5. Ask A Triceratops

askatriceratops

This week I take a look at the erotic arts:

“Dear Susan,
Any suggestions for writing erotic yet tasteful sex scenes?

Yours
Mr. Sweet Sheets”

No, I’ve no suggestions. I don’t really understand mammal sex. Your obsession with including it in art puzzles me. Yes, it is natural and healthy but so is having a poop. Yes, I don’t understand the social importance of sex to mammals but think about poop. You, have all sorts of taboos and rituals around pooping. You have special rooms for pooping. You have a special machine in your special room that you use just for pooping into. In many places you wash away your poops with PURIFIED DRINKING WATER. You have special paper for wiping away poop remains. You have a whole subset of words just for pooping.

Now ask yourself: when is the last time a character in a book you read did a poop? Was it a nice satisfying poop or was it less than ideal? Was it loud? Was it soft? Was it moist?

Please do not misunderstand me. I don’t want to read about humans pooping. Yet your books and stories are all set in a fantasy world in which nobody poops. Poops are more universal than sex. More people poop than do sex things, and most people poop more often than they sex. This is where I suspect human fiction has skipped a step. Writing all the complex aspects of human sex things can’t be easy – I get that – yet you don’t practise writing more basic and more common activities like poops.

My simple writing tip for humans is this. Try writing poops before you write sex. If you can’t write poops (something you do most days) how are you going to write sex which is more complex and may involve more people?

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21 thoughts on “5. Ask A Triceratops

  1. We humans seem to be averse to anything that reminds us that we’re animals. We either try to hide it (like excretion or sex) or we try to disguise it (like eating, where we go out of our way to make sure the food looks nothing like what it really is).

    I think the biggest reason literature talks about eating and sex but rarely about excretion is that words about the first two can stir related emotions, but that doesn’t work with excretion. A story that describes someone eating a nice meal or enjoying a cold beer can make the reader want one, and a story with a sexual scene can arouse the reader. For whatever reason, the mind is heavily involved in both eating and sex.

    By contrast, I don’t think anyone can write something that will make the reader want to go to the bathroom. That impulse seems to be purely at nature’s call, with the mind only a bystander.

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  2. For some reason the phrase “did a poop” made me laugh. And not just because I have the sense of humor of a 5 year old.

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  3. Oh great, I write a serious column and what do the mammals do? Make poop jokes.
    Typical.
    Do you not have trees to climb? Follicles to groom or whatever it is you do?

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  4. Vladimir Nabokov included some descriptions of pooping in one or two (at least) of his works. In Ada, I think, one character expressed satisfaction at the perfection of the poop he had produced…

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