“Wait, are you single?”
I showed him my ring, “Nope, sorry. I’m married.”
“Oh, well leave that seat open then.”
K. Thanks. EVER so.
He then went on to ask whether another female in class was single, and lament how he just wanted to meet a nice woman who wasn’t crazy.
Er, reap what you sow, much?
And then his writing was really genuinely funny and entertaining, so I had to forgive him, and even like him just a little bit.
Fast forward a few weeks to the first meeting of our invitation-only writers’ group…and there he is. And my project, that I will have to read aloud, is smut-filled. ***Warning, warning, Will Robinson! You may want to stop reading now, daughters & nieces.**** It isn’t really. But by way of introduction to the characters, it’s kind of right there in your face in the first two chapters. Sex is a part of life; an important part of life. Do I relish the idea of reading it aloud to a mixed group? Nope. Not one bit.
In this age of tablets—which have changed EVERYTHING about the Publishing Industry, including a rapid growth in women’s erotica, because no one knows what you’re reading or downloading—and Fifty Shades, however, I want to write a better version of the sexy novel. I want to tell a great story, with dynamic characters who engage in believable dialog and who appropriately engage in consensual, grown-up sex. I don’t wish to glorify the sex, or gratuitously slather it all over every chapter, but it’s an important part of all our stories.
It’s how we all got here, whether we like to think it of our parents or not.
Sex is how partners connect and remember they love one another, even when life gets all other kinds of messy and sometimes ugly, in between. Americans don’t easily acknowledge sex and its appropriate place in our collective rites of passage growing up, and they don’t like to talk about it much. Even grownups snicker and laugh about it behind their hands, and we’re too often mortified at the idea of discussing it with our kids.
While I don’t see myself reading the Fifty Shades series, due to the many reviews that suggest it may be poorly written and filled with too much purple prose, the fact that I just don’t enjoy the S&M (nope, not taking any chances linking to that!) idea myself and I don’t really want to read what I’ve heard referred to as “wall-to-wall sex,” I must allow that perhaps it’s had an important place in modern literature if it’s gotten people to talk and read about sex more freely, and thus created more opportunities for its consensual enjoyment. I’m all for that.
I still find myself mortified, however, at the idea of reading aloud in [a mixed] ‘Group’ next week—and I will likely request an all female escort to my vehicle at the end of it.
I’ll let you know how it goes.
If I don’t die of embarrassment, that is.