Sex and Trauma

A 1.28 Hollywood Reporter story about an HBO project called Emergency Sex caught my eye because it reminded me of (a) the 9.11 “terror fucking” syndrome that was observed in Manhattan, and (b) the heated romantic triangle in Iraq involving CBS News correspondent Lara Logan that was reported about during the summer of 2008.

Emergency Sex will star Maria Bello, is being written by Slumdog Millionaire writer Simon Beaufoy, and will be executive produced by Bello, Beaufoy and Russell Crowe.

Inspired by the book “Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures: A True Story From Hell on Earth,” by Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlewait and Andrew Thomson, the project “revolves around the larger-than-life exploits of expatriate nongovernment-organization workers who find their sanity tested in the face of atrocities, loneliness and primal desires,” the story says.

The book chronicles the real-life experiences of Cain, Postlewait and Thomson, who met in Cambodia during the 1990s as members of a UN peacekeeping mission.

Eighteen months ago I wrote that Logan’s story “would make for a good filmed drama. The considerate way to go about it would be to use the facts (romantic Baghdad triangle, emotions at a fever pitch, divorce proceeding, bullets whizzing past lovers’ heads, IEDs exploding) but with made-up names and perhaps a slightly fictionalized story line just to blur things up.

In early July ’08 Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz wrote that “while some may accuse [Logan] of tawdry conduct, what happened to her is an all-too-familiar tale of someone consumed by a career and needing a partner who understands the peculiar pressures involved.”

Those pressures being reporting from an intense war zone where violence, bodies and bomb blasts are part of the daily drill. As I put it a few days before, “There’s always something strangely erotic in the air when there’s a lot of random death and danger floating about…the more ghastly or threatening the surroundings, the more likely it is that like-minded professionals of a certain age are going to get down in the heat of the moment.”