian faith.
  • Just Friends: Defied, Dhamar outright says to Efren that she prefers to be his friend first before entering a relationship with him, Efren is about to protest but then he thinks that "True Love knows how to wait".
  • Lady Killer In Love: Efren when he starts developing interest in Dhamar.
  • Let's Wait Awhile: Dhamar gives to Efren this treatment when they begin dating.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: At the end of the book Efren learns that Dr. Marin was his father all along by looking at the picture of a beautiful young woman dedicated to the doctor whom she calls dad, and signed "Marietta", the name of his long-lost sister.
  • Mama Bear: Efren's mother when she fights his stepfather for attempting to rape her daughter Marietta.
  • Meet Cute: Efren accidentally spills coffee over Dhamar while leaving from his first session with Dr. Marin.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Efren after watching The Silent Scream. He thinks about his ex-girlfriend Jessica when he gave her the money to abort his child. And later when he realizes that he has hurt many girls with his past actions of seducing and then dumping them.
  • My Greatest Failure: The memory of his old girlfriend, Jessica, becomes this to Efren when he is about to get married to Dhamar.
  • My Girl Is Not a Slut: Efren settles in the end for Dr. Marin's receptionist, Dhamar, who is still a virgin.
    • At the beginning of the book Efren discusses this with his friends:
    "Everyone learns to drive using a used car, but for the life's car that is going to be nice and reliable, only a madman would buy a used car."
    "I don't know... there are some good-looking used cars too..."
  • No Antagonist: In the first book the only real opposition are Efren's personal issues. The sequel, on the other hand, does have an antagonist.
  • No Name Given: Efren's mother's name is never mentioned.
  • Not That Kind of Doctor: Dr. Marin's specialty is in "sexual dysfunctions" (aka: sex therapist), yet Efren goes to him for his STD treatment. The doctor later brings this point up; luckily for Efren the doctor has a bio-pharmacist background.
  • Quest for Sex: Completely inverted, it is the quest for reserving sex for your one and true love.
  • Papa Wolf: Dr. Marin becomes very protective of Marietta while he raises her. Also, Efren becomes one in the sequel.
  • Pizza Boy Special Delivery / Cheating with the Milkman: Efren's mother when telling him about their past mentions that she started an affair with a repairman who went to fix electrical appliances. The repairman would later become Efren's stepfather who abused him, his sister and his mother.
  • Opposites Attract: It is actually said by Dr Marin that if two persons want to join their lives, one factor for them to succeed is to have opposite temperaments, alongside similar lifestyles and independent realization; Efren and Dhamar agree on this being the case for them.
  • Reformed Rakes: Reconstructed, Efren still suffers the effects of his previous loveless sexual experiences (the "garbage" Dr. Marin mentioned) during his marriage with Dhamar, but with the support from his wife he is able to overcome them and be happy with her.
  • School Idol: Joanna is described by Efren as "the hottest girl in school".
  • Sex Equals Love: Thoroughly subverted and deconstructed, the novel several time hammers down that sex is one thing and love is another, and a that relationship based entirely on sex/sexual attraction is not going to last long; Efren's mother even mentions to him that this was the cause for the distancing between her and his father: "We only spoke the same language when we made love."
  • Sexual Karma: Efren and Dhamar on their wedding night, also one of the main messages of the book is that sex with love is awesome.
  • She Is All Grown Up: Marietta. Unfortunately because of this her stepfather attempted to rape her. Also, the picture on Dr. Marin's house shows that she further blossomed into a quite a beauty.
    • Citlalli in the sequel, as Efren notices how beautiful she has grown.
  • Silver Vixen: Efren considers his mother to be quite attractive for her age. Further, he imagines that in her youth she must have been extremely beautiful.
  • Single Woman Seeks Good Man: Dhamar who settles down for Efren after seeing that he is really a good guy, and Citlalli in the sequel, where at the end she starts a relationship with a much nicer and attentive young man.
  • STD Immunity: Averted as mentioned above. Incidentally: it turned out that it wasn't Joanna the one who infected Efren.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Efren's mother tells him that her first sexual experience was at 15 with one of her teachers. It was her life's secret.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Joanna delivers one to Efren right after he finishes having sex with her, for failing to satisfy her.
  • True Story In My Universe: The first book exists in the sequel as having being written by Efren.
  • Woman Scorned: Joanna starts behaving like this during the first half of the book.