Judges Say Bad Sex is Not That Bad

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There is something satisfying in discovering how mediocre literary sex is, reflecting the level of mediocrity of real-world sex – according to The Guardian. The piece includes classic lines like “I might get frostbite on my cock.”

The reason I mention the awards is that I am very aware of how hard are sex scenes to write and I am waiting for the day when my writing is sufficiently well known to get a nomination. And believe me, I am aware of the tremendous likelihood of my writing falling into the trap of bad sex writing – irrespective of the quality of the year’s nominations.

All I can say in my defence is that I believe the opposite of all the writing advice: a writer should only include a sex scene if there is some revelation of emotion or a shift in narrative. Instead, I have always been fascinated by the mundane elements of life: sex, doing the washing up, going to the toilet. In an ideal world, all these activities would be included in every one of my books. Thankfully for the readers in the world, I do not follow through on this.

So the sex in my books might reveal the emotional content of my characters but, as an existentialist type, this is demonstrated through action and not thought. This means that in the books with sex in them, the content can appear quite explicit and relentless. I would apologise but somehow I don’t feel like that.