This “open letter” was one of the first short pieces I wrote after deciding to become a writer. Of course, once I’d written it, I had no idea what to do with it. Clearly it wasn’t a story for the literary journals – although I did try a few. It was too graphic for most online magazines, and not graphic enough for “adult” sites. Then I happened to stumble across The Pittsburgh Flash Fiction Gazette. Featured on its front page were a flash fiction story and a handful of naked ladies. That, I knew then, was the right market for this piece.
Sexuality can be a difficult subject to tackle, and it’s something I’ve struggled a lot with in my books. Not because I’m uncomfortable writing about it, but because sex in literature is often relegated to the realms of pornography or erotica, and my work, while often sexually explicit, rarely falls neatly into either of those categories. Sex in writing does not have to be all about titillation. It doesn’t have to be all about arousal and consummation, nor about the quest for some idealized partner and the ever-elusive simultaneous orgasm. It doesn’t even have to be dramatic. It can be stupid. It can be funny. Why not? Sex makes us stupid and funny. There are many ways of exploring sexuality, that endlessly fascinating aspect of our lives as human beings. “To All the Penises I’ve Ever Known” was one of mine.
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