Well this is a weird one. You might have seen a slate of recent news stories about the child sex scene left out of the 2017 film adaptation of Stephen King‘s ‘It‘, in theatres this weekend.

It was omitted from the 1990 TV mini-series, too. There’s a very good reason no filmmaker wanted to shoot a good ol’ horror with a literal child orgy in it: it’s deeply, deeply weird.

In the 1986 book, the orgy occurs towards the end, as the group of kids – who call themselves the Losers – get lost in the sewer tunnels. Beverly, the only girl in the group, suggests they are getting lost because they’re losing their “connection” to one another, and as a solution, invites them all to have sex with her. This scene lasts some ten odd pages.

A quote often attributed to King responds to this scene. It’s from November 2013, from a forum on StephenKing.com.

“I wasn’t really thinking of the sexual aspect of it. The book dealt with childhood and adulthood –1958 and Grown Ups. The grown ups don’t remember their childhood. None of us remember what we did as children–we think we do, but we don’t remember it as it really happened. Intuitively, the Losers knew they had to be together again. The sexual act connected childhood and adulthood. It’s another version of the glass tunnel that connects the children’s library and the adult library. Times have changed since I wrote that scene and there is now more sensitivity to those issues.”

Vulture got in contact with King, to verify if it was indeed him. “It sounds like my statement,” he said, and then added something else that proves that you don’t get to be one of the biggest names in horror without being a little cooked in the head.

 “To it I’d just add that it’s fascinating to me that there has been so much comment about that single sex scene and so little about the multiple child murders. That must mean something, but I’m not sure what.”

Allow us to help you, Stephen: it probably means that we expect a few child murders in a horror story about a shapeshifting evil being that feeds on children, but we don’t expect a grown-ass adult to write in a child sex scene that serves no purpose whatsoever.

As Vulture’s E. Alex Jung writes, “Perhaps most horrifying to modern sensibilities is that there is no talk of birth control, condoms, or a realisation that a circle jerk would have sufficed.”

A circle jerk. Try writing ten pages of that.

Image: Warner Bros