To me, desire and sex are much more complex than that. I’m as interested by what sex can’t give you as by what it can. I don’t see lust as a dumbing-down process. Most people fear confusion, but I think confusion is the truth and I seek it out. Sex is such a confusing situation that your ability to communicate what you’re thinking and feeling in the moment is severely hampered. If you try to articulate your thoughts and feelings in words, you’re reduced to saying the quickest and easiest epithets you can come up with—porn language, essentially, or the same CliffsNotes expressions of affection that have rushed from a million other enraptured people’s mouths—because objectivity and rational thought are the enemies of lust. That’s why, when writers attempt to describe sex accurately, the scenes all tend to sound the same, no matter what the writers’ individual styles may be. I think most writers just want their sex scenes to be realistically sexy. My goal is to try to articulate what my characters wish to express during sex but can’t and to depict the way language is compromised by sex, as realistically as I can.
Dennis Cooper, The Art of Fiction No. 213, The Paris Review. Interview by Ira Silverberg.