D. H. Lawrence on Sex

An excerpt from Lady Chatterley’s Lover


“In contrast to the Puritan hush! hush! which produces the sexual moron, we have the modern young jazzy and high-brow person who has gone one better, and won’t be hushed in any respect, and just “does as she likes.”

From fearing the body and denying its existence, the advanced young go to the other extreme and treat it as a sort of toy to be played with, a slightly nasty toy, but still you can get some fun out of it, before it lets you down.

These young people scoff at the importance of sex, take it like a cocktail, and flout their elders with it. These young ones are advanced and superior. They despise a book like Lady Chatterley’s Lover. It is much too simple and ordinary for them. The naughty words they care nothing about, and the attitude to love they find old-fashioned. Why make a fuss about it? Take it like a cocktail. The book, they say, shows the mentality of a boy of fourteen. But perhaps the mentality of a boy of fourteen, who still has a little natural awe and proper fear in face of sex, is more wholesome than the mentality of the young cocktaily person who has no respect for anything, and whose mind has nothing to do but play with the toys of life, sex being one of the chief toys, and who loses his mind in the process. Heliogabalus indeed!

So, between the stock old puritan who is likely to fall into sexual indecency in advance age, and the smart jazzy person of the young world, who says: “We can do anything. If we can think a thing we can do it” – and then the low uncultured person with a dirty mind, who looks for dirt – this book has hardly a space to turn in. But to them all I say the same; Keep your perversions if you like them – your perversion of puritanism, your perversion of smart licentiousness, your perversion of a dirty mind. But I stick to my book and my position: Life is only bearable when the mind and the body are in harmony, and there is a natural balance between the two, and each has a natural respect for the other.”

– D. H. Lawrence

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