My New Film Has Real Sex In It
Sex, sex, sex. Yes, my new film has a lot of sex, and real sex at
that. It’s one of many recent cinematic exercises to see whether
ultra-explicit sex can be used in a non-pornographic way (i.e., not
focused on getting you off) to tell us more about the film’s
characters and, we hope, ourselves. Sadly, most of these recent films
seem to end in rape, dismemberment and despair. They seem to portray
as negative a view of sex as Jerry Falwell’s. I’m guessing
it’s because the filmmakers are scared of sex and they’re
doing what any good artist does—confront it in their work. Sex
is scary because it’s got power over us, which pisses people
off. Studies show that the cultures most terrified of sex are the ones
that have the highest rates of violence—sexual and other. I’m
scared of sex too. The only thing that distinguishes my new film from
the recent ones is that mine’s got more slapstick in it. And
it’s got a cameo of me doing something I’ve never done
I got my “birds and bees,” not from my parents, or a health
teacher or even friends, but from a Benedictine monk at the cut-rate
Scottish boys boarding school I was sent off to when I was wee. Luckily,
it wasn’t in the “bad touch” way. In fact, the monk
who was kindest to me was a big closet case—I realized much later.
When he recognized potential queeritude, sensitive lad that I was,
he stood up to the bullies for me. Thank God I wasn’t his type.
I remember one day; I was hurtling towards puberty when the gimlet-eyed
Bob, plucked me from the refectory (i.e., cafeteria), pushed me into
his empty study, shoved a pamphlet in my hands, said he’d be
back in an hour and locked the door. I opened the dog-eared booklet—four
pages of skeletal physiology delivered in that grudging tone that popes
adopt when acknowledging the necessity of copulation. I finished reading,
my mind a whirl—Am I allowed
to touch it? How many holes does a woman have down there? What did
he mean “an hour”? Was this some kind of test giving a
12-year-old boy teetering on the brink of puberty a sex brochure and
an hour? Were those real eyes in that Jesus painting?
Not too long before that, a minor scandal had shattered the monotony. A “racy” book,
Baby Doll (which had like one tit in it), was being passed from boy to boy and
one of the monks came upon it (ahem). I was a link in the unholy chain. We were
all lined up in the library. Whomever had read it had to own up or everyone would
be punished—no buns for a week (i.e., frosted dinner rolls served off the
back of a truck after rugby). I was a good boy—and, in the eyes of Fr.
Bob, on the fast track to monkhood—so I stepped forward. I didn’t
get caned on the hands like the rest because it was my first offense, but I learned
my lesson and, henceforth, I tried very hard to ignore the swelling in my woolens.
Twenty-six minutes till the door would be unlocked. Why did I feel like a dead
Then there was the time I was among a small group of boys invited up to Fr. Bob’s
study in the dead of night—an unheard-of honor. He solemnly read to us
from a book written by a priest who had been “possessed” for many
years. Finally, he was exorcized, but soon was possessed again. “Repossessed?” I
was too scared to ask. The priest wrote of unspecified, vaguely carnal horrors
that he had perpetrated while in Lucifer’s thrall. Suddenly, a clock struck
midnight. We jumped. Fr. Bob stared at us hard. “Remember boys, the easiest
way for him to enter your heart…is for you to think about him.” He
closed the book. “All right, then, off to bed!"
The key was finally turning in the lock! I looked at the clock. Exactly an hour
had passed. Fr. Bob towered in the doorway. He wouldn’t meet my eyes. Not
that I was looking for them. He reached out his hand. I started to shake. I reached
out my hand. But he just wanted the brochure back.