No doubt about it. There is something about sex.
In Amy Tan's The Valley of Amazement, sex is used as an instrument of power by the women protagonists. As Little Violet begins her career as a courtesan, she is given this piece of advice: "Always remember, you are creating a world of romance and illusion...you must learn all the arts of enticement and maintain a balance of anticipation and reticence..."
Would that we could claim that balance in our fast-paced modern world! Sex lures us into movie houses and on to the Internet; it creates top picks on the New York Times bestseller list; it is the favorite marketing tool for a variety of products from lingerie to socket wrenches; and it is the basis for what has long been designated "the world's oldest profession."
In Violet's world, in the carefully cultivated scenario of a first-class "flower house," as the brothels are euphemistically called, the object is to create an erotic escape for men and to attain what Magic Gourd ...