Orally Speaking: Why Sex In Writing… And In Life, Is Healthy

“Joi be writin’ them nasty books…” I remember chilling with my ex-husband and his friend and the friend made this comment about my novels. I couldn’t do anything but shake my head. Not because I was offended, but because I’d heard this so many times before.

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My first novel, Vices (now amped up and re-released as the A Good Girl with Bad Habits series), that was autobiographical fiction, was classified as “erotica” by my publisher because it had more than four sex scenes in it. That tickled me because I have more than four sex scenes a week in my household (TMI? Oh, my bad. Lol). There’s this stigma that surrounds women who are comfortable with their sexuality and sensuality (yes, they’re two different things). Especially in the South. So, I’m a walking taboo. And so are my characters. But that’s ok. Somebody needs to be the one to let y’all know that women like having sex. Yeah, I said it! Go ahead… Gasp and whisper… I like having sex. A lot. So, there! And even worse, I like writing about it … In the midst of telling my characters’ stories… sometimes, sex happens…

The reason I felt that I needed to write this post is because I listen to the radio, watch television, walk down the street, and there’s sex everywhere. It’s not like it used to be when we were younger. And by we, I mean those 80’s and 90’s babies who grew up when they still bleeped out more than the seriously offensive lyrics on the radio. When we still blushed when Color Me Badd sang “Ooooh, I wanna sex you up.” And H-Town was controversial for singing about Knockin’ Boots. When Jodeci was “feenin” and they were the bad boys we all crushed on. Even Salt and Peppa went from talkin’ about sex to wanting to Shoop…  I remember when Lil’ Kim came out, how controversial it was for her to be talking about sex so openly and then the rumor about her having to have her stomach pumped because of all the semen in it, OMG…

By the way, I had a BLAST listening to all of these songs… lol

Flashback

Rewind to the late nineties when I was still in high school…

I was always open about my love for sex, oral and otherwise. I was considered nasty. The girls talked to me like a dog and got mad because their dudes were in my face. The funny thing is, they weren’t in my face because of my sexual openness or preferences. They were kickin’ it with me because I was cool as hell and could play ball, talk shit, kick ass in spades, bones, and tunk, and dust their asses in a race. Yeah, I was a tomboy. Honestly, as much as I enjoyed sex, both vaginal and oral (giving and receiving), I wasn’t the one the dudes were checkin’ for. I was the lil’ sis. I spent more time in the “friend zone” than a college ball player with bad grades spent on the bench. So it was hilarious how bad a reputation I had because of me just being honest about what I liked to do when I did get the chance.

And back to the future…

I said all that to make a point. Nowadays, there are songs about truffle butter (which is a very unhealthy practice, by the way). There are little girls making videos giving head to little boys, and I’m talking about middle school girls and below. Auntie Angel has become popular for her oral sex tutorials. I read about dudes talkin’ about “eatin’ the booty like groceries” in the novels I edit. Does this mean that sex, especially oral sex, is becoming the norm? You’d like to think so, right? But we have to be realistic… clitoral science only dates back to… wait for it… 2009! And even now, this female organ that serves no purpose other than pleasure for women, is still under scientific scrutiny about whether or not it truly causes an orgasm at all…

Yeah, I’m crying laughing as I write this! Can’t you see male scientists with women who have volunteered for this study standing around in their little lab coats and stimulating the woman trying to figure out what in the world is going on with her because they’ve never seen a woman have a true orgasm (yeah, my imagination is wild lol). Hell, some women don’t know what a real orgasm feels like.

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Stigmatized

There’s still a stigma surrounding women who perform, and enjoy performing, oral sex. It baffles the hell out of me because I don’t know many men who object to receiving it. But the women who do it are looked at cross-eyed. I have to ask why. Why are my books considered “nasty books” because my characters have active sex lives? Why is it still taboo for a woman to enjoy pleasuring her man, unless she’s in a porno or Super Head? I mean, damn! That woman made an entire career writing her memoir about the men she’d given oral sex to (the parts that were true) and she’s one of the most controversial figures out there. Columbus Short (who has issues of his own) is looked at sideways for marrying her, but Kanye is the man for marrying Kim Kardashian? Somebody help me understand. Beyoncé talks about drinking watermelon and that’s ok, but Super Head (whose name is Karrine Steffens, by the way) is ostracized. (And this is in no way a plea on her behalf, or maybe it is, because I see a bit of a double standard here.)

I mean, you should see some of the looks I get from people when I tell them about my books. And when they see the covers, my goodness, they might as well douse me with holy water lol. And then, if by chance they do read the books, I get “there was a lot of sex in there” or “why did you have to make the sex scenes so descriptive?” To which I reply… “Ummm, is there another way to have sex that I’m not familiar with? Should I have blacked out and changed the scene like they do in theatre? Drop the curtain right after ‘he looked at her with lust in his eyes and she knew he wanted to devour her’?” Yeah, I’m being sarcastic, but I mean, seriously y’all… I’m not knocking you if sex is not one of your favorite hobbies. And if there are some things that you prefer not to do, hey, more power to you.

But, I am an equal opportunity sex writer. Hahaha, what did you think I was about to say there? Lol.

If truffle butter (did I mention how unhealthy this is) and fellatio and cunnilingus are what’s trending, then my characters might just give ‘em a try. Well, not the truffle butter, I just… can’t see a scene with that going down… it really is unhealthy…

There’s a market for people who read those “nasty books” (and no, this isn’t pandering because I happen to, as I mentioned before, be a connoisseur of all things sex).

And frankly, my characters enjoy doing it. They told me so.

But hey…maybe I’m suffering from a case of hysteria.

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