How the Semicolon Ruined my Sex Life

“It’s getting weirder,” my mother said about my web site the other day; one of my best critics, she doesn’t hesitate to tell me what she really thinks. Well, brace yourself mama, you ain’t seen nothing yet. I’ve started writing erotica (as a very legitimate exercise in writing development, I swear!). And no, I am NOT going to post it on the internet, you’re gonna have to go to a bookstore and buy this stuff the old fashioned way. The thing is, I think writing erotica may actually ruin my sex life.

But first let me explain how writing erotica arose (pausing to see if that is a pun…nope, all clear). When I first started thinking about writing as a career I had a couple of major mental roadblocks. The first was I didn’t think I could write a whole book with a 500 word attention span. “So, write a book 500 words at a time” my friend suggested. I did. Secondly, “I can’t write fiction, I’m not a good enough liar.” While I seem to be becoming a decent storyteller, the stories are real. I didn’t think I had the imagination to fabricate people and situations; at best all I could come up with would be wish fulfilment, fantasy stuff. “So, write erotica” my very clever friend suggested this time. Good idea: practice simple storylines, descriptive paragraphs, not burdened by a lot of dialog. Definitely doable (okay, THAT’s a pun!).

So I did, a short little story written from the man’s point of view (that’s how I can call it fiction) and ran it past a few kind and courageous friends to see how I did. “You need more visuals” the men told me as insight into how my guy would approach this. “Don’t loose the emotional intimacy” the women would remind me. All good advice. So I took that with me into the edits. Adding more graphic stuff (i.e. more boobies! for the guys), trying to find ways to show the loving connection of the couple in the midst of the ruckusa steamy little semicolon (not so easy).  Coupled with (yep, that’s definitely a pun) working out things like sentence structure and punctuation. In a scene that mostly consists of: and then, and then, and then… the semi-colon is a real friend. The trick is in deciding where to put it (hmm…definitely pun-able).

So, all this thinking about sex and semicolons, reading over the piece time and again, and I begin to feel like I’m in the porno version of Groundhog Day: “Meh, this again?” Definitely a turn off. Thinking about the logistics of writing while writing about sex has taken all the fun out of my imaginary sex life. Tragic.

Worse yet, I wonder what it’ll do to my real sex life. Now that my brain is into this kind of project, I’m on the lookout for material all the time. Not satisfied (sigh, and once your brain’s in this, everything’s a pun) with my own material, I’m forever writing down snippets from songs or movies, or things overheard, that provide details of how other people experience sex and intimacy. [A big shout-out of gratitude to #sexisbestwhen and #thefeelingyouget tweeters! I’ve been taking notes. Your comments have been very eye-opening (or eye-widening),  inspirational… and amusing “…when you come so hard you make the Bill Cosby pudding pop face” – priceless!] Though I think I was most taken aback by a Kenny Rogers song: “she makes those little kitten sounds, and trembles when I love her.” -totally didn’t see that coming (whoops! or that pun either!). Giggles aside, I’m particularly keen on the poetic moments of people genuinely connecting, but there are so many other simple details (like toe curling) that I’m picking up whenever I can.

I wonder though, does this process ever stop? In my imagining about my real sex life, I fear I’ll be in the throes of some hot monkey love with my beloved (no I don’t write the erotica like this; but man, my Mom’s gonna read this!) and there’ll be one of those toe-curling moments: “Oh! That was really good. Wait… let me write that down!” While I’m sure the fella will appreciate the compliment, I doubt very much if he’ll appreciate the interruption.

Writing erotica, could very well ruin my sex life.

If you’d like to read more about why my sex life is imaginary, check out: Why I’m Still Single.

And four years later, I finally figured out even imaginary sex is more fun if you don’t do it alone. Thus began The Erotica Files

8 thoughts on “How the Semicolon Ruined my Sex Life

  1. Hello Valerie,
    Just read your latest post. Peculiar indeed and brave considering you know your mom is reading. :)

    “I begin to feel like I’m in the porno version of Groundhog Day:”

    Semicolon? Well, at least this is different and it isn’t the usual cliché of a period ruining your sex life. Maybe, a full stop.

    And speaking of punctuation, I’m reminded of a time in elementary school when the teacher asked the class to name the punctuation after writing a pair of quotation marks on the board. All but one of the class wanted to call them sixty-six and ninety-nines.

    As a adult (and I use the term loosely) reading you post, thinking about punctuation and sex, and having a line from one Madonna’s songs in my head, “we got together we’d be causing a commotion”, I’m realizing that if you took a set of these sixty-six and ninety-nines and put them together you could get two sixty-nines. 

    Of course, this isn’t always what happens when you take the words out of the conversation. Sometimes you get other points of view, (i.e. positions) being articulated or the conversation just stops. And we’re back to the period again.

    -Green Bean


  2. I do enjoy the fact that you still keep your sense of humour and your connection to reality but too much about sex!


  3. i always thought that the hyphen ruined my sex life. i never truly understood the complex ballet that the semi colon played, but i always knew the deviousness of the hyphen.


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