Depicting It

There are two things that cannot be depicted – a rose and sexual organs.
A rose because it is too beautiful, and sexual organs because they are too ugly.
It is the miasma of desire that makes them appealing.

Describing the sexual act is a very tricky business. Especially if you want to remain within aesthetic boundaries. If you don’t, you can go ahead with no problems. But the result is bound to be banal, boring or revolting like out-and-out pornography, in fact it may be just that.

D. H. Lawrence assayed it. For him, sex was a religious experience if the partners were erotically made for each other, even if they didn’t match in any other way. Lady Chatterley and the gamekeeper, fit together in that way – but in no other. Thus according to Lawrence they were a perfect match.

The erotic passages acts are solemn and have the quality of prayer. Try reading them that way! And like prayer, they aren’t any fun at all.

Let me throw this in!

There’s something that always bothered me about the novel. Lord Chatterley is supposed to represent the impotent man. But Chatterley was genuinely impotent due to a war wound.

That is unfair! A man who represents that kind of shortcoming should be unable to raise the flag due to psychological reasons, not physical ones.

Henry Miller wanted to describe the act honestly, as honestly as one would describe the kitchen sink. He describes the sink in detail, and since a detailed description of a sink is absurd, absurd if you’re not a plumber, an ample dosage of slapstick enters the scene, or scenes. The encounters usually boil down to this: the women pratfell and he nosedove on them. The venues are everywhere except the bedroom. Miller is his own protagonist and his outfit invariably consists of a hat and socks.

Ulysses by James Joyce, got banned, like Miller’s books, and had the honor of being sold under the counter till the days of enlightenment. Those days turned out to be as blightful in other ways. The judges had a hard time deciphering Joyce’s passages in Ulysses, since he had partially catapulted himself out of the English language. But they managed to find a tinge of pink here and there, so they rapped down their gavels, and bam, bam, bam! – Ulysses was banned! After Ulysses, Joyce took no chances, and in Finnegan’s Wake he completely catapulted himself out of the English language.

Norman Mailer is the most explicit author – but not the most modest one. He wanted to use his novels to illustrate his prowess as a lothario in the boudoir and other locations. The Mailer character can run faster and jump higher and farther than anyone. And he can jump and run more often than anyone. Like the famed Jesse Owens, he gets all the gold medals, and on his way to receiving them, he pockets the silver and copper ones too.

Although I always thought of myself as being mad for women, I’ve always written around erotic details, but I did get close in one passage of my modern Casanova novel, The Assembly-Line Prince, which is forthcoming in Tarantel Verlag, Vienna, in German translation as Der Fliessbandprinz, which is based on the adventures of my late friend, the actor Herb Andress.

Herb Andress

Here is an excerpt:

Then life became Rosy. She was thirty years old, had two daughters and was going through a divorce. She was fantasstic with a double s. I took her to the Magic Castle, where famous magicians performed their tricks. Then I took her home and performed my tricks on her. It was hard going. I’d given up sex for the yogi thing. But she initiated me right back to where I’d left off.

When we went to her place, I’d lie on the car floor so that her divorce case wouldn’t be damaged. From the floor I’d sneak into her bed. I got back to being what I was and doing what I do best. I’d been out of the saddle for same time. It was good to get back in. It was a rosy time. It was Rosy time. She’d say, „Give it to me, Herby! Give it to me! I need it so much. I love getting it from you!“

I’d lose myself in Rosy. She was so juicy I had to take a ladle with me. As I was getting close, she squirmed out from under me and dove down.

She liked to have her back facing me: She wanted to expose herself. “Herby,” she’d ask, „do you see me?“ I ‚d guide her with my hands on her haunches, looking at her creaminess, black thatch and rosiness. After she’d been going at it for a while, she’d slurp. It sounded like cymbals clashing, and I’d give her slaps for good measure.

We were a two-man drum and bugle corps. When she climaxed it was like having a dynamo over me.

Those were rosy days. I saw the world through rosy glasses. The celibacy part of my religious conversion was over. But I kept the vegetarian diet and stayed away from smoking.

– Herbert Kuhner