In "Married Sex: A Love Story," It's Not Cheating If Your Spouse Is There. (Then It Gets Complicated)

So it's out there. Published. At long, long last.

You may have questions. I know I did. So I interviewed myself. And asked the really tough questions.

JK: A novel about a threesome. Told in the first-person by the husband. Written by a married male writer. The question is obvious.

JK: Yes, I have been in a threesome, for several years, often for ten hours a day --- in my head. Or, more plainly: "Married Sex" is fiction. The sex? I made it up, all of it. But if readers think this is a disguised memoir, I'll be flattered. I like fiction that reads as if it's truth. It delights me when friends read the book and say, "I can't look you in the face."

JK: You're hoping to capitalize on 'Fifty Shades of Grey."

JK: Sorry. This is so not "Fifty Shades of Jesse." I know the eye goes to the second word of the title. And I know the oxymoron lends itself to easy jokes: "'Married Sex' --- a short book, right?" But it's the first word that drives the book. "Married Sex" is a love story that focuses on the power that sex has to deepen or destroy love. A line from Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen's "Because the Night" is the book in brief: "Love is an angel disguised as lust." In an enduring marriage, you come for the sex and stay for the love --- or so it seems for the couple in my book.

JK: Noble thoughts. The cynic in me would counter that you're rationalizing a desire to experience a threesome.

JK: Blame Dustin Hoffman, who once had the film rights to a novel about a divorce lawyer. No screenwriter jumped to write it, and eventually the offer came to me. The novel was beyond stupid, but the character of the divorce lawyer interested me. I thought: What does a divorce lawyer want least? To be divorced. And why do couples get divorced? They cite all manner of reasons, but in the end, I believe it comes down to sex; interest withers, or someone cheats. How might a couple prevent a divorce? I thought: What if they made an agreement --- if you're tempted to cheat, bring that person home. I pitched that story to Dustin. "It sounds like it should have subtitles," he said. And passed.

JK: You've sold many screenplays and taught screenwriting. Why didn't you write this story as a movie?

JK: A threesome is the most common male fantasy. Porn videos regularly and crudely exploit this fantasy. But I've never found a novel about a threesome --- how it happens, what happens, what happens after --- with characters who are like people we know, people like us. I was terrified that someone would publish a novel with this plot before I could. No one did. And now I not only have the book, but I've written the screenplay for a movie to be directed by actor/director/producer Griffin Dunne ("Practical Magic," "After Hours") and produced by Nick Wechsler ("Sex, Lies and Videotape," "The Road," "Magic Mike").

JK: Writing sex for several years, and then getting paid for it --- you call that work?

JK: Like climbing Everest in sneakers. To recreate, without cliché, an experience that's physical, emotional, even spiritual --- yes, I call that work. One of the joys of finishing the book was no longer having to think about sex for most of the day.

JK: What has writing this book taught you about sex and marriage?

JK: Sex: It must be very important, because no one I know ever talks about it. Marriage: Every marriage is unique, but as a general rule, the more you like one another the better it works.

JK: What does your wife think about the book?

JK: That it's a love story.

JK: You're the father of a teenage daughter. What have you told her about the book?

JK: That it's a love story. And that, if it does well, she's going to college.

Some links to inform and amuse.

MARRIED SEX IN THE HAMPTONS: On Wednesday, August 26, I'll do a PG-13 reading from my book at BookHampton in Southampton, 7-8 PM.

MARRIED SEX IN NEW YORK: On Thursday, September 10, I'll be reading at The Corner Bookstore, 93rd and Madison Avenue, from 6-7:30 PM.

MARRIED SEX ON THE RADIO: The great Martha Frankel and I chat on Woodstock Writers Radio. Start at 31:00.

READING GROUP GUIDE: Some people --- me, for one --- think my book would make for splendid conversation in reading groups. So I created a 10-question cheat sheet.

YET MORE: "Three Is Not a Crowd," my piece in the New York Observer.

THE VIDEO: My friend Gretl Claggett and I decided not to have me sit at a desk, under bright lights, saying, "Hi, I'm Jesse Kornbluth, and I wrote..." Instead, we made a 90-second movie.

THE ACTUAL MOVIE: Hollywood optioned the novel before I had a publisher. (This almost never happens.) Griffin Dunne directs. I wrote the script. Now we try to convince actors to take off their clothes.

[Cross-posted from]