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Disgrace

Disgrace

by J.M. Coetzee

Sex Quotes Page 4

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #10

"I was not myself. I was no longer a fifty-year-old divorcé at a loose end. I became a servant of Eros." (6.63)

Here, David explains to the committee just why he was so bewitched by Melanie. She inspired passion in him. At first it seems like he's giving himself a way to argue temporary insanity ("I was not myself, your honor"), but we know from his guilty plea that David isn't really out there to make excuses. Instead, he's confessing that Melanie had the ability to totally transform his sense of love and passion. Still, he blames it on Eros (Cupid) instead of taking personal responsibility for what he did.

Quote #11

He wonders how it is for Lucy with her lovers, how it is for her lovers with her. He has never been afraid to follow a thought down its winding track, and he is not afraid now. Has he fathered a woman of passion? What can she draw on, what not, in the realm of the senses? Are he and she capable of talking about that too? (9.12)

Thinking about sex is second nature for David, and even though it seems he hasn't thought about Lucy's sex life in the past, he nevertheless isn't weirded out by wondering about her experience. What is interesting here is that it seems that David genuinely wants to talk with Lucy about sex; he's interested in what her experiences have been like. Is it possible that he wants to compare and contrast to see if other people feel the same way he does about sex?

Quote #12

Would they dare to share a bed while he was in the house? If the bed creaked in the night, would they be embarrassed? Embarrassed enough to stop? But what does he know about what women do together? Maybe women do not need to make beds creak. (10.57)

The narrator doesn't hit you over the head with the fact that Lucy is a lesbian, but instead reveals it to us through David's thoughts and curiosities about her sexual experiences. What is interesting about this quote is that it shows David wondering about what sex is like when it is a purely female experience. He's not just wondering about what sex is like for Lucy, but rather what sex is like in the absence of a man. As far as David is concerned, it is his experience of sex "as a man" that has gotten him into trouble up until this point. Maybe sex between women is purer and less violent?

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