What We Talk About When We Talk About Sex


A number of you have been patiently awaiting Part 7 of my series How to Thaw Your Unborn Children. I thank you for your interest and your patience as I hack my way through the eleventh draft of my piece about lesbian sex, homoerotic longing, and why removing a silicone penis from a pot of boiling water isn’t really all that hot. Hahahaha.

It’s so hard to write about sex.  Who knew.  Everything I put to paper comes off as trite or vaguely pornographic. If the writing gets you kind of warm, it’s only because matters of the heart are inherently sexy.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’m not above writing an erotic lesbian detective story (or perhaps about lesbian zombies), but only secretly, using Cordelia Spike as my pen name so nobody knows that it’s me.

Part 7 is about the first time I slept with a person of my same sex. It’s also about the things Moira and I did in bed together before she decided she didn’t want to let me formally adopt the baby we had together (read here).  It’s been hard to get the writing properly set, so I’m late for my self-imposed deadline. If you’re annoyed I can send you a draft by way of apology. My contact information is in the navigation bar.

My parents came to visit me this weekend, and during an errand to get a chicken for dinner, my mother said, “Amy, I have been reading your blog. It’s hysterical. You really should be a comedian!  But why must these stories be so personal?  Do you really have to tell absolutely everything?”

I double-parked in front Fleisher’s and looked at my mother.

“Yes,” I said.  “I think I do.”

“But why? Why would you want everyone to know about these terrible things that have happened to you?” she asked, genuinely mystified.

“I don’t want them to know,” I said. But I went on to explain that for now, I only know I’m writing something really good when I can feel the humiliation start to bleed upwards into the roots of my hair.  “At that point,” I said, “I know I’m reaching a point of connection.”

“Can’t you do that without writing about the time you cried in the garage the day you left your husband?” she asked.  “Or telling people that you wished your therapist could nurse you?”

I told her that many writers are quite successful without hitching a horse and cart to their dignity, but that for now, oddly, this felt right most of the time.

“I think a lot of people read,” I said. “Because they can relate.”

My mother wanted to know if the blog was turning a profit in the least. I told her that it was a profit in the sense that I’ve paid about seven-hundred dollars in web consultation so far.  Whatever.  I don’t understand business.

“Maybe someday I could sell bibs that have a picture of a woman with no penis,” I said, hopefully.

My mother told me that she and my father were very proud of some of the posts I’ve been writing about coming out and trying to shoot a squirrel while breastfeeding, but that sometimes she didn’t know why she was laughing. “I can’t bear the thought of you up an 18 foot ladder,” she said.

“Do yourself a favor, Mom,” I said.  “If you can’t handle me on a ladder then don’t read How to Thaw Your Unborn Children, Part 7.”

“All right,” she said quickly, without even asking me what it was about. She told me she couldn’t handle reading anything too emotional.

I’m glad my mother knows her limits. It gets me off the hook, and gives me some freedom to talk about how I had a dream about Louie CK the other night in which I visited him backstage after one of his shows.

“Louie,” I said, moving very close to him.  “I feel I must tell you…”

“There’s no need to explain,” he said, holding out his arms. I leaned against him and we held on to each other.  Silently, we understood that even though I am a homosexual and in fact this sequence doesn’t really exist, that we belonged together. For him, it’s publicizing a television show in which he struggles with obsessively masturbating.  For me, I’ve attempted strapping on things with batteries. We are the same, Louie CK and I. He may speak to hundreds of thousands, but in the end he belongs solely to me.

The dream ended with a long kiss in which Louie proffered a bit of his tongue, but not in an imperious way.  After all, this is what happens when kindred souls unite.

“I’m married,” I gasped.  “To a woman.”

“It’s all right,” he said.  “I just ate a box of doughnuts.”

“Did you save me any,” I panted. Louie CK pointed to a table by the door, and I turned to check for a glazed or a powdered one. But the box was empty, and when I turned back, he was gone.

I woke up, and the twins were screaming.

Lynn came into the bedroom with one of the babies. She unbuttoned my pajama top, and I brightened. Then I realized  she was just trying to put Lucy to the breast.

“Can you get me a glass of water?” I asked.  “It’s so hot in here.”

Lynn pointed out that the temperature in the room was about 63 degrees. She looked worried.

“I’m okay,” I said. I looked down at the baby, who had stopped crying and was nursing with her eyes closed.

“Ray and I made pancakes,” Lynn said.  “We did it like you showed us.  With the lemon zest.”

“Great,” I said, looking up and smiling.  “That’s great.”



  1. (Pant, pant!)…Lemon zest on pancakes!?! Tell me more!

  2. “It’s all right,” he said. ”I just ate a box of doughnuts.”

    I fully expect to hear Louis speak this line on his show.

  3. I eagerly await part 7!
    The best stories are kind of messy yet the characters are still likeable, relatable, and enlighten me about something outside of my own experience. Even better is if it’s a true story!

    • Part 7 invokes fear in my heart every time I look it over. At this point I edit drafts with only one eye open. I don’t know what I’m doing. Get me off this ride, dear lord. And yeah, it’s all pretty much true here, although there is much controversy around truth in memoir, for what that’s worth. ABZ

  4. Some people are held back by fear, or lack of imagination, or a club foot. I know that what’s held me back more than anything else is my dignity. That’s not just about karaoke machines either. So I am amazed and inspired by your willingness to trample your dignity under sweaty, sticky feet and dribble various bodily fluids and emotional effluents down upon it. Kudos, Amy, kudos.

    • Thanks so much for this. Everything you write is wonderful. That you are suggesting a male heterosexual can relate to two girls carrying on in New York and trying to be honest about it is a happy revelation. Writing my stuff is easier knowing that you’re out there holding candles for me. Marry me at once, Anubis!

  5. I knew you reminded me of someone and at first I thought it was Fran Leibowitz but no, now I realize it is Louis CK. He is the heterosexual version of you!

    • CK is immensely talented. Sometimes I think he tells crude jokes about passing gas or lusting after women as a way of ensuring a larger audience, but much of his stuff is pretty sophisticated. Ever seen his bit on white male privilege? Or the episode where a woman forces him to perform oral sex? My favorite line from one of his daughter’s classmates: “My mother says all the decisions I make are the right ones because I love myself.” (may not be the exact quote but you get the drift)

      I can’t write that good. He reminds me of my mediocrity! xx

  6. That is to say, the “male” heterosexual version of you.

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