November 28th, 2013 / 9:55 pm

In her review of Dirty: Dirty (an anthology of “dirty” writing that includes work by J.A. Tyler, Lily Hoang, Gary J. Shipley, etc) Roxane Gay states:

“In truth, sex is absurd as a physical act, so good writing about sex should find a way to convey that absurdity along with the intensity, the humor, the beauty and the ugliness of sex.”

In Truth Sex is absurd as a physical act —- hmmmmmm??


what do y’all think ??


(go here to read Roxane’s full review)


  1. Matthew Simmons

      “In truth, sex is absurd as a physical act…”

      Certainly is the way I do it, Rauan.


  2. Rauan Klassnik

      no details plz. and definitely no pictures.

  3. reynard seifert

      no it’s pretty awesome

  4. Rauan Klassnik

      yeah, it’s for “pleasure” (or to procreate) … doesn’t seem absurd to me… but maybe i’m missing something here?

  5. deadgod

      [No sales final.]

      absurd adj 1 : ridiculously unreasonable, unsound, or incongruous 2 : having no rational or orderly relationship to man’s life : MEANINGLESS

      Webster’s New Collegiate

      These definitions seem to me what people mean when they say, colloquially, “absurd”: ‘laughably or comically disproportionate’ or ‘irrational’ (or some combination of the two).

      I don’t think sex itself–’sexual reproduction; the initiation of meiosis’–is ‘risibly incongruous’ or ‘irrational’. The mechanics of (two) bodies uniting gametes to form a (third) zygote is in accord with those (three) bodies and a reasonable production of that third body.

      Animals have cognitive identities within which they’re programmed to pursue gamete union. These e-motional, ‘passionate’ states are not less proportional and reasonable than the immediate biomechanics of gamete union.

      Humans do destructive and self-destructive things in the pursuit of gamete union (which pursuit includes many activities not directly related to that unification, like kissing, or (at least) apparently contrary to it, like contraception). Indeed, gamete unification is so complex in humans as to include much activity apparently ancillary or irrelevant to that apparently spurious aim. Some people are led–mistakenly, in my view–to suppose that gamete union is not only distinct from sexual pleasure, but is an offshoot–and even parasitically so–of what those people might scruple to understand as hegemonic, totalizing ‘pleasure’.

      So, detaching action from a goal congruous to it, and instead of looking at pleasure consistently as its own purpose–and therefore impossible to shame–, people would have it both ways: they look at pleasure as abstractly okay, but at human reproductive behavior (considered catholically) as ludicrous at much of its surface. Those facial expressions: funny. Embarrassing. Humiliating.

      I don’t think sex is “absurd”, although the behavior connected to sexual pleasure is often contrary to, say, enjoying ‘pleasure’, and I think finding sex “absurd” reveals nothing about sex and much about, well, “sex”.

      NB: I’d be interested in a successful demonstration that there’s sex which is not imaginarily reproductive – that there’s a distinction (outside of an employment of language discontinuous with concrete experience) between “sex” and “reproduction”. I doubt that it’d mean that sex would therefore be able to be “absurd”, but maybe so.

  6. Jeremy Hopkins

      Do “eating” next. [In truth eating is an absurd activity…]
      Test-tube babiesSoylent?
      The “act” becomes a luxury or entertainment?

  7. jereme_dean

      Eating an entire cheesecake by yourself, that’s absurd. Sex, not so much.

  8. Rauan Klassnik

      thanks for all this deadgod and i’m with you, mostly,…

      i think, though, that there are tons of instances all the time (right now) where sex is going on with no “imaginarily reproductive” element because those engaged are after pleasure alone, not reproducing — (ie, they just want to fuck) unless you’re saying that since pleasure’s the brain’s payoff for engaging in an activity that could lead to reproduction that there’s an unconscious imagining of reproduction going on. A kind of reproductive shadow hanging over and behind the entire event. That we’re being fucked by our brains. (and would this be the same for sex between two men or two women??).

      this all, though, sounds complicated because I think people very often just want to fuck.

      and I don’t think there’s anything absurd about that. or doing it.

  9. jereme_dean

      Begging for $10k so you can make tshirts that will “change” the world, pretty fucking absurd. Sex, not so much.

  10. jereme_dean

      How boring htmlgiant has become, sort of absurd. Sex, not so much.

  11. jereme_dean

      Getting excited about awp, extremely absurd. Sex, not so much.

  12. jereme_dean

      Uwe Boll continues to make movies, what the fuck absurd. Sex, not so much.

  13. jereme_dean

      That whiny article Shane Jones wrote about plagiarism for Vice, ab-SURD. Sex, not so much.

  14. jereme_dean

      Getting offended by the term “chink dick”, completely absurd. Sex, not so much.

  15. jereme_dean

      Guys who still wear baseball caps, sad and absurd. Sex, not so much.

  16. jereme_dean

      Referring to another human being as “wifey”, fucking absurd. Sex, not so much.

  17. Jeremy Hopkins

      This is the only offensive thing I’ve seen in three (or four) weeks.

  18. jereme_dean

      Seems absurd.

  19. Jeremy Hopkins

      Not so much.

  20. deadgod

      Yes, maybe thinking of evolutionary rewards for all ‘pleasure’ as being connected to ‘sex’ is too sweeping.

      And probably I’m misusing one of the usages of “the imaginary” to indicate how something not directly reproductive is folded into–or constitutive and reflective of–the matrix of rewards that lead to sexual reproduction.

      But I don’t think there is “just fucking”. I think the pleasures (and whatever-elses) of fucking are tentacular levers disclosive of a genealogy of rewards for generating fertile offspring.

      –although simple is definitely, eh, tactically pragmatic.

  21. deadgod

      Do you know Nietzsche’s distaste for Darwinian evolution?

      Nietzsche thinks ‘evolution’ substitutes effect for cause: an organism accumulates and expresses power somehow, and when the power trip results in biological persistence, ‘survival’ is mistaken for the impulse – when the impulse was from and for power, to be expressed regardless of persistence: power expressed for its own swollen luxuriation.

      A Darwinian response to this standing-on-its-feet might be that Nietzsche’s Everything Word “power”, in biology, means ‘fertile offspring’.

  22. mimi

      ‘effect’iveness is vulnerable to the power of (pressure of) environmental change (cause)

      just add genetic drift, shift, mutation, and poof!

  23. Rauan Klassnik

      philosophy’s not for me (seriously)