Squicked out alien describes human sex

Here's a nice use of science fiction's trick of describing cherished human behaviors and institutions through the ironic distance of an alien observer: Mallory Ortberg's short story Erotica Written By An Alien Pretending Not To Be Horrified By The Human Body:

“Their mouths, which mere minutes before had been employed in the process of demolishing and ingesting various foodstuffs, were now jammed up damply against one another while still being used for breathing, which must have been more than a little uncomfortable.”

“Bits of one jammed into bits of the other, dangerously close to some of the weakest and most important internal organs.”

“With absolutely no regard for personal space, the two of them created an unnecessary amount of friction, generating sweat in the process.”

“Some sort of gel emerged.”

“One sat upon the other, like furniture that sneaks inside of your body.”

Erotica Written By An Alien Pretending Not To Be Horrified By The Human Body [Mallory Ortberg/The Toast]

(via JWZ)

Notable Replies

  1. They hysterical shouting was in tongues, like at a Pentecostal church...When the fight was over, nothing was solved, but nothing mattered.

  2. I never really understood things like this. The reason we get squicked out by stuff is because it's human or reminds us of human. We're often disgusted by cellular tissue leaking out fluid when it's something like meat exuding blood or mucus, but not a grapefruit dripping juice.

    Depending on context, sex can be exciting or disgusting when it's between other people like us, but when paramecia or bacteria exchange genes the images is mostly clinical. What's wrong with this alien that it has such human-like feelings about our parts and fluids?

  3. fnc says:

    The punchline goes:

    "If the reproductive process takes nine months to complete, why were they in such a hurry there near the end of this activity?"

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