Sunday, 16 November 2014

Between the Lines

I sat and waited expectantly for his response to my script. Eventually his reply came through. It was clear that he quite liked it, although I think he preferred the piece of fanfic that I'd also started writing in the recent weeks (I eventually finished it about five years later, of course). He didn't mention all the sex, but then again, I didn't really want him to.

It's interesting, sometimes, to think about the ways you can express yourself sexually. Everyone must have their different ways to do so - and that's even before we get to the having sex bit. Certainly sex dreams, masturbation, cybersex, watching porn, and all the other "description" factors have their place. But there are other ways, too... and I do suppose writing is one of those.

I'm not talking about writing erotica. Or even writing about sex at all. I mean, when you're writing about sex, that's obviously what you're writing about, right? Erotica has a plot, but it's not really erotica if there's no sex (I assume...) - and if you're explicitly talking about sex, then that's also a version of sexual expression. What I'm talking about here is the veiled stuff: the things you write, or the things you say, that aren't intended to be arousing, or even too revealing, but could be construed as you trying to express yourself, or - perhaps - working off some sort of sexual fantasy you didn't realise you had.

Looking back on my unfinished playscript, I can see how my friend may have thought I was stuffing all my sexual fantasies in a box and laying it out in musical theatre form. I had two young Japanese sisters as the main characters, both of whom were having sex with the same boy. I had an openly lesbian couple, a straight teenage couple, a young male Japanese language teacher, and a narrator in a suit. I didn't envision any sex happening on stage, but in the first scene, we have our main character soliloquising through song about her lost boyfriend, followed by the sounds of him shagging her sister through the walls. And, at one point, the narrator gets to sing Fuck Her Gently by Tenacious D.

The thing is: I wasn't trying to express any particular sexual desires at that point. I got my sexual frustration out through masturbating openly to soft porn on at full blast (I lived in a house on my own) and wasn't putting any hidden desires into what I wrote; I'm not even much turned on by cheating, lesbianism, age gaps or implied incest. I wasn't trying to push the boundaries, or even be titillating. I certainly wasn't turning myself on. I was just trying to write a musical. Tell a story.

Essentially, I wanted to sing.

The friend I sent the script to responded by sending me a piece of fanfic he'd written which he'd labelled "slash" - although I was always of the opinion that slash fiction involves homoerotica, and this didn't - it was just erotic fanfic, and clearly the first time he'd written any, as well. Not that it was terrible, but it wasn't the best piece of writing ever, either. Upon reading it for the first time, I immediately had the same thought that I was afeared he may have about me. Was this him expressing his own sexuality through the medium of fanfic with sex in it? Did he have a desire to be sexually explicit in this particular fandom?

So I asked him. No, he explained, he wasn't. He just wanted to see if he could write something with sex in it. He'd never done it before. It was a challenge to himself, he concluded.

Fair enough, I reasoned.

When you spend a lot of your time thinking about sex - maybe even for the purposes of writing about it, as this ILB will attest - sometimes you're seeing it when it's not meant to be there. On the concept of expressing sexuality, then perhaps it genuinely isn't there - a lot of times I've been looking for the hidden innuendo, or the sexual side, when there just isn't one to be found. There's so much sexual imagery in things that I've often found it difficult to not see any in pieces of art or the written word.

So I'd ask, if I wanted to know. And yet a lot of people just don't want to share their sexual fantasies too openly, expressing them on the sly instead.

How confusing.

And that's why I write a sex blog.

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