Subject Matter: Erotica vs. Sexual Harassment

Today is Friday the 13th, in February. In two days, it will be hella-cheap chocolate day, which is even better than Valentine’s day itself. I grew up thinking that V-day was about romance, gracious courtship, and gifting; but here in San Francisco, the universal spirit of Valentine’s is: “LET’S FUCK!  WOOHOO!!”

This message was both compounded and confused by the fact that I was drafting an article about erotic literature while simultaneously clicking through a mandatory sexual harassment training module.

This contrast reminded me that there’s no right or wrong way to approach a subject. The grand subjects like love, death, sex, (and taxes?) are so deeply entrenched in our own understanding that it opens up thousands of possibilities for stories. For any given subject there’s an inspirational and enraging way to tell it. There’s a sumptuous way and a revolting way. What becomes more important each time is the build-up.  It’s not just the event in isolation, but everything surrounding the event, how it came to be, and what comes after. It’s like giving birth, or orgasm, or jumping off a bridge.

Think about your perceptions of loaded ideas like sex and death. What are your patterns? How can you invert them?

“I live in the space between chaos and shape. I walk the line that continuously threatens to lose its tautness under me, dropping me into the dark pit where there is no meaning. At other times, the line is so wired that it lights up hte soles of my feet, gradually my whole body, until I am by own beacon, and I see the beauty of newly created worlds.”
–Jeanette Winterson

Sometimes you just have to pee in the sink.”
–Charles Bukowski


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