Just read the Guardian Bad Sex Award contenders ... I may never write a sex scene ever again. O Roth. O Banville. Argh.Yes, it's that time of year again when literary lust becomes fodder for fun. The Guardian has extracts from all the 2009 nominees for The Literary Review's annual Bad Sex Award which you can read at your peril. But those of you of a somewhat tenderer disposition may want to ignore the link.
(I started down the list earlier but had had a surfeit of fictional bonking before I made it through all the contenders, so will resume later in the interest of - ahem - research. )
My question to you is, do you really think these are examples of bad writing about sex? The Roth extract, green dildo aside (!) i though pretty intriguing and I'm off to buy the book. I didn't snigger pruriently at Banville's :
... tang of fish-slime and sawdust ... .Theroux's : '
Yoni puja – pray, pray at my portal.is a rather sweet line I can hear being taken up as a reprise by his female readers and Richard Milward's, yes, IS funny - but that is his intention surely?
The usual refrain on posts of this nature on my blog - sex is very difficult to write well anyway.
And that is the point made very well in Sarah Duncan's response on The Guardian blog :
Writing about sex can be like a complicated game of Twister. You sit in front of your laptop, trying to work out where everything's going. It's worse than following the instructions for assembling flatpack furniture.