Saturday, October 5, 2013

Learning the Difference

If you've heard me refer to a certain popular book as 50 Shades of Slutty, you may think me a prude.

You would be wrong.

I don't loathe erotica. I loathe badly written porn, sure, but not all erotica counts as such. A book can contain beautiful, even graphic, descriptions of sex and sexuality without crossing over the line to something that annoys me. You can feel differently about that, and we can still like each other just fine. ;)

For instance, I wouldn't at all mind my husband watching Orange is the New Black. It is a great show. Yeah, there's some graphic sex. Could I do without that? Sure. But the show is solid. The writing is wonderful. The point of the show is not the sex. The point is the story, and you'd be hard pressed to take an honest look at a women's prison and NOT include girl on girl action and inmates sleeping with guards. That's how it is. On the other hand, I won't be buying my man a subscription to Hustler.

That's the difference between the new trend toward over-sexed novels and a book like Sappho's Leap
by Erica Jong. Erica writes about an ancient poet known for her sexual descriptions of love for other women. You can't tell Sappho's story without touching on that subject.

Sappho has fascinated me for a while. Very few female voices filter down thousands of years. Sappho's has. Why? Maybe it is the universal truth in her simple stanzas. We are love. Men, women, parents, lovers, etc...

Love love love love love love.

I enjoyed Jong's novel. I have heard her name for ages and always planned to read one of her books. I'm glad I chose this one. Her storytelling is superb. It isn't overly flowery or descriptive, but it is honest in its telling. I like that. I found myself immediately drawn into Sappho's tale. I wanted to know every detail. I wanted to love her and be loved by her. I felt transported to a world that only exists in history, one I rarely think much about.

A beautiful read. A lesson in accurately and beautifully portraying a sexually liberated woman.

Brava, Ms Jong. Brava.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I'm not a fan of erotica at all, but I do appreciate (and write) realistic sex scenes that tell us something about the characters in a book. This sounds like my cup of tea. Thanks!


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