Posts Tagged ‘literary quotations’

2010 14 Jul

[litquote] Hot vanilla sex scene includes checking in

For a sex writer, I’m surprisingly indifferent to sex scenes. Predictably, I’m quoting this one from Kate Furnivall’s novel The Russian Concubine for a theoretical reason: because it gives not one, but two instances of checking in with one’s partner to ensure their continuing sexual consent … and the sex goes on afterwards just fine. One of the most frequently-heard complaints about ensuring consent is that it will supposedly “ruin the moment”. But if that were really true, then you’d never find check-ins being glorified in hot romance novel sex scenes!

Note: the main character has never had penis-in-vagina sex before.

It was as if her skin became something other than skin. It grew so alive it leaped out of her control, rubbed itself against his body, her hip pressing against his, her hands touching, searching, stroking, seeking out each bone of his back, his flat wide shoulder blades, the curve of his buttocks. Her lips opened to his and the unexpected sensation of their tongues entwining sent such a shiver of delicious shock through her body that it made him stop, lift his head, and gaze at her with concern.

But she laughed, almost a purr, and wrapped her arms around his neck, drawing him back to her once more. …

[make-outs, make-outs, make-outs]

Abruptly she could hold back no longer and she took his good hand, placed it between her legs. Instantly he lifted his head so that his mouth and her tongue could merge with her own, and his fingers started to caress the moist heart between her legs, gently at first, then firmer, harder. She moaned, and under it she heard a low breathless growl that was him. She lost track of time. A minute or an hour, she had no idea. She wrapped a leg up over his hip and felt his penis tight against her cleft, the pulse of it hot and needy.

And suddenly he was above her. His lips kissing her eyelids until she opened them and found his dark gaze looking down on her with an expression so tender and so full of longing that she knew she would carry it with her till her dying day. His mouth moved against her own.

“My sweet love,” he breathed. “Tell me this is what you want.”

For reply she bucked her hips so that the tip of him slid inside her and she heard his quick intake of breath. His teeth bit down on her lip. Slowly, gently, with infinite care he entered her. A one point a sharp pain made her cry out but he held her close, murmuring, whispering, eating her up.

Quick analysis:

One of the check-ins in this scene was totally non-verbal, and the other one involved only one partner speaking. Moral of the story: if you think check-ins aren’t hot or can’t be done without ruining the moment, then maybe that’s because you have a very narrow idea of what a check-in looks like. If you’re interested in more on this, try reading my post on safewords and check-ins.

(Final note: I don’t know if the author would call this a “romance novel”, which some would say is a scornful term. The Russian Concubine is definitely better-written than your average romance novel, and it also features Chinese history during the Communist revolution, and stuff. My point is that I’m not meaning to insult it or anything, but, like. It’s pretty freakin’ romantic.)

2010 10 Jun

[litquote] Gay alcoholic heartbreak, breakup, and HIV

I’m going to start posting literary quotations that strike me. This one is from Augusten Burroughs’ sweet memoir, Dry. I post it for no reason other than that it made me sigh.

On my bookcase at home, there’s a photo of Pighead trying on a leather jacket I bought him one Christmas. I can be seen behind him in the mirror taking the picture. I’m wearing a ridiculous red Santa hat and my wire-framed nerd glasses. In another picture, I’m swimming in some motel pool in Maine. It was the Lamp Lighter Motel, I remember. It was fall and the pool was freezing cold and had orange leaves floating in it. Leaves and beetles. This was one of our first road trips. We’d known each other for about a year. I remember that after getting out of the pool, we went back to the room and I took a hot shower. When I came out, we ended up fooling around on the bed. We stayed in bed for two full days, leaving only at night to get prime rib or spaghetti at the only restaurant in town that served water in glass instead of paper.

Back in Manhattan, I told him one night, “I think I’m in love with you.” We were leaning against the railing of the esplanade at Battery Park City, watching the planes circle in their holding patterns above us. For New Yorkers, planes circling above at night replace stars, in terms of romance.

He turned to face me. “I love you too, Augusten.” Then gently he said, “But I’m not in love with you. I’m sorry about what’s happened between us. It shouldn’t have happened. I should never have let things get sexual, A. And B, I should never have made you feel that we could be anything more than friends. It’s my fault.”

I felt trapped because I did love him, but also now wanted to cause the most massive harm possible. You will love me, I thought. And then it will be too late.

It went on like this for a year. The sex, always intense, fast and hungry. And the friendship. But no romance. I’d go over to his apartment (mine was always too messy for his taste) and he’d make roast chicken or beef stew. I’d watch his hands work: slicing, stirring, grinding pepper. I would watch his hands and think, I love those hands. And all the while, I knew I had to get over him. It didn’t matter why he wasn’t interested in me romantically. Just that he wasn’t.

I started dating. … It was a year later when I finally thought I was over him. When not every song reminded me of him. And I was able to go for entire days without thinking about him on a constant basis. I was able to imagine the possibility of someone else.

One evening he called me from his car and told me to meet him downstairs. It was Friday. Probably I had plans … “You need to come downstairs. Now.”

I climbed into his car and foul mood. “Jesus, what the hell is the matter with you?” I remember asking him. Maybe not those exact words, but close enough. “You have to keep everything in perspective. Nothing is this bad. Your fucking job is just a job. It’s not like you’re HIV-positive.”

But it was. He’d tested positive.

That night, I slept over at his house, holding him, showing him that it didn’t matter to me. I wanted him to know that even if there was no cure, there was hope. The kind of hope that is powerful, because it comes from such need. That was the night he told me that he loved me. That he was in love with me.

But hearing him say it made me feel like he was saying it only because he was afraid. Afraid he’d never get anything better. I made it my mission to fall completely out of love with him, yet be there for him as a friend. That virus was something I just didn’t want anything to do with. And I was angry with him. Furious that I had spent so much energy falling out of love with him, only to have him fall in love with me after he became diagnosed with a fatal disease. Part of me felt deep compassion. And another part felt like, You fucker.

So now we’re friends and I thought I was way past all that crap. But obviously I am not over all that crap. Obviously I am sort of a mess.