#AMREADING Michel Houellebecq, Submission. Or What Men Think of Women.
Paris 2022. The Muslim Brotherhood has won the national elections by a landslide. Is this a futuristic novel? Not sure. Human relations seem as complex as ever. Plus ça change, I suppose. Here are some musings on sex by the novel’s protagonist , François, a middle-aged lecturer at the Sorbonne.
For men, love is nothing more than gratitude for the gift of pleasure, and no one had ever given me more pleasure than Myriam. She could contract her pussy at will (sometimes softly, with a slow, irresistible pressure, sometimes in sharp, rebellious little tugs).
François suffers the same frustrations as Huysmans (the subject of his thesis) a century earlier: He wanted a good little cook who could also turn herself into a whore, and he wanted this on a fixed schedule. It didn’t’ seem so hard, yet he sought this woman in vain.
In my twenties, when I got hard-ons all the time, sometimes for no good reason, as though in a vacuum, I have gone for [a cougar]. It would have been more satisfying, and paid better, than my tutorials. Back then I think I could have performed.
In middle age, François’ body started to let him down. Old age, he feared, would be a jumble of organs in slow decomposition…When you got right down to it, my dick was the one organ that hadn’t presented itself to my consciousness through pain, only through pleasure. Modest but robust, it had always served me faithfully. In the end my dick was all I had.