performative sex & third person tones

I think that the portrayal of sex in Nevada is particularly interesting because the belabored dutiful sex scene between heterosexuals is kind of turned on its head. Instead of the typical stereotype of the woman simply giving into what the man wants and faking her pleasure it seems that in this scene it’s performative on both ends. I think it’s also funny because typically in the seems that we’ve seen in other novels such as in Stone Butch Blues the perspective of the heterosexual woman is dutiful sex that doesn’t culminate in her pleasure but only the mans- this is demonstrated when Annie describes all of her sexual encounters with men as rushed and unsatisfying. Annie is even embarrassed when she says that she wants to come before being fucked. This mentality typically is associated in queer are novels exclusively with heterosexuals. It’s kind of funny how in Nevada, the same mentality is exhibited, but it’s exhibited in a scene she is supposed to be more intense/engaging. I also really enjoyed the way that the novel was written in an almost third-person stream of consciousness, if that’s even possible.

I think that sex as performative is a prominent theme as well. It seems that often the characters either use sex as a means to an end or a way of self expression rather than an inherently valuable thing: “She was like, cool, punk rock, degradation, kinky sex, how queer and great.” Though Maria did not even derive pleasure necessarily, the circumstance of the sex is what she was proud of.

I also really liked the voice of the narrator (probably because the author is so cool). “It’s herself she’s sad about. Mopey ol’ lonely Maria, the little kid with the bags under her eyes, the lonesome romantic bike fucker, the girl who likes books better than people. It’s an easy automatic go-to to characterize things as boring but it is boring to have the same exact things come up whenever anything comes up: poor me. If she were a goth she’d tell you about how broken she is, but since she’s an indie-punk diy book snob, like, here we are.” Another thing I really appreciated was the tone of the writing. I thought it was pretty relatable because again the third person narrative is able to glimpse into Maria’s mind. There’s also an element of humor to the tone.


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