Sunday, June 14, 2009
Sexy is as Sexy Does?
Er… Or not. I have very definite opinions about sex in literature, and oddly, they are more conservative than my opinions about sex in film. I can watch Eyes Wide Shut, or even Caligula, and feel rather hot and bothered (Dick of Death not so much, pornography still needs a plot). But the point of reading, in my opinion, is to let the imagination take some of the slack. I’ve been trying to analyze this… Why would a tart be annoyed with sex in literature? The analysis leads me to the conclusion that I am not offended by sex. (Seriously, how could I be? Without sex, there goes the human race.) I just usually find it fairly ridiculous when the details are put into words. Further circumspection reminds me that at age 15 the love scenes in Princess Daisy were very gratifying. Romance novels offered a taste of what I had yet to experience for myself. Now however, I just find such scenes laughable. Why? The eye of experience? I haven’t tried everything (rumors to the contrary notwithstanding) so even a very descriptive scene, if truly unique (think the Clockworks in Even Cowgirls Get the Blues--Yam oil--an email heading a likeminded twisted freak once sent with nothing in the body… yeah… I can get worked up if you truly appeal to something that has never occurred to me before). In fact Tom Robbins nearly always arouses me in ways the romances don’t. Why? Because he writes sex so fabulous it sends a stick, an old sock, and a can of beans on a transcendental journey. Who has sex that great? I know I’d like to. There are some song-writers who get it. Red Hot Chili Peppers and Cherry Poppin' Daddies both have songs that hit it right. Sir Psycho Sexy and Dirty Mother Fuzz are my favorite examples. In fact just this morning I heard Chad Kroeger from Nickelback singing, "I'd like to cover you with jello in the tub, and roll around for hours like we're never coming up." Now that is hot. (Then again Chad Kroeger could probably say 'I'd like to watch you folding laundry, scrubbing floors and pulling weeds' and I would get hot and bothered. Still. It's a good line) The point is, it is the outrageousness that crosses the act from ‘been there, so what?’ to ‘oh my god, I need to shower.’ Most sex, even with a glorious, hunky stranger, is just sex, as adults have had sex. My other issue is typically parts. Is there a word for penis that isn’t more funny than sexy? Tell me ‘throbbing member’ doesn’t make you laugh. You can’t can you? How about a ‘sizable shaft’? Are you giggling? These are words that distract from what it is they are meant to display (pun probably appropriate, if not intended). I would rather experience a sex scene from an emotional perception level of one of the parties (I could feel his eyes undressing me from across the room), or occasionally from a physiological perception level, but not from a bird’s eye view. And honestly… it still needs to move the plot forward. Oddly, in fantasy I often like sex because it is associated with some magic or atrocity or spell. Dark fantasy in particular I seem able to overlook all but the most ridiculous descriptions. But again, it is the fact that there is some component that makes it unreal. My mind even goes there inappropriately (am I the only one to wonder what the Imperious Curse was REALLY used for?) My conclusion is that sex in fact is a rather silly, ridiculous thing, unless we are in fact one of the participants, or it is written to appeal to a very personal angle. It involves unattractive parts and awkward movements that require high levels of hormones to overlook. It isn’t like what is written, though it is close enough to what is written to remind anyone who has been there that it is in fact impossible to get from point A to point B without adjusting ones self in an embarrassing way. In twenty-five years I’ve had maybe a dozen sexual experiences that would make somebody ELSE hot to read about were I to write them play-by-play (and I’m not sharing)--and those mostly because of scene or situation. Mostly it is only because we are in the moment ourselves, and not thinking about them, but rather experiencing them, that we enjoy it so much. I know a great many people disagree. The romance genre is very popular, so perhaps I’m the freak. I just prefer to be entertained with outrageous details, or given an idea that has never once occurred to me, or else invested in the emotions of the moment. I’m not interested in heaving bosoms or electrified loins. I mean, seriously? If it is just normal sex, I will be far more aroused if my own imagination can fill in the blanks.