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Last night Derek and I headed to an event at the Emerging Writer's Festival. The topic was 'sex in literature', which interested us for reasons that I'll share down the track, however the actual event was titled 'Dirty Words' and this proved to be the theme of the day.

I'd been hoping to hear a wide-ranging sample of writings about sex – some raunchy, some thoughtful, some 'dirty', some sacred – but most of what was presented was comic, sad or tacky. And it was all contemporary. The comic skits were, mostly, quite enjoyable, but by the time we got to the end we both left feeling flat and disappointed. It seemed to us that most people view sex as sex; there was nothing about making love, nothing about the sacredness or intimacy of that connection. I've decided that I must offer myself as a speaker next time and represent the 'Other Side'!

Do you think that people are embarrassed to talk about intimacy? There didn't seem to be any embarrassment at all to discuss graphic details about sex, but perhaps our feelings are dangerous territory...?

I'm putting together an anthology of short stories at the moment that I've written over a number of years. They are all about relationships, whether man-woman or parent-child, and some of them veer into the domain of erotica. For a while I've been wondering if I should use a pseudonym since my reputation is mostly as a children's author, but I think our need for honest conversation about adult issues is such that I'd like to contribute in this area too – as myself. The erotica I write is not for the purpose of titillation but to explore relationship and sexuality, and to unravel the issues that couples deal with.

I'd love to know your thoughts and feelings about this: do you feel there is a need for open conversations about intimacy? Do you feel that you hear more about the 'dirty' side of sex than the sacred side? Do reply to this post and share. I'd appreciate your response.


+2 # Julia Gardienr 2011-06-02 17:16
There is definitely a need for 'deep' erotica. Something that bridges the sexual-sensual and the 'spiritual. I think intimacy is being lost somehow and sex is seen as a commodity to be traded for popularity or for propping up the ego and sense of self-worth.But maybe that has always been so!
+2 # Liliane Grace 2011-06-02 19:58
Thanks, Julia. There's a Yiddish saying that 'there's a lid for every pot', and I daresay that there's a style of sex for every person, but maybe it's time to bring some more meaningfulness to the experience...
+2 # Helen Patrice 2011-06-02 18:37
Many years ago, I used to write porn for Australian Women's Forum. I wrote the 'true confessions' pages. Sex, and plenty of it, vanilla, strawberry and very dark chocolate were required. Intimacy and love were not. Sex is very easy to write - Tab A goes into Slot B. Love is much harder to write, as shown by many of the classic poets like Keats, Tennyson, Byron etc. Intimacy - another level again.
Glenda Jackson, in an interview, once wondered why directors were so insistent on showing a couple having sex, as a shortcut to suggesting intimacy. "There are plenty of other things couples don't do in public, like cutting their toenails together. Why don't they show that?"
+1 # Liliane Grace 2011-06-02 20:01
I wonder if writers have trouble writing the intimacy part because they have trouble doing it/experiencing it/letting it in. Here's to more nail-cutting...
+1 # Kylie Reid 2011-06-03 11:12
PART 1: ;-)

Absolutely!!! I believe honesty is very much required today in every subject and every relationship we have.

Very sad that sex has become just sex, you view it on TV, hear it nearly everywhere and I'm over it..what happened to the love making, the growing and the joining, the sacred, the mystic, warm embraces and stolen moments!? I believe you hit the nail on the head..feelings are dangerous territory but also I ask has the truth of intimacy been lost along the generations, with all the taboo's, fears, burn in hell etc making it a necessary thing for comedy & open slather in order for it to remain in society in some way perhaps just awaiting the talents and wisdom of folk such as yourself to polish off the spikes and deliver a very old yet new way to be-ing together to assist us to move into the golden age.

+1 # Liliane Grace 2011-06-03 11:17
Thanks, Kylie. For me, the journey into intimacy with my partner has been and is one of the most precious things in my life. I felt quite sad for many at the event who seemed to only have mocking or cynical things to say, or whose writings suggested that they haven't experienced the magic, just the seaminess...
+1 # Kylie Reid 2011-06-03 11:14

Much love and respect to you, you are very appreciated and I for one look forward to your work under your name & as for mainly being a children’s author..those children expand in to intimate relationships and who better to trust than a woman that was with them in the magic years of their youth.

Much Love
+1 # Liliane Grace 2011-06-03 11:19
Thank you again. What a great perspective - I hadn't even thought of that aspect but here's to that. I hope I can provide more and more and more value...
With love and thanks back to you. x
0 # Shelley Obermoser 2011-06-03 12:17
Great topic Liliane, I too believe that sex needs to be bought back into our consciousness as a sacred, intimate process. That fact that society seeks to trivialize and 'smutty' sex is a demonstration that we have largely lost recognition - and relationship with our spiritual selves and so we see sex as an external function rather than an intimate connecting of Souls. I would love to hear you present the 'other side'! I dare say, you could open a can of worms though! I feel it is important to be authentically you - irrespective of 'marketing' considerations. Go for it Liliane! xo
0 # Shelley Obermoser 2011-06-03 12:23
I agree, any effort to raise the level of consciousness regarding sex is a very worthy cause! The fact the society seeks to trivialize and 'smutty' sex is a direct indication that we are not in relationship with our Spiritual Selves - that we see sex as an external function rather than a meeting of Souls.
I would love to see you present the'other side' - I dare say that would open up an interesting can of worms. If you feel this is your message to deliver - go for it! xo
0 # Liliane Grace 2011-06-03 13:22
Thanks, Shelley. I've been a writer on relationship issues for much longer than a children's author, so it was inevitable that the other would emerge again before long! Now for the can-opener... I love anything that enlightens and empowers, and the journey into conscious loving has been all about that for me, so if I can share something useful for others in that arena, I'll be very glad.
0 # Kym Fullerton 2011-06-03 17:10
Perhaps you could use the word 'Sensuality' as often as the word 'Sexuality' and it may give people a softer approach to sex & love-making.

At the end of the day there will be so many feelings of what "sex" is to people: love and romance, hate/rape, pregnancy/birth/miscarriage/infertility/
stillbirths, erotica, porn, infidelity, power, pain, religious issues, taboos, stress relief or stress causing...

However, I do believe that 'dirty' versus 'sacred' will stir up many. As we cannot judge either type or consider one less worthy/effectiv e in a relationship as the other.

However, you will appeal to many that really want what you have to offer, to help, inspire, encourage and re-ignite their relationships.

Onwards and Upwards...
+1 # Liliane Grace 2011-06-03 18:38
Too true. My intention isn't to make people wrong but to give a voice to another perspective. We don't always know what we're missing out on till it's brought into our awareness - or so I have found.
0 # Tracey 2011-07-12 10:19
Authentically you, writing about all kinds of relationships, is a gift i look forward to reading. There will be some who say "how dare you", but that is a projection spawned by the guilt/dirty/sex mentality. Please do explore the spirituality of making love with a soulmate partner. As you say, to offer another perspective, will not negate whatever way people already view sex but will facilitate a wider, whole, healthy option -- and yes I'd like my children to have that available in literature! If only to help offset the more prevelant media exposure.
I look forward to your publications, Lillian! Here's to the freedoms that telling the truth with grace and love can make possible.
0 # Liliane Grace 2011-07-12 11:18
Thanks, Tracey. I'm getting a very clear message here that I won't be kept in a 'children's writer' box! Which is great because my first interest was writing about adult relationships.. . Keep tuned!
0 # Vivienne Hill 2011-07-12 11:50
I have been pondering the subject of sex in literature (and whether children should read it - and what they should read..) for a while now and it is interesting our censorship laws seem to restrict nakedness and sexual acts but allow the viewing of rather intense violent activity. Or is that all that is available? (a possible exception being European movies). Now, I believe in the scheme of things humans use violence occasionally (it's not obligatory!) but I know sexuality is absolutely fundamental to humanness. Without it we wouldn't be here! So I for one want to see it brought up more - not for pure voyeurism but for the sake of re-introducing it as a healthy concept, not one to be hidden away. And I believe you are the woman to do it! Go for it - I am keen to read and also to allow my daughters to read it. Way better than the school yard!! And I trust you will use sensitivity. Looking forward to it...
0 # Liliane Grace 2011-07-12 12:21
Thank you so much, Vivienne. Wow! Time to bring in the cavalry to handle all the housework, I think, with so much writing to do! I'd love to step into this space too, so everyone's feedback on this somewhat delicate subject is much appreciated.
0 # Clancy Tucker 2012-02-14 20:28

What a great blog. Loved the topics too.
This should be a daily read for all politicians.

Clancy Tucker
0 # Liliane Grace 2012-02-15 07:16
That comment puts a smile on my dial! Thanks, Clancy. I can just imagine my blog as Recommended Reading for Pollies - see them all turning to it even before they start on the dailies! ;)

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