"Physical descriptions of sex are just supermarket romance fiction"

A l'occasion de la sortie prochaine de The Deuce, nouvelle série HBO sur l'univers du X dans le NYC des années 70/80, l'acteur James Franco et l'écrivain Edmund White parlent librement de sexe et de sa représentation au cinéma et dans la littérature.

Edmund White: People say to me, “Oh, you write so many sex scenes,” and I say, “Yeah, but I’m trying to show you what sex feels like, which is almost never done.” Because pornography is designed for one-handed reading, it has to follow a certain rhythm where it leads to a climax, whereas real sex is oftentimes funny because the body fails, or the spirit fails, or you think you’re going to do something but it doesn’t come off. I try to show what actually goes on in your mind: You’re worried about the cramp in your leg, or whether you can keep it up, or whether she or he is really enjoying it. In one novel or another I said that sex is the most intense form of communication we have but we don’t know what we’re saying or what the other person’s hearing. We don’t know what we’re communicating through sex.

James Franco: [...] Yeah, I remember in writing classes talking about sex scenes, and it seems like, generally speaking, if you lean too heavily on physical descriptions of sex it’s just supermarket romance fiction.
To go into people’s heads and the actual experience of sex is much more of a deeper examination of what it feels like

Talking dirty with James Franco, by Edmund White (OUT magazine, August 2017)