Other than a single kiss and a few fantasies, Susie's rape is her first experience with sex. In The Lovely Bones Susie describes how her sexuality changes and grows after her death as she watches those she left behind in their sexual lives. Through Abigail's affair with Detective Len Fenerman and Len's frequent sexual encounters after Abigail, Susie learns that sex can be a way to forget, to stop time for a moment and keep the horrors of reality at bay. In the figures of Ray and Ruth, both utterly fixated on Susie after her death and both unclear about their sexual identities, sexuality is complicated and not necessarily fixed by gender. It doesn't even necessarily have to be between two living people. Whatever the sexual arrangement, the novel depicts consensual sex as a positive act, a means of developing and discovering identity. Always, consensual sex is held in contrast to the horrible rapes Mr. Harvey commits.