I had a complaint from a reader. Not of this blog: Nobody reads this blog except Ron Burch and Newt White and they are too nice to complain. No, I had a reader complain about one of my novels. She said, and I paraphrase, “I loved it, but you could have left out the sex scenes.”
I’ll be honest with you, because I always try to be – after I write something I forget about it. So I was at a loss as to what this woman was bitching about. I’m not like the English housewife who wrote those “Shades” books of pure pornography. I truly believe that when writing fiction, “intimated” sex is much more powerful, because it leaves the physical act up to the imagination of the reader. The complaining woman was referring to “September Song” my last novel, so I went into it to see what she was talking about.
Well, the man in “September Song” had an affair. Have you ever heard of a man (or woman, for that matter) having a “platonic” affair? The definition of an affair implies that sex is involved. Even so, the couple of “sex scenes” in SS could only be offensive to someone who just doesn’t get out much. Or watch television. Or go to the movies. Or read anything other than religious tracts – (That last may be an overstatement, the bible is full of sex.) Everything we see and hear these days has a sexual context. I saw a commercial the other day of a young girl in a bikini hawking tractors. We had tractors on the farm where I grew up, but we didn’t have girls in bikinis, mores the pity.
So I offended a reader with my blatant sex writings. I wanted to ask this woman what she read that didn’t have some sex in it, but I didn’t. Maybe if I wrote children’s picture books I could win her back. But, that wouldn’t work. Too much violence in books for kids. I guess I will just have to let her go because you can’t win ‘em all. But all you perverts ought to rush to Amazon and buy “SS” and don’t complain to me that there isn’t ENOUGH sex in it. You readers can’t have it both ways. So make up your minds, I’m busy here.