J.M. Coetzee, in Waiting for the Barbarians, paints a pretty grim picture of the sexual life of the older man. I have been known to succumb to such low-hanging fruit and, frankly, I’m glad Coetzee says what I don’t have to. It sounds less vicious coming from a man:
Sometimes my sex seemed to me another being entirely, a stupid animal living parasitically upon me, swelling and dwindling according to autonomous appetites, anchored to my flesh with claws I could not detach. Why do I have to carry you about from woman to woman, I asked: simply because you were born without legs?
the older the man the more grotesque people find his couplings, like the spasms of a dying animal
his erection has nothing to do with desire, it being nothing but a stiffening, like rheumatism
Tatar, the protagonist of my novel-in-progress (you’ve met him several times here already, Mr compulsive-repulsive (cf Chef d’Oeuvre or Perfume); after how many thousand women was it that he stopped counting?) would have us show more respect for his ‘old man’s member’. I wonder if his proclamations will mellow?
For the records: I don’t do old members anymore.
Further on the topic of other low-hanging fruit:
Nymphomaniac (Lars von Trier): what was I expecting? I dunno. An intellectual-sexual challenge more than a tease. Close-ups of Charlotte Gainsbourg’s wet fleshy bit not only put me off but haunted me all the way home. Had visions of it creeping up on me and licking my earlobe whilst I was minding my own business. I return to a central preoccupation in my novel-in-progress, Verses Nature:
how can you thematize sex (-related issues) in a way that is original?
I don’t think Tatar is that original. He’s frank, no doubt about that:
Men shouldn’t assist at childbirth if you ask me. She’ll be screaming, farting, crapping, saying vile things to and about you and you, idiot, are ‘sposed to just stand there saying Yes darling as you squeeze her hand or mop her friggin brow? Then there’s the pushing and gushing and out it plops as from a sewer. Puts a man off for life. You’ll never really want to be in there again, But we’re not allowed to say that about wifey, are we?
He’s full of tips:
get Him not to wash for a while so he stinks of man, then you give him a royal blow job, he’ll spray like a whale, I swear.
If I were twenty years younger, I’d open a brothel for senior citizens of both sexes, say seventy and upwards. They’ve got the finish line in sight, cash in their pockets, assorted ailments to forget, if only for that moment… and ungrateful brats as offspring. It’d be a runner. Especially with the women. With my neighbour for starters. The way she looks at me. Teeth tarnished. Slack wet slit where her mouth should be. Gives me the creeps. She’d pay. Bet she would.
He’ll say things you may find irresistible tho you may be unwilling to like such statements openly (I’ve been tracking you on this blog. Don’t be so chicken. Click that button!). The originality in Verses Nature must stem from a combination of content and structure; from how his voices (there will be many) dialogue with the multiple voices and structures of the other characters in the novel. Big project. Every time I think about it, it makes me gulp. This project’s been on my shelf for two decades. To imagination I am now able to add experience. I’m ready for it.