Writing S*X without the S*X
“Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes embark upon the riskiest adventure of their partnership: their wedding night.”
When the cover blurb for this new short story first emerged from Random House, the copy writer had given the description a rather… different flavor from what its author had intended: creatively (perhaps wistfully?) the writer of the cover copy had put the word “night” at the end of the above sentence.
Now, a wedding is not a wedding night. So, for fear that equally hopeful readers who had shelled out their three bucks for the story would rise up in fury when their prurient expectations went unmet, I drew a red pencil through that final word.
No, there is no S*X in “The Marriage of Mary Russell”—although there is anticipation, and speculation, and thoughts drawn towards.… In other words, the same kind of S*X that is found in the other Memoirs. On the ship to India in The Game, for example, Russell’s lusty thoughts are stirred when Holmes brushes her hair—and then firmly tamped down in the interest of other matters at hand. The story immediately preceding “The Marriage of Mary Russell” is A Monstrous Regiment of Women, which as all Friends of Russell well know ends with….The Kiss.
Russell’s point of view has always been along the lines of, Yes, we have a quite fulfilling married life, thank you very much, but the details are frankly none of your business.
And there, dear reader, we draw the curtain.
(However, feel free to post your favorite unspoken Russell & Holmes S*X scene in the comments. We know you have them.