RETURN TO THE VALLEY OF THE PORN WARS: Kathy Kinsley has some incongruously non-bellicose things to say about my Roth post. Her main point: “[Eve] says: ‘If sex were just another leisure activity, somewhere between horseback riding and scratching an itch, that book would be simply incomprehensible.’ I agree, but Natalije and I were not relegating it quite to that lack of importance — we have been comparing it to eating. I think one could write a similar book about someone who indulges himself in tasting everything — including taboo foods — and overindulging in food. Gluttony, after all, is right up there with lust as one of the ‘seven deadly sins.'”

That’s fair; the horseback riding comparison was Radic’s, but my main point still stands. One could write a book about a glutton; but one doesn’t. It’s not just Roth. Literature, in general, makes no sense if you think sex is just the pleasurable contact of epidermis on epidermis. (I’d use the actual quote from the incisive Jean Paulhan intro to Story of O, but I don’t have my copy at work. For reasons that should be obvious.)

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