Why Sex Doesn't Matter by Olivia Fane

Why Sex Doesn't Matter by Olivia Fane

Author:Olivia Fane
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Mensch Publishing

1 Dworkin, Andrew, Intercourse (New York: Basic Books, 2007) p.174

2 Turner, Thomas, The Diary of a Village Shopkeeper (London: The Folio Society, 1998) p.29

3 Perry, Grayson, The Descent of Man (London: Penguin, 2017) p.27

4 Ibid p.22


On the evening I lost my virginity my mother helped me dress. We both knew where I was going and what I was going to do. The young soldier was known to my family, a bit rakish, but that was all for the good considering the circumstances. I was seventeen years and eight months old, a few days after Christmas 1977.

Though the whole world was pushing me into this, though I knew it was about time I got on the bandwagon and behaved in a way appropriate for a young lady and that I was running out of excuses to remain a virgin, my inner purity, weirdly, I was still guarding fiercely. I decided that to submit with my mind would be an act of treachery to my very soul, that I would keep myself utterly free from the deed. I decided to conjugate irregular Greek verbs during the whole operation so I wouldn’t have to think about it. Then at one point or other I said to my soldier, ‘Is it over yet? Is my virginity gone now?’

I thought I was in love, at least, with my second lover, the handsome Australian farmer, whom I met at the end of the same holidays. But all that ended in failure, too, when he took me to Paris in the Spring. It wasn’t Greek verbs then: rather, I lay there like a corpse, refusing to act a part I didn’t feel. I could only think, what is this all about, this idiotic activity that people are meant to enjoy? The Paris trip was such a debacle that I knew I had to take action. I was aware of trying not to enjoy myself as an act of rebellion against the whole silly business. I was also disobeying my mother. As a child, I had always preferred to clamber up the slide rather than glide down it, not because there was more pleasure to be had, but because somehow it was naughty, it was being disobedient to what the slide was inviting me to do. For me, taking pleasure in sex represented obedience, like getting your homework done on time, and at heart I was naughty then and am still naughty. I like saying, doing, and wanting things that you’re not supposed to say, do or want. I didn’t even want an orgasm, and delighted in myself for not wanting one. It was my act of civil disobedience. It meant I was utterly free.

But if on the one hand I was smug, on the other hand I was genuinely worried. I couldn’t find one single ally. Even the church took a liberal attitude towards sex, arguing that sex was an act of love, for God’s sake. Rebellions of one don’t work. And it crossed my


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