My copy of The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is due back at the library today, which I'm not exactly crying about. I enjoyed it well enough, but I don't find that it's sticking in my head in the same way as some of our other selections. However, I had been chewing over one point, and it just crystallized for me.
SPOILER ALERT for them as haven't gotten this far/picked it up: Young Mick and the boy next store go out for a pretty innocent picnic by the creek. They're in a kind of puppy love at this point, and dare each other to go skinny dipping. After this activity, they're laying on the bank in a pleasant state of tension, when they roll toward each other and Mick finds herself no longer a virgin.
This is neither exciting nor earth-shaking -- it just is. And then it's over and done. Mick knows something has changed, but she's not sure what. She doesn't like or dislike what she's experienced, but she doesn't really have any desire to repeat the experience.
I don't really want to make this a big sex post, but it strikes me that Mick's distancing first (and only) encounter proves the wisdom of waiting until you're married and then taking a honeymoon. Sex isn't something meant to be experienced in isolation -- one time, then you're through, and well, that was pretty damn uncomfortable. Part of acclimating to being married is the chance to go at it several times a day to get used to the weird physicality of the act. And to relax and unwind enough to get some desire back just in time for your body to be healed up enough for there to start being some degree of pleasure in the act. Sex is a learned activity.
But I think that girl like Mick, with her one strained encounter, is in serious danger of developing a warped view of sex as something unpleasant or disgusting. Although she and Harry seemed to be just doing what came naturally, it was actually a pretty unnatural way to develop a wholesome view of sex.
1 day ago