The Delta of Venus is one of Anais Nin's most prized works. It was written for a mysterious 'collector' of erotica, who offered Henry Miller a hundred dollars a month to write erotic stories. It is said that every one of their friends took a hand in creating the erotic stories -- but the 'collector' replied "Just the sex, lose the poetry."

Anais Nin and Henry Miller wrote a letter to the collector, after he suggested they "cut the poetry." This letter began, "Dear Sir, we hate you..." and continued with the gem of a retort below:


"Sex loses all its power and magic when it becomes explicit, mechanical, overdone, when it becomes a mechanistic obsession. It becomes a bore. You have taught us more than anyone I know how wrong it is not to mix it with emotion, hunger, desire, lust, whims, caprices, personal ties, deeper relationships that change its color, flavor, rhythms, intensities.

You do not know what you are missing by your microscopic examinations of sexual activity to the exclusion of aspects which are the fuel that ignites it. Intellectual, imaginative, romantic, emotional. This is what gives sex its surprising textures, its subtle transformation, its aphrodisiac elements. You are shrinking your world of sensations. You are withering it, starving it, draining its blood.

If you nourished your sexual life with all the excitements and adventures which love injects into sensuality, you would be the most potent man in the world. The source of sexual power is curiosity, passion. You are watching its little flame die of asphyxiation. Sex does not thrive on monotony. Without feeling, inventions, mood, there are no surprises in bed. Sex must be mixed with tears, laughter, words, promises, scenes, jealousy, envy, all of the spices of fear, foreign travel, new faces, novels, stories, dreams, fantasies, music, dancing, opium, wine.

How much do you lose by this periscope at the tip of your sex, when you could enjoy a harem of distinct and never-repeated wonders? No two hairs alike, but you will not let us waste words on a description of hair; no two odors, but if we expand on this you cry: Cut the poetry! No two skins with the same texture, and never the same light, temperature, shadows, never the same gestures; for a lover, when he is aroused by true love, can run the gamut of centuries of love lore. What a range, what changes of age, what variations of maturity and innocence, Perversity and art.

We have sat around for hours and wondered how you look. If you have closed your senses upon silk, light, color, odor, character, temperature, you must by now be completely shriveled up. There are so many minor senses, all running like tributaries into the mainstream of sex, nourishing it. Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstacy."

Amen
 
 
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