A Sexual Fantasy

— By R_Mutt

As a somewhat shy and socially awkward adolescent in those days before the internet, much of what I leant about sex came from books. Not just the biological process that we leaned about in school, but sex as a social relationship, as exciting and pleasurable, as emancipatory, transgressive and transcendent, as an experience and as a fundamental part of life. At first these books were rather tawdry and salacious pulp science fiction and suchlike, but as my reading tastes refined I moved on to J.G. Ballard, Henry Miller, Anaïs Nin, Catherine Millet, and many others. While some of these books might not have the greatest sexual politics, and while not all my reading was necessarily erotic, these books still taught me about the nebulous, unformed potentialities and power of sex, desire and pleasure in all their forms. And, similarly, while reading too many books did not end up too well for Emma Bovary, I still believe that the intimate empathy involved in reading, the putting yourself in the mind of these characters and authors, briefly inhabiting their world, make you a more rounded individual, more capable of love, of connecting with others, of articulating your desires and understanding those of others. I think that literature and books go so well with erotic intimacy; I like to think that my love of literature lies at the base of how I love in general. And I am reminded of that John Waters quote: “If you go home with somebody and they don't have books, don't fuck 'em.” And that makes me think about, fantasize about, what would happen if you went home with someone and their whole house was filled with books – full shelves along every wall, each surface piled with books, stacks of books on the floor, open and half read, stuffed with bookmarks and notes. If the lack of books is a turn off, then think of the possibilities of the inverse situation, of the erotic charge contained in a house bursting with books. All those thoughts and desires in those pages lining the walls, internalized by the person who has read them, the stimulation of the mind, the openness of the reader to the other in the most intimate way. What sex would result? The love of literature, of books – bibliophilia – transformed into a form of literary loving…