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Chapter 16: It's All About Sex

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Haley Morman

on 26 August 2015

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Transcript of Chapter 16: It's All About Sex

Foster: "Suddenly we discover that sex doesn't have to look like sex: other objects and activities can stand in for sexual organs and sex acts..." page 144
In this quote, Foster is explaining that, within literature, there are metaphors that replace the actual description of sex.
Example 1
Example 2
The Retribution of Mara Dyer,
by Michelle Hodkin sex is described artistically through color, "...As he painted me in feeling. Soft, muted, dreamy colors first-ochre and umber and rose-" page 309. It is also depicted using music, "Every touch composes a new, unheard measure; I am hypnotized by the texture and timbre of her notes..." page 315.
Foster: "Part of the reason for all this disguised sex is that, historically writers and artists couldn't make much use of the real thing." page 149
Sex, even though it's so popular now, is still controversial. As a result, authors cannot get much credit by directly stating that their characters are participating in it.
Example 1
Fifty Shades of Grey
by E L James, is the epitome of sexual controversy. The author overtly describes sex in a very primal fashion and this causes an uproar in today's society.
Sex in Lierature
Sex is everywhere in today's world. It consumes television, music, film, theatre, social media, magazines, advertisements- pretty much anywhere you can fit a "dirty" joke. Sex is insanely prominent in modern literature and Foster's novel helps us decipher all the hidden innuendos that we might pass over while reading, watching, etc.
Chapter 16: It's All About Sex
Example 2
Example 3
Foster: "It [sex] is displaced into other areas of experience in much the same way it is in our own lives and our own consciousnesses." page 150
Sex doesn't always appear as sex to characters. In fact, any highly charged actions between people can symbolize sex. It could be thought by one person or a scene shared by people.
Example 1
Example 2
Sex is a well-known topic by practically everyone in the human race. So, why is it always rated R by the Motion Picture Association of America?
Because of how contentious it is. Movies that outright show sex like
Unfinished Business
, and
Sex Tape
are looked down upon and not given a fair chance to be watched for other aspects, such as, comedy or romance.
In music,
Shake That,
by Eminem contains explicit content on multiple occasions and is forbidden in many households because of the sexual material.
Bang Dem Sticks
, a catchy song by Meghan Trainor, is full of double meanings towards sex. For instance, at one point she sings, "Whatever gets you hype girls/ Whatever gets you high," which implies that her drummer can get everyone "excited".
Beautiful Disaster
, by Jamie McGuire sex is foreign to the main character until she meets Travis Maddox. For example, Travis helps Abby, our protagonist, onto his motorcycle on page 191, "He sat on his bike and helped me to climb on behind him." Abby doesn't know it, but this is defenitley an example of displaced sex.

Cool For The Summer,
by Demi Lovato is riddled with sex acts that people could mistake for normal day-to-day activities. For example: "...Got a taste for the cherry, I just need to need to take a bite..." and
"...Take me down into your paradise..." are conventional phrases that enter conversations, yet they also have double meanings.
Foster in Literature
Foster's views expessed in,
How to Read Literature Like a Professor
, can found be in all forms of composition- you just have to know what to look for.
Full transcript