Photo by Randy Lagana
This morning I read something that really struck a chord with me. Donna George Storey posted a piece last week called Sex as Performance not Commodity on her blog, Sex, Food, and Writing, that she wrote after reading an essay by Thomas MacCaulay Millar, "Toward a Performance Model of Sex." If you have time, go read Donna's piece right now before reading on.
Towards the end, Donna writes:"...I'd bet that any real woman with a few more years/decades on her would attest that the subjective experience of sex for women only gets richer with experience and a surer sense of one's preferences and power. And the more nuanced our experience of sex, the more we can convey that complexity in our fiction."
Though I've always wanted to be a writer, it's only in the last half-dozen years or so that I've taken myself seriously as a writer (well, most of the time, I'm still overcome by doubt way too often). And it's only in the past couple of years that I've taken to allowing myself to explore sexuality in my writing to the degree I have, and I still have trouble with it. And I'm having trouble writing this post, maybe because I'm still pondering.
It seems that whenever we think we have a thing figured out, something happens to show us we don't. We're always learning. Sometimes those "learning" experiences knock us for a loop. And until we regain our footing, we're not sure what's up and what's down.
As a writer, I bring my experiences to my writing, even if I'm not writing about ME. But when one has self-image issues (umm, duh), that can translate into questioning the value of one's writing. If I'm no good, then my writing can't be any good. It happens to the best of us.
Why do we write? Why do we write about sex? What are we trying to accomplish? Are we just pervs? Is this line of thought going anywhere?