There are some things that you’re never meant to read on public transport. The liberal use of the n-word in Gone With The Wind toes this line, but the huge amounts of nudity in 110 Pills vomits on the line and then runs away. I knew that when my husband picked this erotic comic as his choice of what I was to read it was going to be dicey… but oh my god.
Let’s back up a bit. 110 Pills is an Italian comic based on an abbreviation version of the 1610 Chinese novel Jin Ping Mei. Within the comic we watch the last few months of Ximen’s life as he takes 110 pills that grant him incredible sexual prowess… although he is only meant to take them, at the most, once a month. Before these pills he’s incredibly sexual, but once on them he becomes voracious and incredibly experimental with how he gives and receives sexual pleasure.
It’s worth noting that, whilst this is abbreviated, 110 Pills takes a lot from this 1610 erotic novel. I assume this also includes the scene where Ximen pops the pill and engages in a few days orgy with a number of pre-op transwomen. Something that I did not expect to see, even after all the incredibly graphic depictions of many types of sex.
The story itself is an interesting and curious look into how certain circles of Chinese society viewed sex back in the 17th century, even if a lot of what happens feels more an excuse for shock tactics than real story telling. Still, it’s not too hard to liken the sex pill addiction in this story to addictions to opium – especially when you consider the incredible rush and the excruciating after effects.
As interesting as this was, I think this will be the last time I allow my husband to pick a comic for me to read on my commute. At least for a while.