News and Views: Taken Seriously

Originally Posted August 5th, 2002

Gentle Readers,

Sometimes, a writer creates one piece that exceeds all the others in popularity. For me, this has been the nonfiction piece What Tolkien Officially Said About Elf Sex.  It is 500% more popular than anything else here at Ansereg, and has excited lots of discussion and correspondence. I was even told that it inspired a Silmarillion slash fanfiction series. 

This still flabbergasts me, because I originally posted the piece in Ansereg's early days, when I needed content. "This isn't anything major, but it's something," I thought. Many people take it in the spirit in which I wrote it, affectionate humor mixed with real interest in the topic. Some have criticised it as a manifestation of ultimate geekiness. And some were just heartbroken about the lack of randy gay elves in Tolkien canon.

Most suprisingly, some people have expressed disappointment because they were looking for a serious view of sex in Tolkien. "Loosely written," and "disregarding Tolkien's true intent" were some of the comments. These criticisms were good, because they showed there was an audience for something I wanted to write, the nonfiction essay Warm Beds are Good: Sex and Libido in Tolkien's Writing. It's long. It's serious. It delves into backstory notes outside Tolkien's completed fiction to unearth what Tolkien really, truly pictured for sex in Middle-Earth.  It even reviews how he changed his approaches over time, in his 54 years of writing. It may bore you, or it may be what you have been seeking. I've posted it in .PDF format to reduce the chances of it being stolen for English classes, and to make it easier to follow the numerous footnotes. 

The whole Official Elf Sex thing made me think of a quote about the religion of Discordianism - a joke set up by some intellectual young men, on the premise of worshipping Eris, the Greek goddess of Discord. The concept took off and was popular in certain circles for a while. "If we had known people were going to take this seriously, we would have picked Aphrodite," said its creators. 

The neterotica reviewer Lady Cyrrh recently enjoyed this website and posted a positive review. Thank you!  This is a classic example of my stories finding one of their readers; Lady Cyrrh and I both agree about Legolas characterization, and that questions about Sauron's sex life cry out for answers. If you've come to this site through that review, enjoy yourself and check out my (fixed!) Links page for more slash and het Tolkien fanfiction. You may like what you find there better than my own stuff - who knows?  

There wasn't much else new from me in July.  Real life was busy. And I needed a break from fiction after the conclusion of One Ring to Bind Them; I was in mourning for the characters, recovering from the intense state of mind in which I wrote that series.  I used the time for Warm Beds are Good, which as serious nonfiction required a different writing head-space. The pause was, as they say, refreshing, and I picked up with fiction projects again in August 2002.  


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