The words that men and women use to talk about love is different.
In a November article by the New York Times, the authors perform an analysis on the most frequent words that male authors and female authors use when writing about love on the "Modern Love" essay column.
It isn't a surprise that find men tend to mention "sex" more, and women tend to mention "marriage" more. This goes completely along the stereotypes for gender that we all know well, and in some senses doesn't tell us anything new, other than reinforce the fact that there are differences.
However, I was glancing over this article earlier this week, and several thoughts crossed my mind because these past few days I've been reading Pure Love X Insult Complex.
(Don't ask why I've been reading it... it's a hardcore male-audience/rape/hentai novel so I can't recommend it to most people, even though it is very profound and still managed to grip me in a very peculiar way)
If the language that men and women use to write about love is different, surely the language that they use to write smut is different as well.
Well yes, of course.
It's different, extremely different.
Yet at the same time, it also brings me to wonder how exactly it is that men and women manage to communicate despite all these differences? The language of love that each gender speaks is distinct, and how strange is it when the girl is speaking in Venusian, while the guy is speaking in Martian? How the heck does a couple manage to understand each other when the languages are different?
This got me thinking.
Honestly, I am very curious about the differences between how men and women see the world, and to some extent this extends to p0rn/smut novels like Pure Love X Insult Complex too, which by the way, surprised me a lot even though I didn't like the beginning (though objectively speaking it's not like it's any more hardcore than the worst hardcore/S&M yaoi/smut I read), and got me thinking a lot. In fact, I felt like I kind of wanted to write something about it, even though I wasn't sure what.
PLxIC is the kind of novel that I think is important to read for its themes, and in a sense, is a narrative about what precisely "love" is. The hentai part is just a superficial front, and drops off after the first arc, and focuses on the multiple forms of love in a more abstract sense (e.g. familial love, etc.)
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Love is the remedy for loneliness. I think -- is the one of the major themes of the novel. Two weeks ago, I did a medical clerkship in high-risk super-utilizing population in emergency departments, and learned that almost uniformly, the individuals with the worst outcomes are the ones that have absent social support systems. In other words, these are individuals who, at the age of like 40, are completely alone in the world. They have no living family, friends, or anyone to trust, and sitting in a dark room at night, all while their health is declining.
And I thought that was really sad. To some extent I almost felt myself tearing up thinking about it.
PLxIC in some sense I think is a novel about loneliness. It's a world, where from you see from the main character's perspective, that the worst outcome is total isolation -- a world where nobody loves you, and you love nobody. It's a narrative about abandonment, loss, emptiness, and loneliness, and a semi-fantastic fiction about how the most hopeless of all lonely people might salvation from the broken place he starts from.
Broken is a key word, in the sense that all the key actors are emotionally broken in some way or another.
And what is the remedy that the cast of characters seek to repair that?
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We should be loved for and embrace our own deviance. This is the second major theme, that I think stuck out to me.
Living in the world that we live in, it is easy to assume that everyone is normal (and looks sparklingly normal), and if you're a deviant in some way, you must be a freak.
In reality, few people are as sparkly as they look. Life is such as that nobody has a perfect one, and in some way, all of us are at least slightly twisted. None of us have a totally porcelain figure, and all of us get warped at some place or another along our development.
PLxIC takes the perspective that rather than being ashamed about those points, we should embrace those twisted, flawed, yet natural parts of ourselves, because they have merit in themselves.
Easy to say, hard to actually do.
Ultimately, I think it's to some extent about self-awareness. If you have the opportunity to be self-aware about your mind, you body, and your heart, it is definitely not a bad thing to understand yourself better. There is a certain amount of relief for that kind of self-acceptance anyways, and you're better off doing this than suppressing, hide, or trying to deceive parts of yourself.
It kind of meshed very well with my current philosophy of trying to be more honest about myself and the feelings I have.
Anyways, I'm getting derailed.
I think the point I was going for, was that I was surprised by how much I ended up reading into a male-audience hentai novel. I definitely didn't expect it. Is this a kind of communication in itself?
Disclaimer: Please don't read this blog post and go off reading Pure Love X Insult Complex thinking it's going to be good because @lychee recommended it.... it is hardcore, and it is about rape.... so if you weren't going to read it originally, you probably still shouldn't. >.> In fact, I felt kind of conflicted about writing a post about this kind of novel in the first place.... because this is the kind of novel that burns eyes...