"For sex, to me, means the whole of the relationship between man and woman. Now this relationship is far greater than we know. We only know a few crude forms--mistress, wife, mother, sweetheart. The woman is like an idol, or a marionette, always forced to play one role or another.... If only we could break up this fixity, and realize ... that a woman is a flow, a river of life, quite different from a man's river of life: and that each river must flow in its own way, though without breaking its bounds: and that the relation of man to woman is the flowing of two rivers side by side, sometimes mingling, then separating again, and travelling on. The relationship is a life-long change and a life-long travelling."
"They threw off their clothes, and he gathered her to him, and found her, found the pure lambent reality of her for ever invisible flesh. Quenched, inhuman, his fingers upon her unrevealed nudity were the fingers of silence upon silence, the body of mysterious night upon the body of mysterious night, the night masculine and feminine, never to be seen with the eye, or known with the mind, only known as a palpable revelation of living otherness."
"In America the chief accusation seems to be one of "Eroticism." This is odd, rather puzzling to my mind. Which Eros? Eros of the jaunty "amours," or Eros of the sacred mysteries? And if the latter, why accuse, why not respect, even venerate?"
"Being the sons of mothers whose husbands had blundered rather brutally through their feminine sanctities, they were themselves too diffident and shy. They could easier deny themselves than incur any reproach from a woman; for a woman was like their mother, and they were full of the sense of their mother. They preferred themselves to suffer the misery of celibacy, rather than risk the other person."
"There's nothing wrong with sexual feelings in themselves, so long as they are straightforward and not sneaking or sly. The right sort of sex stimulus is invaluable to human daily life. Without it the world grows grey."
"I am sure no other civilization, not even the Romans, has showed such a vast proportion of ignominious and degraded nudity, and ugly, squalid dirty sex. Because no other civilization has driven sex into the underworld, and nudity to the W.C."
"Sunday night meant, in the dark, wintry, rainy Midlands ... anywhere where two creatures might stand and squeeze together and spoon.... Spooning was a fine art, whereas kissing and cuddling are calf-processes."
"A man and a woman are new to one another throughout a life-time, in the rhythm of marriage that matches the rhythm of the year. Sex is the balance of male and female in the universe, the attraction, the repulsion, the transit of neutrality, the new attraction, the repulsion, always different, always new."
"Why were we driven out of Paradise? Why did we fall into this gnawing disease of unappeasable dissatisfaction? Not because we sinned. Ah, no. All the animals in Paradise enjoyed the sensual passion of coition. Not because we sinned. But because we got sex into our head."
"That is the real pivot of all bourgeois consciousness in all countries: fear and hate of the instinctive, intuitional, procreative body in man or woman. But of course this fear and hate had to take on a righteous appearance, so it became moral, said that the instincts, intuitions and all the activities of the procreative body were evil, and promised a reward for their suppression. That is the great clue to bourgeois psychology: the reward business."