Titillation (or Lack Thereof)

Blog, meta

I was reading Drew Nellins Smith’s “Let’s Not Get It On: The Indefensible Sex Scene” and found myself making faces at the article. It’s unimaginative, to say the least.

The first problem the author has is that they haven’t read. There is plenty of (gasp!) fanfiction which has provocative and wonderful sex scenes. The same is true with the Romance genre of fiction. Both provide sex scenes that are crucial to character development.

(If you feel the need to mock Romance, bite me. It was one of my staples growing up, right next to James Joyce.)

And that’s the second problem the author seems to have: the inability to recognize that character development and sex go hand in hand. They focus so wholly on the matter of sex in literature they never mention the characters. How are they feeling about this?

Sex and Harlots

Blog

rs_600x600-170309063115-600.harlots-hulu.ch.030917I started watching Hulu’s Harlots. I have found it very addictive. We’re only two episodes in and I’m looking forward to next week’s episode already. The basic premise of the series revolves around a feud between two brothels in 18th century London. The series has some strongly crafted compelling female characters, and I like how it’s a story about women, written and produced by women.

However (yes, here it comes) I do find the portrayal of sex puzzling, if not worrying.

In a story about harlots and brothels, of course there will be sex. You’d think you’d encounter sex in all its varietals at least, from tedious and lackluster to utterly depraved and lustful to kinky to intimate and any others besides. Instead what Harlots has presented so far makes sex a joke. Sex is, by and large, presented as being something lewd and comical.

Bros

Blog, writing

Some Dude, reading my book: It’s so nice to read a book about dudes being close.

Me: Oh, thank you. I wanted to discuss emotional and sexual intimacy between men.

Some Dude: What’s better than this, two men being bros and getting boners around each other.

Me: Uh, yeah . . . ?

SD: Or two bros being bros while kissing. That’s so awesome. Bros can be bros and kiss.

Me: Uuh . . . ?

SD: And that whole chapter where the one dude gets on top of the other and there are orgasms? Totally bros just being bros and having a little fun.

Me: . . .

Me: One of them is gay and the other is questioning his sexuality. It says that in the text. Everything is an overt expression of sexual desire between them. The orgasm scene — they are having sex! Not “bro” sex! Sex-sex! They even argue about the definition of sex before agreeing what happened was sex! There are graphic descriptions of sex acts . . . They touch penises for god’s sake, do you need any more evidence to prove this wasn’t just bros being bros???

SD: But they were touching penises in a bro way.

Me: . . .

Me: SIGH.

SD: When the one guy starts doing the butt stuff to the other, that’s not sexual, it’s just bros being bros.


I wrote this because some people have the special ability to erase or ignore queer relationships and sexuality in literature and media, even when it is presented in a blatant, explicit manner.