Do virgins like Jane Austen get more done?
Fancy a shag with Dave Eggers, Diablo Cody or David Sedaris? Better check the Guardian's list of Top Ten Literary Virgins first!
Yes, some of the great writers of Western civilization lived most or all of their lives sans carnal knowledge -- including romantic scribe Jane Austen. The Guardian writes:
Despite the "quite a bit of sex" smeared on [Jane Austen's] life and work by the biopic Becoming Jane and virtually all the recent screen adaptations (notably the obnoxious Mansfield Park), the author of Pride and Prejudice (invariably voted best ever English novel) died intacta. All six of her major heroines are as virginal on the last page as they were on the first. Does the fact that Austen "never had it" make her a greater, or lesser, writer? Is chastity the enemy of literary genius?...
Why cannot we accept that there is sexless greatness as well as hyper-sexual greatness? Jane Austen was a plain Jane. If she'd looked like Kate Winslet, and had as much glorious sex as Jordan, we would not - I fancy - have those wonderful novels.
Hmm, there's a thought: if Jane Austen hadn't been a virgin, she wouldn't have written her masterpieces? And by extension, do virgins -- or those in dry spells -- get more accomplished?
It's true that singledom leaves a lot of free time. Plenty of people are able to launch their education or careers while not tethered down with a partner or a family. But time is only one fact of life us human beings contend with: how one feels about being single -- or virginal -- is the real issue here. You can't get much accomplished if you're preoccupied with loneliness or feelings of inadequacy.
Or -- let's be honest -- totally horny.
Maybe Austen was simply uninterested in sex -- today we'd called it asexual -- and her virginity did free her up to pen beloved literature. But so far, I see no link between having no sex and success -- but perhaps this is worthy of a study?