Only the united beat of sex and heart together can create ecstasy
A passionate letter from Anaïs Nin
This letter is taken from the book, Letters of Note: Sex. The audio embedded beneath the transcript—featuring a reading by the magnificent Louise Brealey—is from the accompanying audiobook.
In 1932, months after first meeting in Paris and despite both being married, Cuban diarist Anaïs Nin and American novelist Henry Miller began an incredibly intense love affair that would last for many years. In the 1940s, at which point she, Miller, and a collective of other writers were earning $1 per page writing erotic fiction for the private consumption of an anonymous client known only as the “Collector,” Nin wrote a passionate letter to this mysterious figure and made known her frustrations—frustrations caused by his repeated insistence that they “leave out the poetry” and instead “concentrate on sex.”
We hate you. 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 which change its color, flavor, rhythms, intensities.