Sex is an impossible subject, then, because there is nothing privileged about it. It is not rare in the way that firsthand experience of the Spanish Civil War or an intimate ability to interpret tennis is. The horror of sex writing is its redundancy, recording insights the reader is very capable of having had on her own. One can make a pointed slapstick of things, like Phillip Roth, or indulge perverse fantasias like Bataille or Dennis Cooper, or retreat from the act in florid euphemisms as do Nabokov or D.H. Lawrence. But writing personally and in detail is a defeat, an admission that the whole idea of writing is off in someway, afloat on a cloud of mystical bullshit that can only seem true when it applies itself to subjects rooted in the writer’s privilege.
Because of this sex writing is inherently philosophic, too much its own phenomenon to be contained in the medium that describes it, isolating the point at which the imperial nature of sense-making–of ordering reality into a power structure of one’s own–is most transparent. The question of philosophy is no longer “What is true?” but “What do I want to be true?” Sex must be the heart of philosophic inquiry because it is the one act where one’s want is most purely expressed and the object of it is most transient. It allows us to see the world not in terms of power structures but in desire relations, minutely differing and personal wants put in dialectic contact with another.