Sex in the gritty


WE are all familiar with the terms, slap an’ tickle, hanky-panky or a little bit of how’s your father. Such colourful expressions amusingly suggest that we are more comfortable with alternatives to the taboo three-letter word.

There is much eccentricity about the British approach to human congress. Yet, amorous activity between humans is as essential to life as is eating, breathing, drinking beer and sleeping. But, we smile as we recall the name of the theatre production, ‘No Sex Please, We’re British’.

Maybe the stork did deliver us. Unable to recall the event, I have to trust those who tell me when my 0 birthday party was held. I was hungry at the time and had other things on my mind.
Strangely enough the same attractions still appeal and have held my attention ever since.
As a ghost-writer it occurs to me that romantic novels and movies have lost the plot. On the one hand there is the Mills and Boon type of romance. Apart from a little heavy breathing, whispered endearments and the tearing sound of a bodice, the rest is left to the imagination.

Then, from the sublime to the ridiculous, the alternative is animalistic artificial couplings. These fantasy encounters are salaciously narrated in a way that would make a trooper blush.
There is an elephant in the room and we seem to be blind to it. As a professional writer of other people’s books I am convinced that fantasy or real life amorous activities can and should be beautifully and romantically portrayed without the necessity of sordid titillation.

One’s choice of novel doesn’t have to be maiden aunt or tasteless depravity. Amorous encounters can be written, read and enjoyed in such a way as to arouse empathy. The act of lovemaking then becomes what it should be; the fulfilment of a romantic relationship in ways that we actually yearn for, identify with and are actually achievable.
This is what is missing and we can be certain that novelists and biographers, skilful and imaginative enough to reset romance will discover a profitable market.

Michael Walsh
[email protected]

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