[Two] The suffering of erotic experience — O Maidens In Your Savage Season

There’s a wonderful moment in the second episode of O Maidens In Your Savage Season where the literary club is trying to come up with a less dirty word to describe sex. After going through similar sounding words — as Momoko Sudou says, it becomes a presentation on dirty puns — club president Rika Sonezaki comes up with the perfect sentence.

The suffering of erotic experience.

Naturally, a description this long needs an acronym to make it more palatable and easy to say, so Sonezaki shortens it to S.E.X.

This experience perfectly encapsulates what makes O Maidens funny, but also demonstrates how much it understands its subject matter: budding sexuality and the “savage season” of adolescence. In avoiding the crass, dirty nature of sex in line with Sonezaki’s thoughts, they went for a flowery literary choice only to require paring it down to its essence, allowing them return to, well, the word they were trying to avoid: sex.

The obvious commentary is that the act of sex isn’t dirty or disgusting, but neither is it flowery prose or more pure if its tied to a grand romance story. Sonezaki, and the other characters in O Maidens all have their own, demonstrably different, views on sex that end up changing throughout the series’ run. They learn that sex isn’t dirty, doesn’t make you more of an adult, isn’t limited to the opposite gender, and the act of not having it doesn’t make you more pure. While the series could push a lot more on a few of these issues, O Maidens makes sure to treat all of these characters perspectives with the gravity they deserve. It doesn’t denigrate them for being confused, but it also doesn’t celebrate its characters’ terrible choices.

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