My rating system is fairly straight forward but it may take some getting used to. I rate the potentially offensive content (sex, violence, and profanity) of each book I read on a scale of 1 to 5. A 1 rating means there is little to none while a 5 is given to particularly offensive material.
An example of a rating looks like this: 2.1.3 (2 represents sexual content, 1 refers to violence, and 3 is for profanity)
It may be helpful to know what my thinking process is when I give a rating.
1--Kissing or other forms of affection without too many sexual undertones
2--Sex may be inferred but not described (happens behind closed doors or picture fades to black type of stuff). A 2 may also be given if there is discussion of sex that's not too descriptive or crass.
3--Description of sex act itself but not with too much detail. I know this is completely subjective but I tend to base it on whether it makes me feel uncomfortable or not. I feel that sex is a natural part of life and needs to be depicted in novels sometimes to add to the story but it doesn't have to be gratuitous. A 3 would also be given to more crude references to sex in discussions or thoughts of the characters.
4--Greater detail of the sex act. Makes me uncomfortable.
5--Too much detail. Gratuitous. Over the top. (I know this is so subjective. Sorry)
1--Little or none. Could include a little fisticuffs or small acts of violence.
2--Murder (without detailed descriptions like those found in a cozy mystery, Agatha Christie or other such books), acts of violence without too much blood or description.
3--More bloody, more descriptive. Child abuse without a lot of description.
4--Somewhat disturbing violence. Descriptive abuse. (I gave Hunger Games a 4)
5--Very disturbing. Gratuitous descriptions.
1--Little or none. May contain a few d---s and h---s or a few vain references to Deity but not a lot.
2--More of the lighter swearing and maybe a little barnyard type language but very little.
3--The kind of swearing that gets a PG-13 rating but no f-words. May include a lot of taking the Lord's name in vain.
4--Up to 3 f-words. I've found a few books that have a couple of f-words but hardly any other profanity. They would still get a 4 in my rating system.
5--More than 3 f-words. Rated R type swearing.
Disclaimer: I should have put this list together when I first started my blog as it could have helped my ratings be more accurate. Some of my older ratings will probably not fit according to these guidelines precisely. I can also miss or forget things and ratings are pretty subjective anyway. My goal is to aid others in choosing books that they won't find offensive but I apologize if I ever steer anyone wrong.