Thursday, February 9, 2012

Sex in Novels (revisited)

A lot of novels are about serial killers that commit multiple murders and paranormal creatures like zombies that munch on live human beings.
It often seems that violence and gore is perfectly acceptable in fiction while love, romance, and the resultant sexual encounters are not. I've read numerous novels that describe in graphic detail, horrific amounts of blood, shattered teeth, torture and dismemberment. It seems it's considered part of the craft and acceptable, yet describing an accurate, loving, sex scene is considered obscene.
What does that say about our society?
At any given moment, nearly half the world's population is engaged in the pleasurable act that makes babies. Yes, babies. You know, those cut little bundles of joy that make life worth living and keep the human species from becoming extinct?
Half. – over three billion people.
Maybe more than half, if you count those people making love in the daytime.
So, why hold back on the one aspect of life that prevents the end of the human race?
In the U.S. We have a very skewed outlook on sex. This is a country in which a three letter word, describing the act of killing people, (war) is considered heroic and brave, but a four letter word describing the act of making babies (fuck) is considered obscene. Is that a rational or sane?
So I put sex in my works. I don't do it to sell, I do it because it belongs there. Sex is an essential part of human life. It's grand and sometimes glorious if it includes love. There's nothing nasty, obscene or degrading about it. It's about the closest you'll come to experiencing heaven in this life. The French call orgasm the little death. They've got a point. If a good orgasm never stopped, I think I would die. Check any novel, novella, or short story ever written and you’ll find sex ranging from either blatant sex or sex hidden somewhere. Even Harry Potter has sex in it and that's supposed to be a kids book. Lord of the Rings has the romance between Arwen and Strider, and between Sam and the barmaid. Sex is the natural outcome of romance. Everyone knows it, it hovers in the back of their minds and that's what makes romance work.
I look at it this way, if two people fall in love in a novel, and at the end, bounce babies on their knees, then they've had sex with each other. It's as inevitable as sunrise. So, if the outcome is a glorious, loving sex scene, then why not write about it? It's much more preferable than writing about killing people.