Enhance Your Writing Performance Now!

Sex and writing. I know, these two topics are always on our minds, right? And I’m amazed at the parallels you can find between the two. For example, suffering from writer’s block is not unlike being afflicted with sexual dysfunction. Maybe you try again and again but just can’t reach a fulfilling conclusion. Or you can’t even begin. Or the process is painful, or scary, or simply unexciting. Your self-doubt and high expectations interfere with your ability to perform. You’re frustrated by the poor quality of what you get out of it, in spite of all that you put into it. Or you get through it, and it’s just okay. You’re not satisfied with the results.

I wanted to see if we could learn something about writing (and maybe sex?) by comparing these two different issues. The comparisons are imperfect, to be sure. Also, I do want to note here that it is not my intention to diminish either problem, especially because there are physical and traumatic reasons behind why many folks struggle with enjoying sex.

1. Be cautious with comparisons. 

Maybe you’re worried that you won’t measure up in bed to your partner’s former lover, the wealthy well-endowed Swedish sex therapist with the discrete, countable abs. Or you can’t write the tactile, delicious prose of Nabokov. These comparisons can only lead to discouragement and diminished confidence. Remove that pressure. Be completely present with your partner or with your words. Don’t invite Benedict Cumberbatch or Anais Nin into these personal spaces. (I mean, unless, of course, you can.)

2. Create a safe space. 

Safe spaces are absolutely esssential for healthy sexuality. Sex should be an act of mutual consent and absolute trust, so that you and your partners have the freedom to be completely vulnerable, to take emotional risks. Remove the sense of safety, and free sexual expression and enjoyment evaporate. Your creative life should similarly be free to express itself without fear of failure, of unrealistic expectations, of harsh self-criticism. Only when you feel free to take risks and to be completely vulnerable can you reach the greatest heights, in art and sex. 

3. Be playful.

In both writing and sex, experiment and explore, take risks. You need a safe space to do this. In sex, you do this with both your own and your partner’s consent. Imagine that your writing is absolutely supportive and consenting. It’s waiting for you. So go on, cuff yourself to the your standup desk, write ridiculous blog posts comparing sex and writing, whip out new instruments and implements and feel their pleasing heft in your hand. Break out of old routines. Begin at a different place than you’re used to, stop abruptly, and immediately begin again somewhere else, somewhere completely different. Introduce new textures and rhythms, try new roles. Try things that maybe even scare you. 

It’s my hope that there’s something to be gained by comparing our biological and artistic creative urges and problems, small lessons that lead us to greater security and more satisfying experiences in each. I’d love to hear from you all if you have any observations to make along these lines.

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  1. Homer
    06/05/2014 at 1:59 pm Permalink

    And both can result with offspring. Sex with a child, writing with a novel. We get defensive when our writing, or child, is criticized. And we cannot help but wander how far our creation will go.

  2. Remy Nakamura
    07/05/2014 at 5:09 pm Permalink

    I totally agree! (Though I might suggest caution using the phrase “sex with a child”)

  3. Homer
    08/05/2014 at 3:17 pm Permalink

    (sex with child) Oh my god, that sounds horrible. I’m sorry. I guess that writing, like sex, should not be done while multitasking.

  4. Tammy Salyer
    07/05/2014 at 7:21 am Permalink

    Wonderful article, John. I chuckled many a time, especially at ” Don’t invite Benedict Cumberbatch or Anais Nin into these personal spaces. (I mean, unless, of course, you can.)” Indeed!

  5. Remy Nakamura
    07/05/2014 at 5:07 pm Permalink

    I’m glad you can appreciate these finer nuances! 😉

  6. Sarah G.
    14/05/2014 at 1:42 pm Permalink

    Love this! Especially the part about safe spaces. I truly believe most cases of writer’s block are an incarnation of performance anxiety, and that it manifests in almost exactly the same way. (Not even the sexiest story can get that laptop turned on.)

  7. linda45635
    31/05/2017 at 7:07 am Permalink

    Those people are have weakness in writing they found more tips in here those makes them so more attractive in writing. So i thank you so much to give the suggestion about improve the writing skill in here.