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.