Thursday, March 19, 2015

Chatting with Lovecraft about Sex

SCENE: Young, exuberant REPORTER sits opposite quiet, horror-writing legend H.P. LOVECRAFT in a small New England sitting room filled with spindly antique furniture which has seen much use. 

Reporter: You can't believe how excited I am to be here. There are so many questions, so many questions, that fans and academics have been yearning to ask you. We all want insight into the worlds you created, the fantastic characters and places, the things named and unnamed. So let's start, shall we?

H.P.: Please do.

Reporter: Right then. How is your sex life?

H.P.: I beg your pardon?

Reporter: Describe your sex life for us. Are you homosexual? Are you asexual? Is that why sex is absent from your stories?

H.P.: (*long pause*) When I write weird fiction, I give you weird. When I write horror, I hope to horrify you. I don't write romance. If I wrote romance, I would include romance. Do you ask Edgar Allan Poe why he doesn't write more about lollipops and sunshine?

Reporter: But you created an entire mythology, and a dream-cycle, and no one has any sex in either of them.

H.P.: My characters are generally fighting for their lives or their sanity. Just when, exactly, do you propose they stop and have sex?

Reporter: Right. Of course. So how long would you say it takes you to achieve orgasm?

H.P.: What did you just ask me?

Reporter: These are actual questions people have discussed. Articles have been written. People want to know!

H.P. (*shifts in his chair uncomfortably*): I am a very private person from an era when a gentleman did not discuss such things and a place where being Puritanically uptight and uncommunicative was a sign of eminent respectability. What on earth or in the Outer Darkness makes you think I would ever discuss a topic as intimate as sex with utter strangers? I don't even discuss it with my friends.

Reporter: Aha! So you're squeamish? You don't like sex?

H.P.: (*now really irritated*) Squeamish? Seriously? Have you read my writing? (*sighs*) If you absolutely must know, I take my husbandly duties very seriously. I researched the topic thoroughly before marriage.

Reporter: Researched.... Does that mean you were a virgin? You were, weren't you! You must have a low sex drive.

H.P.: No, I have a modicum of self-control. I live in an age without reliable birth control, when unwed pregnancy is considered an unredeemable social sin. What sort of gentleman endangers the health and reputation of the woman he loves? Besides....


H.P.: You may have noticed, I am not particularly pleasing to the eye. My own mother said I was "grotesque" and advised me to go outside only after dark, so as not to frighten the neighbors. Advice I continue to follow to this day.


H.P.: Thus it will be of no surprise to you that I was not overburdened with offers from the opposite sex. Sonia was the first woman who ever kissed me, apart from family. Had she not been determined to prove to me I was lovable, I doubt I ever would have known the congeniality of... of the.... (*hesitates, clearly searching for the perfect words*)

Reporter (*steam-rollers over HP's thoughts*): And is your wife satisfied with your performance? In bed? Your sexual performance? I hear she had more experience than you. I don't mean to say she's a slut or anything.

H.P.: (*very formal, with icy anger*) You are my guest so I shan't punch you. But you will leave this house at once.


ENTER SONIA, Lovecraft's wife.

Sonia (*smiling*): Wait, don't go. You want to hear about our sex life first-hand, don't you?

Reporter (*looks at HP nervously, stutters*): I...I....ummm....I....

Sonia: My husband is a very sophisticated and conscientious lover who knows how to please a woman. I have to initiate our encounters, yes, but that's because he was brought up to believe no woman would have him and he doesn't wish to impose himself on me.

Reporter: (*backing toward the door*): So he pleases you. That's good.

Sonia (*her righteous anger slipping past her polite smile*): I didn't just say he pleases me, I said he knows how to please a woman. HE HAS TECHNIQUE.

ENTER FANGIRLS, peering in the windows from outside.

Fangirls: Did she say technique? Do you realize how rare technique is, even today?! Get out of the way, Lame Ass Reporter! Lemme see this guy!

Sonia (*approaching Reporter, who is fumbling for the doorknob*): (*accusingly*) You just want there to be sex in his stories so you can read about women who enjoy their sexuality being ripped apart by eldritch horrors.

Reporter: What? No!

Sonia: He doesn't slut-shame, he doesn't denigrate women as a gender, and sex isn't a part of my husband's stories because sex isn't a punishable crime in his universe. So there must be something wrong with him? It that it?

Reporter (*stumbling out the door*): No! It's not like that. Not all men....

Fangirls: (*pouncing on Reporter*) NOT ALL MEN. He said it! He said the thing!

H.P. (*sotto voce to Sonia, who has returned to his side, indicates Fangirls*): Why are they doing that?

Sonia (*strokes HP's hair affectionately*): Ignore them. That's an entirely different discussion.


  1. "These are actual questions people have discussed. Articles have been written. People want to know!"

    Heh, I remember this one.
    Pretty funny fanfic. You know, I often hear that Lovecraft's views of sex were "unhealthy". But most things I heard about his sex life are actually kind of sweet, and definitely fitting into variant of the norm - I won't say "the only variant", but pretty normal nevertheless. And yes, while his fiction and letters are mostly devoid of sex, I also don't see a lot of truly "unhealthy" things in them - like double standards, or erotization of violence, or indeed women being punished for sexuality. Although you may argue that in his stories, everyone is punished for sexuality - with misgeneration and all horrendous things it leads to.

    1. Thank you! And thanks - I appreciate your taking the time to comment. :)