Robert Heinlein: Sex

A friend read my post, One Word Test, and after reading the list of ten of my favorite authors, she asked, “Do you actually like Heinlein?”

And the truth is, no, not any more.  As an adult trying to re-read his books I loved as a teen, I now find them creepy and pedantic, and strangely, a little naïve.

BUT, I will never regret or be embarrassed by my teen-aged love for his writing.   I firmly believe that if I hadn’t been reading Heinlein at the very moment I was going through puberty, I would have come out the other side as a prude.

Sex should be friendly. Otherwise stick to mechanical toys; it’s more sanitary.

When I think of Heinlein, I think of Sex. And yes, I say Sex, not ‘making love’ or any of those silly euphemisms we tack on to the act to make it sound ‘pretty.’  Sex is messy and fun and silly and ridiculous and oh so wonderful and that is what I got from Heinlein.

Sex without love is merely healthy exercise.

Heinlein taught me that although sex is better when combined with love, love isn’t a necessary ingredient.  But on the flip side, a partnership without sex is just a business arrangement.  Sex, above all, is fun.  It is the most fun two people can have together without spending money.

Sex, whatever else it is, is an athletic skill. The more you practice, the more you can, the more you want to, the more you enjoy it, the less it tires you.

He taught me to not be ashamed by my enjoyment of sex.  He also taught me that your partner’s enjoyment of the act is essential to your own enjoyment.

From Heinlein I learned not to judge other people’s ideas about sex.  I learned that men can find other men sexually attractive exactly the way I find them attractive.  I learned that it is ok if I find another woman sexually attractive, because women are beautiful.  I also learned from him that it is ok to say No, but that it is not ok to tease.

I learned that sex is not something to fear.  A couple must take sex seriously and recognize it as an essential part of a relationship. A couple must discuss sex openly with each other,  not ignore or hide it under the sheets in the dark. (I’m using the word couple – but of course Heinlein also taught me that two is not the only potential combination.)

And like everything in life, sex requires moderation to be appreciated at its fullest.

Heinlein was the best sex-ed a naïve, catholic-school girl could ask for.  My life has been the better for it. So for all that, and more, he will always be on my top ten list of favorite authors.

Cover of To Sail Beyond the Sunset
Cover of To Sail Beyond the Sunset (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All quotes by Robert Heinlein.

4 thoughts on “Robert Heinlein: Sex

    1. you are so right about that. I wouldn’t recommend him to any teen-age girls now-a-days. However, teen-aged girls now don’t seem as sheltered (ignorant) as I was back then.


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