amongst books

amongst books

Friday, November 16, 2012

Orgasmic Aspirations in Erotic Literature

It took 3 months after my near death in 2009 for my libido to reawaken. This should come as no surprise to anyone since my body was covered in dressings and still in excruciating pain much of the time. The first time my husband and I made love, we were tentative & gentle & afraid. Afraid we would cause more pain & damage to my fragile body. It was painful because my body was still swollen inside from surgery. It was also a highly emotional experience. There were tears. Tears of gratitude because I was alive. Tears of shock because hell, that was close. Tears of love because we could finally, finally be intimate after not being able to touch one another for a long time. I was no longer in ICU attached to a ventilator. I was most definitely alive. I was breathing on my own.

My libido, which has been wild and strong since my mid 30s, awoke gently and slowly.  The first orgasm I experienced was small, not powerful, but still, it was there. I probably cried at that point too. This was a sign that I was alive, that I was somehow going to survive. It was also an indication that I could think about something other than my dire frightening health situation. A distraction from that shadow of death that still loomed over me & caused me to shiver with the fear that I would die at any moment.
My recuperation was a time of both fear and joy. After having a close encounter with death, the concept that death can come along at any moment and obliterate us is very real to me. An orgasm is life-affirming. It is also a fuck you to death. I will love life. I will pleasure myself and others. I will celebrate each moment despite or because I know that our time alive is arbitrarily decided or controlled by forces outside of our control. The orgasm is something we can, to a certain extent, control.

For a writer to be able to facilitate or inspire or somehow be a collaborator in someone's ability to achieve orgasm is a beautiful thing. There are those who minimize the importance of being able to help someone achieve orgasm through erotic fiction. I do not. I see it as a valuable and enriching mission, and it's one I take seriously.
I don't see intent to cause sexual stimulation in a reader or the exploration of sexual dynamics to be any less deep or meaningful than any other aspect of the human condition that we attempt to explore through fiction. The orgasm is an essential part of the human condition. An orgasm is about understanding oneself and one's desires and by extension, about understand others, ones lovers and about intimate connection with them.  

The role of literature is to attempt to make sense of the human condition in the world, as part of the world, to address its foibles & imperfections and to celebrate its triumphs, to explore human nature in all its complexity. The orgasm is an intrinsic part of human nature, of nature. Sex is endlessly fascinating to me. Its dynamics, the trouble it causes, the depth of guilt and shame society has attached to it…all of these are reasons to write erotic fiction, but for me, to be able to arouse a reader sexually, not with all of my stories, because I don't always focus on that, but to be able to do it, is a powerful & important motivator for me and one of the reasons why I write erotica and not mainstream literature or any other genre of fiction.

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