The Page a Day Writers Group

Well, I Guess Men Can’t Write Sex Scenes!

Posted on: December 7, 2009

Sorry, time for a rant…

Having just joined She Writes, I’ve come to realize how little our society values women.  Not just in the real world either, the artistic world would like to punch us down, keep us ‘in our places’.  We get no respect and a smaller amount of pay.  Remember what happened to the boys when Julia Roberts joined the $20 Million Club? (That means you get $20 mil. per picture)  In case you can’t, all the boys (Bruce Willis, Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise et al) got bumped to $25 million (Did I mention that’s per picture?).

It seems odd to me that this should be true in fiction writing since women would be the natural story tellers.  We are the caretakers of the family; we put the children to bed and soothe their pains.  We’re the ones who bake cookies for Santa and trade money for lost teeth.  We also occasionally have to be the ones to tell our male counterparts that everything will be all right, even when we’re not so certain ourselves.  Therefore, we are the storytellers.

Yet, we never make any lists or win awards that reflect what great writers we are.  Even our sisters out there aren’t supporting us!

A good friend of mine who used to be a bookseller told me she once had an employee (a budding writer) who told her no great fiction ever came from a woman.  Only men can write great fiction because women just write fluff.  Funny, considering the first known novel was written by a Japanese woman.  And I hardly think Tale of Genji could be considered ‘fluff’.  Let’s also not forget who won that contest to write the scariest story way back when.  Guys like Byron and Shelley were willing to bow down to a chick when Mary Shelley gave them Frankenstein.

For those of you who are steaming mad (like I am!), here’s something to put a little kick in your step:  Apparently, men can’t write sex scenes!  Of the 2009 Bad Sex in Fiction nominees, all eleven were MEN!  In the entire history of this award, only two women have been flagged as ‘bad sex scene writers’.  Why, even John Updike managed to win the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.  Way to go, Johnny!

Here’s a link to the announcement of the nominees (the 2009 winner was Jonathan Littel for his novel The Kindly Ones). http://blog.seattlepi.com/bookpatrol/archives/185927.asp?source=mypi

This is the Wikipedia article on the history of the award: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bad_Sex_in_Fiction_Award#Bad_Sex_in_Fiction_Award

I personally have found few men are capable of giving ‘good sex’ in fiction…or in real life! *Ba dump bump!*

Tom Robbins really blows my arguments out of the water though.  That man writes some hot sex scenes!  Sometimes Clive Barker really takes me there, but then he sometimes takes me further than there and gives me the heebs!  I think Clive succeeds most of the time because he thinks more like a girl than a boy.  Tom, on the other hand, might very well be what so many men claim to be at parties: “a lesbian trapped in a man’s body”.  Whether he’s enjoying every minute of it is pure speculation, but I’d have to say he probably is.

I will also say that some of the guys aren’t actually trying to write good sex scenes.  I learned a lot about ‘sex in the real world’ by reading Stephen King in my adolescent years.  And sometimes, the sex should be kinda gross.  As long as it’s furthering the story, it belongs.

Sorry most of you other gentlemen can’t do it when you try.  At least you have your little awards and best seller lists to keep you warm at night.

Here endeth the rant.



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3 Responses to "Well, I Guess Men Can’t Write Sex Scenes!"

Oh hoo hoo, what comedic irony that winners are named Wolfe, Faulks and Bragg.

I love the idea of this award, but I’m sure there are some steamy scenes by the fellas. You’ve given me a mission, Deborah!

I do love Pascal Bruckner’s semi-comic/erotic descriptions of paddling ducks in “Evil Angels” but he’s French, so that must be an instant disqualification for Bad Sex in Fiction.

Yeah, I do know there are some men who can do it, but most fail. I did mention Tom Robbins.

I’ll have to check out this French guy, but, yeah, Continental European pretty much disqualifies ya. Only British men can write sex as bad as American men. 😉

I’m feeling verklempt. Time to free-write? Guys, I know you can do this. Slow down and free-write your way home.

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The Page a Day Writers Group is a diverse collection of wonderful writers based in San Diego, CA. We've been meeting monthly since 2004. Our primary function is in-depth writing critique, marketing and brainstorming, but there's usually some wine, chocolate and ribaldry involved too. We write fantasy, humor, literary fiction, nonfiction, romance, thrillers and YA. Join us on our journeys to publication and the wonderland beyond!

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