***COMING summer 2013: Hearts in Exile, Book Three of the stand-alone Tallenmere fantasy romance series.***
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March Author Series #12: No Sex Please! We're British by Jenny Twist
I always love having the fabulous Jenny Twist on here. In her usual wittiness, she shares something she was NOT inspired to write. Please read on to see why she insists on...
No Sex Please! We're British
I must have been about eight or nine when I first came across the concept of sex. One of the boys in my class announced that he knew where babies came from and proceeded to give a detailed description to the class. I was shocked to the core of my being! I told him just what I thought about his disgusting suggestions, and gave him several jolly good reasons why it couldn't possibly be true, finishing with “my Mummy and Daddy would never do a thing like that!”
This last argument was so compelling that I convinced the rest of the class, thus setting back their sex education by several years.
There was, at that time, no formal sex education in British schools. I think it was introduced when I was about thirteen or fourteen. By that time my knowledge of sex had increased a little. One of my friends was convinced that you could get pregnant by kissing and she took to brushing her teeth with a frequency and vigour that made me fear for her enamel. I, of course, was far too intelligent to believe in anything so ridiculous. I knew it was all to do with belly buttons. This belief was somewhat shaken when a copy of “Lady Chatterley's Lover” was circulated through the school with the rude bits thoughtfully marked by turning down the corner of the relevant pages. I read all these passages assiduously but was unable to make any sense of them. But I can tell you that it didn't mention belly buttons at all!
If you must spawn, please do so responsibly!
Our formal sex education lesson was included in series of lessons headed “Hygiene”, which covered such arcane topics as “how to clean your gym-slip with a toothbrush” and “how to repair a ragged hem without shortening the garment” - information which was totally useless to us, as our mothers cleaned our tunics and any adjustments to skirt length were being made upwards, in order to conform with the mini-skirt revolution. The sex education lesson, however, looked like being of much more interest and we attended the class on that morning in a state of pleasurable anticipation. The teacher, however, seemed rather ill-at-ease and spent some time shuffling papers on her desk before finally launching into a detailed description of the reproductive cycle of the frog. We exchanged bemused glances. This wasn't at all what we had been expecting. The teacher gamely struggled on, getting redder and redder with embarrassment until she finally reached the end of her reading. Then she closed her book and looked up at us for the first time. It must have been apparent from our expressions that we expected more.
“And similarly with human beings,” she said, and fled from the room.
Now, I don't know how it's done in your family, but I can assure you that no member of mine had ever been known to lay frog-spawn. Not to mention the nasty sticky business of having all those males clinging to you for dear life, doing unspeakable things behind your back.
Baffled, we left the room, still no wiser.
Fortunately, some of my fellow students were quite knowledgeable and were prepared to impart useful information behind the bike sheds.
Here are some of the more vital points of which you need to be aware:
1.You cannot get pregnant if you do it standing up.
2.You can only get pregnant if you both climax at the same time. (Tricky one, this, as it's impossible to predict).
3.If you want to have twins you have to do it twice in the same night.
Armed with this essential information, I felt confident to launch myself into the sexual revolution.
And, guess what? To my horror, I discovered that it was exactly as that disgusting little boy had described it all those years ago. My mother and father must have done it. At least twice!
Think about it. Your own parents! It's enough to put you off sex for life!
Given my inauspicious start, it is no wonder that I choose to keep sex scenes behind closed doors.
It is perhaps because the British culture abhors any mention of sex in public that you very seldom come across explicit sex in British literature, D. H. Lawrence being the exception that proves the rule. We have become masters of the innuendo, demonstrated at its most blatant in the Carry On films.
I am happy to hint at sex in my own books, as in, for example, this scene from Domingo's Angel:
He looked up at her and smiled. “Angel,” he said, reaching up to caress the nape of her neck. She moaned slightly and shifted in the bed. He raised himself up on one elbow and pushed her down onto her back.
“Domingo, she said, “there isn’t time. It is the feria today.”
“Now, Angela,” he said sternly. “You know very well that the feria will not begin until midday. There is plenty of time.”
The marmalade cat got down from the bed and discreetly left the room.
But I draw the line at describing exactly who did what to whom and in which orifice. I'd much rather have a nice cup of tea.
That's the British for you!
Jenny Twist's stories are guaranteed sex-free, although she is unable to vouch for those of some of the authors she shares anthologies with. She would, for instance, advise all British readers to avoid Curious Hearts at all costs, containing, as it does, one moderately smutty story and two downright filthy ones.