Not in My Element
OK, so I’ve blogged about a lot of different topics over the years. I’ve talked about grilled cheese sandwiches, celebrities, HIM, yule logs, coffee pots, long summer nights, photography, art, and all the kind of fun stuff that falls out of life when you least expect it. But, the one topic, the very essence of what I’m sure anybody who happens upon this blog really wants to know, the one single most consuming topic I’ve yet to conquer but have never approached remains untouched. And that is…sex. Yes, it’s true, I don’t believe I’ve ever blogged about sex.
So, I was watching this interview the other day, as I happened upon a female author telling her tale on one of those late night talk show interview type programs that I usually just flip on by. The author, Jane Juska, was discussing her book, A Round-Heeled Woman. What was sort of interesting to me was not so much the fact that this 67 year old woman cavorted around having anonymous sex with random men at the tender age of 67. No, that wasn’t the really interesting part of the story although, admittedly, I did find this rather fascinating. The really interesting part of the story was that, at one point in the interview, she talked about her writing style, about her reasons for wanting to write a book, about her technique for, um, cajoling men, earning their trust, and later kissing and telling in sorts by publishing a tell-all tome at the tender age of 67. At one point in the interview, she faced the camera directly, almost confrontationally, and admitted, “writing about sex is hard.” To paraphrase, she said, “it’s difficult to write about sex. It’s hard to actually physically sit down and write about the act of having sex.”
If I wanted to write a story about a southern belle, with lots of appropriate dialog, I could read To Kill a Mockingbird and sort of wing it (excuse the bad pun there.) If I wanted to write a well-crafted finely tuned murder mystery, I’d read Agatha Christie. I’ve read JD Salinger’s work, romance novels, cutting edge fiction, horrible poetry, and all sorts of comic books, at least enough to mimic what I read. But, what’s a good book on Sex? Should I try to read a romance novel? How about graphic pornography? It’s even difficult to talk about sex without getting into the writing aspect of it at all. If you read romance novels, they talk of male body parts like foreign objects, referring to things like “members” and “elements.” I’m a computer programmer and I think of an “element” as something you put into an array not something to slip into a hot tub. It’s just all confusion to me. I don’t even know where to begin.
A good writer, I suppose, should engage the reader. Good writing should make you think and should connect at an almost carnal level. Reading something well-crafted should pull you in, absorb you, and almost consume you. Much like (I suppose) good sex. If that’s the case, why is it so difficult to write about sex? Maybe sex is just something you have to experience? Maybe it’s the one topic where words really don’t do justice? I don’t know. I do know, however, I’m not the only one who has a difficult time of it. And, hey, at least I’m not alone. Although my only current company is some half-crazed women running around sexing it up with men half her age and writing tell all books about it. Come to think of it, maybe I’m the crazy one. Sorry to disappoint you, but, on the whole, I’d rather stick to grilled cheese sandwiches, long summer nights, photography and, for now anyway, I’ve leave the “elements” in the arrays.
Until next time, this is Carol, the Carol in “Carol’s Little World” signing off.