Margaret Cho is hysterical and, yet, if I’m really honest about it, the Greenwich, Connecticut good girl who is still locked inside of me feels a little uncomfortable when watching this comedian push the proverbial envelope.
Don’t get me wrong, I fucking love her stand-up (and, yes, I am risqué enough to use words like fucking), but some of her sexual subject matter makes me blush. And, yet, in my writing, I’m not squeamish about sex. I confront it. I mentally masturbate the topic (a creative play on words, don’t you agree?) to no end. And, in my personal life, I am the queen of jokey, bad puns and sexually suggestive word play. Just ask my little sister. She tells me that I routinely embarrass her with my bawdy sense of humor. And, yet, there is also this side of me that, when confronted by sex in a real and meaningful way, gets embarrassed.
In my last real relationship, in the early days of our dating, I remember my ex asking me what I liked sexually and what things I enjoyed and I think I nearly peed myself. Ironically, I’m actually incredibly open to sexual exploration, games, toys, etc. If you can name it (and it doesn’t involve multiple partners, urine, or fecal matter and DOES involve two consenting adults) I’ve probably tried it, or would at least be open to trying it – once.
But there’s something about the topic of sex discussed openly and candidly that embarrasses me and I don’t know why that is. Especially given my early history of promiscuity. I mean, I could have sex, but I couldn’t talk about it. Totally insane, right?
The weird thing is that right now I am writing a book about a teenaged prostitute and so I am having to confront not just the humorous elements of sex, but also the emotional underpinnings surrounding who we fuck and why we fuck them.
A few things come to mind as I begin to toy with the subject of sex. One is, I wish I could be more like Amy Schumer (she just puts it out there) or Margaret Cho (although by no means do I want to start popping pills) or Chelsea Handler.
The other is a talk I heard a long time ago sponsored by PEN America in which Erica Jong talks about writing about sex. In case you’re interested, here’s a link to what she has to say on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9czyS8u_kjE&noredirect=1