I have, as many of you will be aware, written a book about sex (‘Come Laughing!’ currently on special offer as a Kindle download) – and have, throughout my adult life, thoroughly enjoyed writing about matters erotic (often with a side order of humour).
There are, however, challenges, even risks, associated with being this open about a subject so enmeshed in taboos, fears and misunderstanding – particularly if, like me, you are a woman!
There is a very fine line between a piece of writing which is little more than a come-on and one which expresses a genuine and heartfelt attitude towards (and love for) this most controversial of subjects.
I have always tended towards the graphic – but have sprinkled it with my own unique, taut prose-poetry style. Sex has always produced belly laughs – in me – and this, too, comes through in my essays, stories and novels.
But, my blunt nature and willingness to call a dick a dick has been misinterpreted by some – men and women – as an open invitation to a party I have no intention of hosting! And, for a while, I had some most disturbing comments on Facebook from unknown males!
Does this serve me right in some way? Is this an inevitable part of writing thus openly? No, I don’t think so. Why? Because I am not writing to tune into specific male fantasies. I am writing about sexuality generally – and about things which I, as a middle-aged woman, find funny, arousing, plain silly and dangerously out-of-order.
I think there are double standards on both sides of the gender divide. Some men lament the fact that their women don’t show more interest in sex and would like them to be more adventurous in terms of positions, initiative and noise level. Yet there is still a belief, albeit very deeply buried in many males, that a woman who does perform with relish, full orchestra and all the bells and whistles of lust is no better than she ought to be – and probably a tart!
I also think that, for some men – by no means all – women are there to put the ‘fan’ into fantasy. In other words, they exist primarily to bow down before the Great God Penis, and to adopt any costume, pose, position and attitude which will cause the aforesaid deity to ascend towards the Erotic Valhalla and Petit Mort Ecstasy!
My contention has always been that, fun though such stuff can be (if it is mutual), you don’t need a dressing-up box, a cast of thousands and a seductive CD to get your end away. Fetishes and powerful fantasies can be great – but there is also a very real danger of slavish adherence to and over-dependence upon the scenery side of sex.
If I write about such matters, it is usually with tongue firmly in cheek – and with a sense of somewhat scathing playfulness rather than any deep-seated desire for some bloke to pull up outside my house on a horse and wearing full cowboy costume!
The response to my bawdy novel has been most interesting. I have had a sense of the shuffling of feet, the embarrassment, the not quite wanting to admit out loud to wanting to read such stuff – and yet people obviously do want to get a gander at it, albeit on the quiet: It has had ten reviews on Amazon, all bar one 5 star!
It has proved a confronting read for some men because it is in-yer-face and, in places, very vulgar: ‘The Rime of the Ancient IUD’, for example, has men torn between hysterical laughter and a very real wish not to know what happens in their partners’ bodies!
This is part of what my brother had to say about the book:
‘It IS very funny, it can also be uncomfortable reading, but that’s also a good thing. It is very much its own animal (yes, there are moments reminiscent of Pratchett and a few other familiar tones) but crucially it is a strong, distinct FEMALE voice.’
Yes, writing in this way is a challenge. It can be misinterpreted. People will disapprove, get the wrong end of the stick, condemn me to the Hell of their choosing.
But I think the world needs more of it, to be honest. I think too many of us are crippled and fucked up by religious dogma, out-dated rules and sheer lack of information.
It is human to get aroused sexually. It is not a sin. Woman did not cause the Fall! And condemning half the human population because of the power of mythology is plain bloody daft!
I rest my case!
The Great Impaler Strikes Again!