Saturday, July 30, 2011

The research

When we talk about sex it becomes meaningless. Even here on the blog it is only the fiction or creative non fiction that sings. We cannot describe that which must be felt in the body. We can talk about the body and the meaning that is contained within it. We can talk about the language of sex and I can tear my writing apart, but honestly you can only feel it and as soon as you think about it it stops being sex at all.

When I am sitting in a cafe writing about sex I only know it is working when I surface, breathless, trying to maintain composure. It is like a wave of words takes me and plunges me into the heart of the sexual experience. I recapture the build towards orgasm. Occasionally, rarely but once or twice I have let my body continue to its secret climax. This is the sex research, the real thing, this riding the wave and letting it tumble me into the sea bed.

If you ask me what my research is like I would have to tell you it is so removed from sex that I might be talking about laying carpet. I feel the buzz of it in my temple and I find it difficult to equate it with what I do in the work. So what do I get from all this surface chatter. Some way to contextualise what my body knows without thinking. My words on the page are just a conduit for my body to speak its language. This sex research is like a fig-leaf, something that obscures the true wonderful physical nature of the act.

I sit in a state of anxiety, knowing that this whole new framework of study may be swept out from beneath me. I wonder if I will still read those articles I printed, the book by Angela Carter, the encyclopedia erotica. Maybe not. I will plunge into the words instead, let the authors take me with their words, the real erotic experience, the books that make me come. I will learn b reading fiction. This is what I do best. I tell myself therefore that it is alright if they take it all away from me, but I find I am curled up on the floor anyway, beside my bed, as I used to curl up as a child. I cannot enjoy the good things that are happening because the fear of failure is equally as overwhelming as my love of sex.

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