When you’re writing a love story, how can you not write lovemaking scenes? It wouldn’t be a truthful picture otherwise and truth in writing is very important. It’s how you touch people. In more ways than one. When I sent Jeffrey Masson, author of “The Assault on Truth: Freud’s Suppression of The Seduction Theory”, my manuscript (his book was a great inspiration), he replied: “The sexual scenes are very erotic and have a direct and immediate effect. It will arouse the reader I can attest to that.”
Andreas and Annabelle see each other across a crowded room and feel the immediate recognition of having known each other before and forever. Goethe wrote about the mystery of attraction, and the atoms that link people to each other. Pushkin writes about Tatiana’s feelings for Onegin,
‘I saw you in my dreams; I’d waken
To know I loved you; long ago
I languished in your glance, and oh!
My soul, hearing your voice was shaken.
The moment I saw you coming,
I thrilled, my pulses started drumming,
And my heart whispered: it is he!’
The characters, Andreas Zill, a psychiatrist and Annabelle Eichler, are at very interesting stages in their lives. She’s a young woman in her thirties, at the peak of her sexuality you could say, married, disillusioned, seeking something she’s almost given up any hope of finding, until the moment she meets Andreas. He is much older, in his fifties, a dangerous time for a man—health wise and emotionally. A time when a man is facing the end of his dreams, his mortality—some try to run away by having affairs with women in their twenties, buying fast cars, changing jobs or wives. Andreas, due to his personal and marital circumstances, has given up. Until he meets Annabelle. Sex becomes a life and death experience for them—not of the violent kind, although there is emotional violence, especially from Annabelle—she uses words like a rapier—but of the fear of loving and being loved, which is a greater than the fear of death. In one scene, after they’ve made love, Andreas is staring at Annabelle. “What is it, Andreas?” she asks. He replies: “My father said something to me once I never fully understood, until this moment. Actually, it was Tolstoy who said: The moment a beautiful woman makes a man the happiest of men, he becomes the most miserable. “Why,” Annabelle asks. “Because he’s afraid of losing her. Because he doesn’t believe he’s worthy of her love.” We fear love so much. Khalil Gibran wrote: Between what is said and not meant and what is meant and not said, most of love is lost. Theirs is a romantic love, idealistic, all consuming, destructive, erotic and regenerative.
ABUSIVE AND VIOLENT SEX VERSUS GENTLE SEX
Sex has been hijacked by the abusers, the narcissists and the women haters. I’m angered and repelled by sex scenes in movies where men are battering women with their penises. It’s stomach churning. Moronic. Ugly. It doesn’t have to be like that. Women need to say, NO! It’s unacceptable. Why would you want to be treated so badly. That’s not love. I recommend girls take up martial arts. It’s very empowering. When I was a drama student in my teens, I used to carry a fencing foil—a sword really, with a blunted tip. I needed protection because I used to travel late at night on trains after appearing in a play at the Ensemble Theatre, having to stay back for notes from Hayes Gordon, the legendary teacher and director. After that, we had to sweep the theatre and wash the coffee cups from interval. It was very late at night but it really worked carrying my sword—you should have seen the looks I got—but I felt safe. Then later, I learned to protect myself and fight back with martial arts. It should be taught at school.
We need a return to gentleness. We need to reject what the pornographers have been shoving down our throats and tell them to go put their heads in a bucket (that’s being polite). While writing the sex scenes in The Secret Seduction and the Enigma of Attraction I made an interesting discovery. The ancient practice of the Tao of Sex which is touched upon in the book, revealed to me some surprises. It’s fascinating and heartening how they viewed and practiced sex. This is a quote about The Five Virtues of the Penis: “The penis is kind. It exists mainly as a tool to service the woman. Two: It is not about man’s pleasure. Three: It is courteous and polite. It knows when to advance and when to retreat. It must be made into a source of happiness, not pain. It must not be used as a weapon to hurt another. Four: It is wise. It will do everything to please and satisfy a woman. Five: It is honest. It completes its duty.” It’s probably all new to most of us but the Taoists were scientists who believed wisdom came from knowledge subject to scrutiny and deeper questioning. They held themselves to a higher ethical and moral standard. It’s what we need to do.