I have been thinking about the topic of sex for a long time now. It´s funny; I have written so many things on different topics since I started to blog; abuse, feminism, lack of respect within our society, I criticized the Swedish sick-nursing, and I questioned the death penalty. I even wrote a causerie based on a book from the Bible (The Story of Creation). But nothing made me stop and think as much as the topic of sex. Why is that?
There is always a risk of getting X-rated, or being misunderstood as a blogger, writer and as an author. Sex has always been a sensitive issue in our society, as if it would be some kind of bomb. I was actually also considering what to call the topic – sex or eroticism? Physical love? X-rated stuff? The-you-know-what-thing? Ugly stuff? Dirty behavior? Or simply just that?
When Henry Miller published his book Tropic of Cancer in 1934 (in USA), the book got banned “on the ground of obscenity.” He kept on writing books that got banned just to be smuggled, and he got an underground reputation. In 1961 Tropic of Cancer got published in US by Grove Press, which led to a series of obscenity trials that tested America´s laws. (Source: Wikipedia).
Today people are more tolerant than ever when it comes to sex. You can buy books within the genre eroticism, or even borrow them from the library as if it would be a book about golf. There are magazines to buy, and the internet is full of whatever you might want to know. But within the established genres as the novel, science-fiction, horror, fantasy and so on there is still very little said about sex. An author can go deeply into a description of how people look;
“They seemed to be everywhere, a gallery of ills – men, women, children tattered, clothing matted with dirt, some without arms, others without feet, victims of scurvy or polio or leprosy walking on their hands or rolling down the crowded sidewalks in jerry-built carts, their legs twisted behind them like contortionists.” (Source: Dreams from my father, written by Barack Obama.)
You never find this kind of deep description of sexuality in books within the common genres. You only find them within eroticism. I think this is strange. Have our society really not developed further than to a point when you have to divide eroticism from the rest of our lives? In most books there is a mix between all the things you find in life; people argue, they kill each other, they have a shower and sometimes even look into the future. You can find all of it in the same book, very well described. But no sex. As soon as two characters undress the author stops. A hint of it is enough, people are smart and they don´t need to know. Do they? And then the story continues with a new chapter, a new scene or even other characters. I will probably have to be the brave one, the one who describes a sex scene really deeply between two paragraphs of normal life. Or do you have the guts to do it?
Have you ever written a story that belongs to any of the common genres, but included a great sex scene? Or have you ever read a book from any common genre with a detailed sex scene? Tell me about it! Why do you think this still is such a difficult topic? Why are we still dividing sex from normal life?