Saturday, June 20, 2009

Can Women Write About Sex?

Women :
... have an agenda, they complicate sex, they make layers, it’s conditional. And they lie as well.

Kate Copstick, the new publisher of The Erotic Review stirred things upon the BBC Radio 4 Today programme (which you can listen to here) when she said that women just do not write as well as men about sex.

Kathy Lette who was also on the programme takes up the argument at The Times, and Jean Hannah Edelstein at The Guardian blog.

Anyone who thinks women can't write erotica might do best to start with Anais Nin or Collette.

Postscript :
Sometimes the beginning of a story can be enough; a potential encounter as gratifying and memorable as the consummation of flesh. Restraint as erotic as abandon; denial and delay are sensual, temporal bonds.
I loved Erica Wagner's response.

Post-post script :

Literary Saloon sees all this as a nice example of media manipulation, and it really does sound like it. Never mind, the debate is fun, even if ultimately silly. The Times has guides to writing sex scenes - a man's tips (by Ewan Morrison) and a woman's (written by the infamous Belle du Jour).


mumu said...

'Tis a shame when women put down other women. And yeah, Anais Nis, awesome <3

YTSL said...

I was going to answer your query with: yes, woman can write about sex and plenty of women already have. Re whether women can write well: I guess "well" is subjective -- but memorably, vividly, etc.? Hell, yes re certain female authors!

Fadz said...

2 names come to mind:

Anais Nin
Jackie Collins

I don't read much erotica (not anymore, anyway :P), but guys (and in Kate Copstick's case, gal) who say that women can't write (well) about sex may be direct descendants of people who upheld that women had no right to education.

Nice picture, by the way.
Again, you gave me the 'wrong' impression.


ah pong said...

..."she said that women just do not write as well as men about sex."

it's also most probably true if she just stop the sentence after men.

Fadz said...

Wah! Ah Pong is asking for a flaming!

I can't cite most classics, but I do love Fantasy books. Before stamping your feet down saying that women most probably just do not write as well as men, you should read books by Melanie Rawn (Sunrunners Saga - Dragon Prince and Dragon Star trilogies - and Exiles). She's a Master Storyteller, combining High Fantasy, political intrigue, magic and dragons, as well as strong characterization, with a generous share of romance and family ties. I keep on returning to those eight books, reading them more than 5 times (lost count).

There are also collaborations between male and female authors, such as Raymond E Feist with Janny Wurts (The Empire Trilogy), and Margaret Weiss and Tracy Hickman (Dragonlance Saga), which, in my opinion, made the stories a far richer read than most books because of the melding of male and female minds.

Not to forget authors like Jude Deveraux, Danielle Steel (although, her books tend to sing the same tune), and of course, J.K. Rowling. Everyone loves Harry Potter series.

Anne Rice is a challenging read. Complicated. And Amy Tan's works are brilliant.

I dunno. Perhaps one should expand one's reading before making such a bold statement?

Yusuf Martin said...

The Story of O...............!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Judith Krantz, Shirley Conran, Judith Gould...all wrote decent sex scenes. The men were good too: Sidney Sheldon, Harold Robbins, Michael Korda, Eric Van Lustbader, Jeffrey Archer (just kidding!)...