Saturday, December 29, 2007

Lovecraft's Sexuality: Part One

This is a bit touchy, but when I read the column (below) today, it struck a chord. S T Joshi's biography makes much over Lovecraft's seeming lack of sexual needs. It seems nearly absent in Lovecraft's stories. He makes virtually no mention of female characters. Yet, he certainly had a lot of attraction to women in his lifetime. Muriel Eddy states that she tried to set him up with Hazel Heald. We know that Sonia was quite attracted to him, and he to her. Whata are we to make of this?

Many others have spoken on this, but mostly from either a homosexual or heterosexual point of view. Robert Barlow was fond of HPL, but there seemed to be no sexual attraction, and this seems consistent with other homosexuals. To put it flippantly, and in a modern way, their "Gaydar" didn't go off. Women were often attracted to HPL, and he seemed especially fond of older women from time to time. Emphasis on fond. He never remarried, nor seemingly did he care for it. He spent a lot of time with his pals, and when Sonia split, he was not overly burdened by it. He missed Providence more than Sonia, though forgive me if that is a bit harsh.

Here is today's column. When I read it, I thought that Sonia might have written it.


Annie's Mailbox®, December 29, 2007

Dear Annie: Like "Craving Intimacy in Indiana," I am married to a man who shows no interest in sex. It's been years since we were intimate, and before that, sex was infrequent. We have been married for 35 years. After I threatened divorce, he went to a doctor and was given medicine to treat his low testosterone, but he refuses to take it.

I also feel unattractive, unwanted and unloved. I also know other men find me attractive, but I don't want an affair. I am turning into a bitter woman. I have not filed for divorce because I worry what our grown children would say and I don't want to give up the financial security my husband and I have worked for. No one in our community or family has any idea.

How do I find a counselor or therapist? I live in a rural area, and everyone knows everyone's business. I don't want to become known as the horny old woman down the road. — Me, Too
Dear Me, Too: It helps if your husband is willing to work on the marriage, too, but either way, you can find the name of a therapist near you through the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy locator service ( or by writing them at 112 South Alfred St., Alexandria, VA 22314. Some therapists are willing to do sessions over the phone or online. Here's more on the subject:

Wisconsin: "Craving Intimacy" felt it was her problem. It is not. It is 100 percent his. My husband and I hold hands, kiss and love each other without question, but it has been six years since he has touched me in a sexual way. Ten years ago, he was diagnosed with low testosterone, but he refused treatment. He is now 46 and has been getting more and more depressed and refuses help. My husband is a wonderful man and has always been there for me, so I can deal with the lack of sex. Yes, I love him that much.
Quebec: I think her husband is asexual, meaning he has no interest in sex.

Asexuality is a largely unrecognized orientation, but it does exist. About 1 percent of the population is asexual. Asexuals are capable of love and emotional intimacy, but the sexual attraction is not there. Many people are asexual and don't realize it. For more information, go to

Chicago: Her husband is almost certainly gay. I was best man at my friend's wedding years ago, and his marriage turned out to be almost identical to "Craving's." He finally came out of the closet and his wife divorced him. But by that time, her self-esteem had been destroyed and she really has never recovered.

Southern California: I lived with this scenario for years, questioned my attractiveness and sensuality and received the same response from my husband. We went to counseling several times where he claimed "work-related stress." Well, surprise! He was having an affair at work and had been having affairs throughout our 28-year marriage. Annie, do your married female writers a bittersweet favor and tell them that married men are having sex outside of marriage in record numbers and the guilt can prevent them from having sex with the wife even if they want to. Finding out the truth is unimaginably painful, but it beats the constant toll on the feminine self-esteem. I could kick myself for being so trusting.

Wisconsin: I am 41, attractive, smart and talented and have a sexless marriage. My husband has been tested for testosterone levels and they are on the low side, but not low enough to prompt pharmaceutical intervention. Instead, the doctor prescribed Viagra — of no use if the desire is missing.

Texas: And I thought it was just us. I've asked my husband to go to counseling and get his testosterone checked. Neither has happened. It's sad and lonely. Sometimes I think it's just a matter of "whoever dies first wins."

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie's Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at

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