Sex, Writing, and Life

The novel I’m currently working on is fiction. Not only fiction, but contemporary urban fiction if such a genre exists. I had pretty much decided I would use a pen name if/when it was published, because, oddly enough, I’d like my real name to be attached to my sex stuff. Ironic? Right, but it’s my small part in the quest to bring literary erotica to the forefront as a noble and necessary genre in literature. I never saw the current novel as erotic, sexy maybe, possibly even raunchy at times, but I in no way intended for sex to play such a major role. And yet it does.

Already, when I haven’t even formally begun to write, when I’m only jotting down notes and dialog and some plot here and there, I am seeing where sex factors into so much of the story and the characters’ lives. One woman turns to sleeping with an ex lover in the midst of a crisis in her marriage and career. And he turns to her for the same reasons. And I know they aren’t fucking for the sake of fucking. They must do it in certain places and in certain ways. They feel compelled to do it at certain times.

Another character is married to someone with gender issues. This places an obvious strain on their sex life causing her to question her sexual appeal and he to try and prove his manhood through forced, awkward sex (not rape, more making himself make love to her).

Another character turns to prostitution out of desperation. This proves to be irony because she has always been seen as unattainable and now for a not so small price, she can belong to anyone.

Wow. It always amazes me who you can set out to write one thing and right before your eyes, without you even knowing it, it evolves into something completely unreal. I might just have to tack my name to this one. It seems like it can be something I can be proud of.

Some ideas have been forcing their way through for the one-day to be written sex/drugs/obsession novels. I jot them down as they come, but I’m trying not to let them take over. One thing at a time. I need to finish something. A barrel full of ideas that never come to fruition will get me nowhere.

I also want to write an essay for Katy Terrega’s newsletter. And even in trying to start that, I veered off into so many other things. I started out with the angle of sex and sex writing and its impact on my life, or rather, the impact my life has had on my writing. So much of what I’ve experienced and what I feel gets put into my writing. I don’t write fiction/non-fiction pieces, but I do deal with my many issues through various subjects that I write about. Like my love triangle obsession, and my cheating obsession (in story themes, not in life) and my obsessed stalker killer obsession. But I ended up mostly writing about how I got started sex writing, issues with my mother and her need to shelter me from the world, my former sexual naivete, etc. Anyway, the gist of it is I have subject matter for several essays and I’ll have to think more on that.

I read an interview with Michael Hemmingson the other day and the interviewer asked him an interesting question about writers and their psyche. You know, like, are all writers fucked up? And I’ve been thinking for months now, are we?

In an interview promoting She Hate Me, Spike Lee said something along the lines of all artists have issues, if we didn’t we wouldn’t be artists. I can’t remember the exact words he used, but still, point taken.

More on these subjects and others at another time.


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