Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NOÖ Knows Stories #9: Frank Hinton on sex stories

"I was alone in the house, my family was outside working in the garden and I snuck into my parent’s room and found a yellowed paperback called You Always Remember Your First Time. I didn’t understand what it was about but read the first story and discovered what sex was and maybe more importantly, what words could convey.

Up until then, sex had been a penis resting still in a vagina. I didn’t understand there was a motion to it. I knew nothing. The stories in the book expressed a kind of sadness about sex. They were filled with regret and pain. Some were happy and ecstatic. One story was about a very old man seducing a very young girl. I remember a description of tears sliding down chests and over nipples. I’ve thought of this happening to me when crying, in a vague, disconnected way.

I was fascinated. I re-stashed the book and found myself sneaking back to it every possible moment. I started to write stories about sex or really, about bodies moving together in uncomfortable/comfortable ways. I hid the stories in single folds between sheets of old coloring books and never re-read them. That summer I think I wrote maybe thirty ‘sex’ stories and became convinced that this was the ultimate form of fiction/expression. I think now, reflecting on this, that book has been an influence on me being a writer.

One day I went into the drawer with the book and it was gone. I’d always been careful to replace it exactly, but I was caught. Maybe. Maybe my parents had just tossed it out during a cleaning. I’d read every story 3-4 times and felt a solid ‘adult’ grasp of the metaphors and language used. My sex stories are still somewhere in a box, in a basement, in between poorly colored sheets. I haven’t thought about any of this in a clear and organized way for a long long time." — Frank Hinton, author of I Don't Respect Female Expression and editor of Metazen

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