Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Complicated, Messy, Human Stuff

I couldn't write about sex at all until after my mother died. Growing up in the 1970s, the official parental line was that nice girls didn't, you know, do it, let alone write about it – although it was a different story for my brothers. Double standards were the order of the day. ... Which meant, in effect, that I was barred from writing fiction. In order to create fully rounded human beings, and describe their relationships with each other, I would have to tackle the subject of sex – along with intimacy, misguided love, death, resentment, friendship, the passion of women for their babies, the problems of marriage and finding the right person, and all the rest of the complicated, messy stuff that humans do. When a parent dies, there is grief, of course, but there is also liberation. You must grow up, and one of the grown-up things I wanted to do was write novels.
Writes novelist Josa Young in The Telegraph, talking about the hangups she had to overcome (This link is specially dedicated to the members of my writing class since writing the steamy stuff it was a topic for discussion last night!)

One interesting aside in the article :
Yesterday, a survey about the reading habits of 2,000 women aged between 45 and 60 reveals that nearly two thirds are keen on raunchy scenes in novels.
How about you? I've added a poll in the sidebar.


Anonymous said...

So true. You can't write about sex with your parents watching. Fortunately for me, my parents don't read English, so I should be able to write about all those wet, messy things humans do.

Unfortunately for me, my older sisters read what I write and my phobia is that they can be just as 'parental'. I guess I need to get over that hangup / pretense that I don't do THAT stuff. (Hee! Hee!)


Huang said...

If I want steamy sex, I'll read porn.

They should put warning on books like before tv shows. READER DISCRETION STRONGLY ADVISED! :)

Anonymous said...

That's true isn't it? you're waiting for a bus, reading, and the next person glances at your book, and it's a steamy passage.

Women always want sex but if an accident happens, the law makes a man pay for it. Where's the justice in that ? :P

amir said...

I don't like reading sex scenes in novels. Comics? Yes. TV? Yes. Movies? Hell yes.

Books? No. It's so easy to get it wrong.

That being said, the novel I am working on has an/a homage to Neon Genesis Evangelion.

The protagonist masturbates over the dead body of the girl he is going to fall for.

That's all I can say for now. I might finish 2012.