Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Sometimes I assign to my Advanced Writing Workshop undergraduate students more 'general' exercises that give them creative freedom when assembling a short story. Some of these all-encompassing assignments deal with the fundamentals of writing prose fiction, such as 'write a scene of violence' or 'write a short fiction about a specific type of workplace'. Yesterday we workshopped their Sex pieces. Writing about sex - graphic, romantic, or both - is one of the basic fundamental types of writing that every writing student should attempt (if not master).

One of my students, an attractive young female who, in recent months has already concerned me by emailing a bit too frequently, wrote a piece about an attractive young female student (who looked exactly like her) whose university professor ravages her on his desk after class. The professor/lecturer was about 5'6, had blond hair and blue eyes, a slim but naturally stocky figure, was in his early 20s, and dressed conservatively for class although he had piercings and "tattoos that sometimes peeked out if he wore short sleeves." Her piece was very graphic (although literary and 'classy' nonetheless), complete with detailed body parts and explicit sexual acts. It was also rather excellent.

Hrrrmmmmm. There were far too many similarities between this blond conservatively-dressed professor and me (except for the fact that my students apparently think I'm in my early 20s). The only difference was that this professor had a wife. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think Awesome can count as a 'wife'.) At first, I thought, Oh fuck, what do I do? Everyone - everyone - in my fiction workshop stared at me, waiting for a response. Some of them had turned completely white, some with discomfort or nervousness, others with pure excitement. Some of them were drooling. The writer of this Sex piece sat at her desk, staring down at her paper in silence.

I collected myself in milliseconds. I don't even think I blushed. I didn't play dumb, but didn't entirely tackle the painfully obvious situation, either. I proceeded to workshop her piece like I would anyone else's. Thus, basically, I had to sexually objectify myself before a room full of hungry students. Like...I had to tackle the language descriptions of my own body parts and appearance, as well as what 'this character' could do with said body parts. It was a rather surreal experience (it would be pretentious to say existential), and I'm honestly surprised I was able to contain myself without bursting into uncomfortable laughter, as I am prone to do in both social and professional scenarios. Needless to say, this girl gets an A for the entire term. Oh. What?

Since I have so much fucking work to (still) do this week, I am hereby off-the-sauce until this weekend. Well, except for tonight, when Clare and I will playfully portray a heterosekshul couple and attend a couples-only birthday dinner at some fancy restaurant near London Bridge. I fully intend to bring along my copy of this aforementioned student's Sex piece so I can let all of my friends know what I'm (apparently) capable of doing to Clare. Heeheehee.

My reaction to porn films is as follows: After the first ten minutes, I want to go home and screw. After the first 20 minutes, I never want to screw again as long as I live. - Erica Jong