Friday, December 30, 2005

Sex Is Re-Sex

I wrote this piece a couple years ago for an obscure online porn/dating site that was looking for sexually-related content that was a little more "accessible and highbrow." Unfortunately It's no longer online, so now it enters the TAN archives.

They say writing is re-writing. And it occurred to me, while writing a piece for my favorite date-site, the same principle applies to sex. Sex is re-sex.

There are a lot of parallels between writing and sex. Both provide a means of expression. Both can take you on a roller-coaster of emotions. Both can leave you with a “baby” no one is interested in paying for.

And then there’s the process …

Guys, think about that first draft you plow through.

You grab your notepad or laptop, and get to work on the desk or on your bed. If you’re real excited, you might prop it up against the wall (be gentle if you’ve got one of those new blonde and blue jobs with the twin silicone processors). You get it open, you turn it on, and then you just let nature take over. Nouns and verbs fly this way and that way, hither and thither, to and fro. Panties become metaphors for similes that are like your last strand of rope, the twine snapping, plunging you into an abyss of passion and carnal satisfaction. Ecstasy. Euphoria. Excellence. You’re wheeling and dealing. Elation. Elevation. Exhilaration. You wheel and deal some more, as fast as you can, until finally you get that one … big … idea.

And when it comes, boy does it feel good.

Then the endorphins settle down, and you sit back and soak in the epiphany of consummation. You breathe in deep of your man-musk, the air so thick and dank storm clouds form near the ceiling. You just did something here. Papa would nod in approval.

That said, you don’t usually have your best work after the first draft, and there are too many would-be conquistadors wearing blissfully ignorant smiles on their way to dream little dreams that embellish the magnitude of their “triumph”.

In other words, they go to sleep thinking they the shit.

These one-draft dandies are passing off their stream of conscious groping as polished, purposeful stroking.

They’re dreaming they just “layed the pipe” [sic] on two screenplays, a novel, and three socio-political essays; this after being up all night the day before with two short stories and a spec sitcom pilot.

But meanwhile, we cut away from the Delusions of Grandeur Ranch, and move in close-up on The Muse. She is resentful. And more importantly, she is willing to tell others that you write with a small, impotent voice.

That’s why it’s important, when writing or having sex, to get the job done right. And to do that, you MUST get your wind and forge on to the second draft.

The second draft is when you begin to take control. You’ve had the chance to calm down some, you’re still excited, you still have the juices flowing, but you can also start thinking about the big picture.

You know you have a project, and you know you’re about to take the time and effort to apply your talents (whatever they may be) to the task at hand. You know the goal, and you have the vision fleshed out before you. Now it’s time to execute. Now it’s time for attention to detail. Now it’s time to feel for those nooks and crannies. You know when you’re doing it well, and try different things when you’re not.

There’s typically a lot of fiddling around in the first draft. Hammering the lines out as fast as you can. You’re not sure if this is just a fleeting fancy, or something you’ll sink your teeth into. But the second draft is when you bore down. The second draft is the first step to mastering your metier.

After completing your second draft you should have a completed work, something that can stand on its own (once it smokes a cigarette and relaxes). Papa doesn’t just nod, now papa can be proud. His boy just handled his business.

Now the majority will only do a couple drafts - tops. Which is cool. After the second draft you can usually leave it as is and suffer no damage to your reputation. But the people who are professionals, the people who care about their craft, they will definitely go to the 3rd draft. Little do first and second drafters know, the third draft is when you begin the quest for perfection.

You know the canvas well now, and you know that you have something good, but yet, there is still more to do to ensure your masterpiece rivals a Moby Dick in magnitude. Fine tuning is necessary to make it something memorable, something that has depth, something that means something; something that compels one to spread the word like Moses on the mountaintop. The Ten Commandments definitely went to a third draft.

But you also need balance. You can no longer just go at it, the third time around demands delicacy. After the second draft you should have the job completed. If you did a good, thorough second draft. So on the third draft, you risk overkill, you risk taking a step backwards, you risk someone getting burned out. And that someone could be you. Don’t try to go to another level that’s not there.

That’s probably why a lot of people just peter out and never finish the third draft.

That’s kind of like me.

This is a two-drafter right here … it will have to do.

I’m getting tireeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee


  1. Didja have to use Moby Dick as your example?

    I thought you were totally flirting throughout this piece...until you gave up before the third draft. A fatal error.

  2. That’s probably why a lot of people just peter out and never finish the third draft.

    Let's revise this, shall we?

    That’s probably why a lot of men just peter out (pun intentended) and never finish the third draft. And why women are better at sex AND writing. Holla!

  3. Anonymous12/30/2005


  4. holla!!
    (i still think you can write TAN)

  5. wow - I got nothing but "holla"

    when ali is right, she's write!

  6. An incredible parallel. I love it. (and apparently sex was in the air last night.)

  7. lisa - you killed the string of hollas, and still giving people the finger ...

    Holla !

  8. Now all we need is the writer's equivalent of Viagra.

  9. the herb usually completes four drafts... at least. Then I'll come back the next day for a quick spritzing.

    My fav poet is Y B Yeats. Have gotten a yeats infection from too much though.

  10. Here's another Holla!

    What I haven't figured out is the editor's role in this whole scenario...

  11. Moby that a venereal disease ( "helmut" tip to Doug Clark and the Hot Nuts )
    good analogy

  12. what's viagra in this scenario? and what role does the editor play? good questions both. maybe the editor is the viagra ...kinda sorta?


  13. Maybe the herb (by which I mean the herb, not the poster named "the herb") is the Viagra. But I wouldn't recommend it after the first draft.

  14. would that be soft "H" herb, or hard "H" herb
    holla !

    I get very strange word verifications.

  15. I have such a hard on right now. You were wise to stop at two drafts... A third one might have killed me.

  16. As always, Rachael has insightful comments. Holla!

  17. 'Both can leave you with a “baby” no one is interested in paying for.' Brilliant!

  18. What happens if your computer crashes in the middle of the first draft? I'm not saying that has ever happened to there a help desk?

    holla? ...that was lame...

    PS 100 rocks!!!

  19. If a man provides me with a poorly composed preliminary draft, I may or may not give him the opportunity to produce a second draft at all, instead turning to a more accomplished author. I would advise taking time with the first composition so that it is at the very least coherent, even if there are a few grammatical errors. I don't mind helping with the editing if the paper has good bones.

  20. rach-a-el - you don't look like the type to sport hard-ons.

    rune - PS 100 - HOL-motherfuckin'-LA!!!

    closet - I just took some paper back to the store today cause it was too bony. Too many damn bones in the paper.


  21. Mmmmmm. Oh yes. YES! That was quite enjoyable. Shall I come back Wednesday and read it again?

  22. I must be lazy, I try to get it right the first time. You know what they say about redheads?

  23. i'm with closetfreak. f@ck up the first draft, and, well...


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  25. Performance anxiety = that's bloody what. Should the introduction - much like the foreplay - be too long, too short? Slowwww and easy, or quick tease and wham...grab the balls and the heart and mind follows? Hmmm... some men write. Some men THINK and write.....(falls off chair with a Holla!)


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