Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Humor of Sex, or the Gospel According to Rose Nylund

This week's guest blogger for Oh, Get a Grip! is Kathryn Lively, publisher of Phaze Books. Kathryn is here to share with us her wisdom on humor and sex:

The scene replays occasionally in my mind. It comes unbidden, usually when I sit down with the intent to write a serious love scene. In a time before I understood the term cougar to mean something other than a sleek jungle cat, Blanche Devereaux nibbled on cheesecake and waxed nostalgic over her magical first…night…ever under moonlit magnolias with Bobby.

Or was it Billy?

Or Ben?

The name isn't important-even Blanche shrugged off the details of her faulty memory-but the point was that sex could be magical, and in some views funny. Not to be outdone, Rose Nylund related her own tale of innocence lost and capped it with the rhetorical question, "Didn't you think at the time…that was a funny thing to do?" That being putting Tab A into Slot B.

I should insert an aside here: if you are absolutely certain you are never going to have sex again, feel free to read the rest of this post. If not, the risk you take is your own. I'll accept no complaints of how I'm responsible for your mid-coitus snickering.

It's wise not to think too hard about Rose's question, because if you place yourself outside the act, strip away any trappings of high production value porn flick, you just might see that sex is a funny thing to do. It involves our funniest-looking parts, causes parts we wish didn't look so funny to move in funny ways and, if done too quickly or with too much force, it can result in funny noises and cause the mind to wander and think of unsexy things, like what is that fwapping sound and gads, what my ass must look like in this position.

We make funny faces during sex, it can't be helped. Remember that song "Turning Japanese"? You really think so? Apparently it's a term used to describe how a person's face screws up and winces during orgasm. Indeed, in my memory I can see the faces of former partners and how they looked hovering overhead, lips pursed and eyebrows arched. They turned Japanese, Laotian, Armenian…looking as though they should be sucking on Tums instead of…well, you know.

As we write about sex, we tend to bestow funny names on our private parts, because saying, "he put his penis into her vagina" is just too clinical, and is hardly indicative of the vast vocabularies we possess and wish to use so our English degrees don't completely go to waste. Why say vagina when pussy, kitty, quim, muff, channel, box, mound of Venus, weeping lotus, cradle of love, pink palace, nether lips, vertical smile, treasure cove, love-slick core, and font of womanly nectar relays the image with more clarity?

In our quest to breathe more life into this fantasy, a clitoris becomes a love button, and the penis a fleshy, throbbing rod. And, people don't simply orgasm in romance novels. A woman rides the wave of ecstasy until it crests, whereupon she crashes headfirst into the foamy shore and unleashes all pent-up frustration in the form of a glass-shattering howl. Her lover doesn't merely ejaculate, but grunts his release, pumping his sticky seed in or on her (depends on who you're reading), the image not unlike that of a fireman hosing down a burning office building. Thanks to the amazing ability authors display in ending chapters, there's no mess to clean up afterward.

Don't you think this is a funny thing to do? How long till we get to do it again? Hopefully for me, very soon. First, though, I need to prepare my petition to EPIC to add a Humor category to the EPPIE Awards. Got a nice sexy piece waiting for it.



By day, Kathryn Lively is an editor and publisher. By night, Leigh Ellwood is an author. Visit both halves of the whole at and If you meet her on the street, it is advised not to make direct eye contact.


  1. Hi, Kat/Leigh,

    Thank you so much for joining us on the Grip!

    I do agree that from an objective perspective, sex is very odd indeed!


  2. Lol. You're right - it's weird when you think too much about it - or really think about it at all.

    Thanks for joining us today :)

    Kim Dare

  3. Erotic Humor category? TERRIFIC idea!

  4. An erotic humor category. That could be almost dangerous. LOL

    Interesting post, Kat, thank you so much for joining us at OGG


  5. Excellent blog, Kat.

    *Mental note, no direct eye contact*


  6. Wow. The funny thing about your post is that I didn't find it that funny. To me it was really sexy. The way you describe the woman's point of view from underneath sticks in my imagination. I'm going to go google the lyrics of turning Japanese and see what that whole song is about. I think so.


  7. Kathryn, thank you so much for the post! I still get the giggles every time I remember the reading you did at Marscon. It was quite the ice breaker. And yes, I try not to think to hard about what I'm actually doing when I have sex, because I have been known to break out in uncontrollable laughing.

  8. I love Rose.
    Wisdom sneaks in the simplest observations. never realized ïm turning Japanese referred to coital faces, maybe because I usually have my eyes closed.
    Humor aside, I would like sex to become sacred again. Once held as a beautiful act "making love" has become has dry and blase as summer reruns. I hear young people talk about getting laid as though they were caulking the bathtub and its sad.
    Romance writers may be the last warriors to battle blase sex and recreate it as something beautiful.


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