I am moved by Lady Percy 's expression of love. CLICK HERE - see if you agree.
Otherwise my novels, short stories, verse, family, music, memories, vulgar interests, detestations,
responses, apologies. I hold posts to 300 words* having found less is better than more.
I re-comment on comments and re-re-re-comment on re-re-comments.
* One exception: short stories.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Sublime mosquito

We don't make anger, shame or pity but we do make love. Love's an abstract noun, so how do we go about it?

Combining fleshy contact with fleshy movement to cause a sensation similar to scratching a mosquito bite. The rest, they say, is in the mind.

How do we render this fictionally? Most of us don't - out of sheer good taste. Those that feel they must will pause. In the UK there's a literary prize called the Bad Sex Award. It isn't something you'd want on your mantelpiece.

Some of us cheat. Diversion's good. Here's Jana in OoA:

THEY stood naked, etc, etc

(Eliazalde said) “Carino you are tired, I feel it here.”...he knelt beside her, working on the junction between her neck and shoulders, relaxing her spine.

“I may fall asleep,” she said, her voice muffled by the duvet.

“Then I will finish the tortilla. Read a little. Then wake you with Casals.”

Not sex but physiotherapy. And I'm still this side of the Bad Sex Award. Then there's Francine in Second Hand. Here the trick is displacement. Forget sweaty skin, let's substitute a sweaty (but remote) mind:

This is just sensation, she told herself. Like being tickled, the reverse of being hurt. This fits that and brings about the other.

But how about you? How do you comment? Most won't. Only the confident and courageous will.

ECSTATIC (Non-Sexual) NEWS Just got an appointment for my second cataract op: June 29, 8 am. My left eye, the bad one. I can eat and drink what I want because the anaesthetic’s local. But I must be escorted home, mustn’t drive. How about angel’s wings? I can’t wait.


  1. I much prefer the subtle, the well-crafted insinuation. My experienced imagination carries on from there.

    In film, one of the best love scenes was in 'From Here to Eternity,' the beach scene with Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr in their bathing suits being tossed around by the surf. A good visual metaphor for being swept away, battered by the waves of love and lust. That still turns me on.

    One of the worst descriptions of sexual arousal I ever read was in a Barbara Cartland novel (don't remember the title or any other details but this one) wherein the hero clutches the heroine against his chest. She moves her hand down to his crotch and gasps in surprise (and delight, said the author) at the size of his parts, referring to his erection as a 'wine bottle.' Not just the neck of the bottle - the entire bloomin' thing! Really?!

    I dropped the book to the floor and laughed my head off. I haven't read a 'romance' novel since. All I could think of, when the laughter stopped, was that the man must be diseased!

  2. PS: Good news about your eye repair. I hope you have a speedy recovery.

  3. Crow: Somerset Maugham, a very popular English novelist and short story writer in the thirties and forties may have summarised the sexual act this way: the pleasure is momentary, the position ridiculous and the expense damnable. Far too few writers appear to have either read that or taken note of it. Even in this day and age writers still include passages that attempt to describe sex and almost all fail miserably. Gore Vidal memorably condemned what he called "the hydraulic approach".

    When I started to write Gorgon Times I discussed the subject of sex with Joe. That's writing about it, not having it with him. It was he who warned me about the Bad Sex Award and I said I would avoid scenes of "bonking" thereafter. But man proposes and God disposes. In one scene in one of my novels a woman sets out deliberately to lose her virginity and it was obvious I would have to come to terms with "bonking". One thing I did learn is that such a scene could never be erotic. Subsequently other sex scenes have cropped up and I think I have devised methods of handling them properly that satisfy me at least. One solution is to make them comic.

    It is very courageous of you to admit you have read a Barbara Cartland novel. I would never dare. It might get out and I'd lose what little credibility I own. I believe she wrote over 600 of them, often dictating them to a stenographer while eating chocolates and lying on a couch. I'm not sure I'd even admit to eating chocolates.

  4. Re: Cartland - that was my one and only romance novel, by any author, and I didn't get any farther than that passage. After all, I do have some standards, even if I am an American. :)

    Once scalded, twice shy. What tripe!

    I read Maugham's short story, 'Rain.' I was probably 15 years old at the time. I thought it was a good story.

  5. I have an urge now (not to do it) but to go and give writing about it a go. But see, I have failed already, 'it' is a poor substitute for something that can, after all be divine.

    PS Bonk is my favourite 'it' word!t

  6. Oh yes, and I had a healthy diet of Mills and Boon novellas available when I was about 14. Lots of 'manhood' and 'length' mentioned.

    You really should read 50 Shades Robbie - it is truly awful but it will make you laugh if you look at it as a study of how not to do it (or write about it)!

  7. Looked the word up and read that every minute that passes, 83,000. couples round the world are bonking.
    Good news!

  8. All: Blessings on you all. I imagined etiquette might prevail (English etiquette - the worst kind). That you might avert your eyes, cross over to the other side of the street. But you responded. And others might since this is the weekend and there's usually a poor harvest of comments on Sat and Sun.

    Crow: Faux-modesty, American style. Conveniently forgetting that the USA gave us The Great Gatsby as well as The Valley Of The Dolls. Also Mary McCarthy's The Group which is all about bonking, very explicit bonking.

    Blonde Two: That's a poor argument, atypical of your boisterousness. After all you might well say that a written account of washing up would be inferior to standing at the sink and using the scritcher. However, you were right to hold back. First thoughts about this particular subject are nearly always banal and over-wrought. Wait until the thirty-first thought comes around and try then.

    Bad writing (as in 50 Shades) never makes me laugh. Like the parable of the Phillistine (Lord, thank you for making me not as others..) I take the hoity-toity view: there but for the grace of God go I.

    Ellena: You may not have known the word but surely you are familiar with the activity. As I've said, many times, you have an immense talent for recollection. Something more personal please.

  9. There must be a workshop for that. Trying to recall the last successfully written (meaning, for me, omitted) sex scene......none in H is For Hawk, none in Austerliz. The new Anne Enright is out and she's supposed to be good at it (the descriptive, not necessarily the execution). Fanny Hill should be re-visited. I'm with Crow......the insinuation is by far the more elegant written approach.
    Wow. You've had to wait all this time for the second eye. Here in N America we get on with it at two week intervals. Although, there is something nicely anticipatory about making you wait. Wonderment is nigh.

  10. You commented: "Conveniently forgetting that the USA gave us The Great Gatsby as well as The Valley Of The Dolls."

    No, I didn't forget, Robbie. I presumed the The Bad Sex Award included all writers, especially Susann's VotD, which I read, but didn't consider a 'romance.' Her novel was a roman à clef of the sexual behaviors of a certain subset of the Hollywood film culture. It was great fun trying to guess which fictional character was which real life star or other Hollywood notable.

    As I recall from that time period, there was a rush among the A-list celebrities to deny the characters were based on their lives - all the while eating up the attention their denials garnered.

  11. Stella: It can be a cop-out to avoid sex altogether. A stupid mode d'emploi, going from A to D (but having to detour to M), is of course a waste of time since it is likely to fall well short of reality and offer no useful info for those who haven't yet made the trip. On the other hand it is an event full of writerly potential provided one avoids the obvious and doesn't attempt to be "universal". Go back to WSM's second caveat "the position ridiculous" and reflect on all those unnecessary bonking passages you've seen in movies. Nothing elegant, nothing moving, nothing erotic. If anything more reminiscent of a poet's reaction to Waterloo: "The noise! The people!"

    But what a wonderful opportunity for a send-up. or, if you're in a more philosophical mood, to dwell on the disparity between what the lovers were hoping for and what they are creating.

    I have read Austerlitz and I'm not at all surprised there's isn't a bonk from cover to cover. But I do hope you weren't surprised either. I admire Sebald but mainly for a few, entirely disparate qualities.

    The eye op. I paid for the first one. This one's free, on the NHS. Hence the wait.

    Crow: I never read VotD. Unless I'm mistaken the dust jacket involved a handful of pharmaceuticals cast on to a green background. I dismissed it as a drug book and I don't do those. I realised there was sex too but sex and drugs represent a battlefield where no one wins, especially the reader.

    A roman à clef, forsooth. I always mix that up with a roman à fleuve. I wonder if I've accidentally written either.

  12. " working on the junction between her neck and shoulders, relaxing her spine."

    To me, these days, that would be absolute bliss and better than an orgasm! (which I can barely remember, anyway)