ClitLit – Women, Romance Fiction and Patriarchal Discourse

December 20, 2009

Jade Lee and the Pen – Quick Shots

Filed under: quick shots — Jodi @ 11:24 am
Tags: , , ,

So I think I might have been being a bit too kind to Jade Lee on the tantric front before. Not knowing a great deal about it myself, and knowing that tantra is multifarious and diverse, I was prepared to cut her a break on the portrayal of tantra in Getting Physical, on account of maybe she did some research that I don’t know about, or whatever.

But I just looked up her website, and the prequel (effectively) to Getting Physical is about another Tantric master and his amazing student/pupil/sexual muse/whatevs, and it’s called The Tao of Love.

I may not know a great deal about tantra and vajrayana and whatnot, but I do have a major in Asian religion, and Taoism most emphatically does not equal tantra. Tantra is, to my knowledge, something that comes out of the Vedic tradition, and then was picked up by Buddhism (which has its roots in India). It is not, not, not Taoist.

The Taoist do have some sexual rites, if I recall correctly. They were in pursuit of xian – immortality – and one of the ways you could achieve it was by stealing someone else’s chi. You could do this by having sex with them, ensuring they orgasmed but not orgasming yourself. (One cannot help but think that women had an unfair advantage here). This is the opposite pole to the whole sex-as-completion thing I’ve been looking at today – this is the ultimate in selfish sex.

So research EPIC FAIL, Jade Lee. No soup for you.

I do actually have a point here – I hate it when authors don’t research properly in romance fiction. I think it gives the genre a bad name, and contrary to all my snark about it, I am actually quite fond of romance. It has huge potential as a genre, especially given its huge readership, mostly of women. Just because your books are full of sex doesn’t mean you get a free pass on the detail. If you’re going to do something, do it right. (And I haven’t even started in on the notion of a ‘tantric sex goddess’, which most definitely does not exist. I remember vaguely being told once that the Dalai Lama said that yes, sexual yogas do exist, but no one was actualised enough to practice them, not even him. So this is all pop-tantra to begin with).

And I have only just realised how totally phallic that pen in my blog header is. Still, it’s oddly appropriate for my (mostly incoherent) ramblings in romance…


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