Let's Celebrate Sex in Literature
Why the 'Bad Sex in Fiction Award' is a prudish disgrace
By Kevin Spak, Newser User
Posted Nov 30, 2010 2:43 PM CST
I can't be aroused! I'm reading here!   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – Every year the Literary Review of Britain hands out its Bad Sex in Fiction Award, and every year it draws loads of press and snarky giggles at the expense of big-name nominees (who have included Tom Wolfe, Norman Mailer, and, this year, Jonathan Franzen). Well, Laura Miller of Salon is sick of it. “The Bad Sex Award poses as a knowing blow against literary pretension,” she writes, “while embodying the most retrograde prudery.” The award is essentially shaming writers into avoiding sex altogether.

But what’s wrong with sex? “Is there any reason why the literature that makes us laugh, cry and rage shouldn’t also, occasionally, turn us on?” Miller asks. Sex, after all, is an essential human experience. The Literary Review should be praising books that get it right, not shaming those who falter. Of course, that “amounts to admitting you’ve found something arousing, and thereby risking the British equivalent of the ninth circle of hell: embarrassment.” (Click here for the full column and here for this year's winner.)

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Showing 3 of 4 comments
Dec 4, 2013 12:33 PM CST
One would think that a writing "professional" -- whatever da fukk that is -- would know better than to attempt to make an art form out of begging the question.
Nov 30, 2010 6:04 PM CST
Oh, please. Get over yourself. I highly doubt anyone avoids writing about sex because of this yearly award. There's good sex in writing and bad sex in writing. It's funny, and obviously the authors usually take it in good fun.
Nov 30, 2010 3:41 PM CST
a rule everyone learns in Creative Writing: Sex does not go on the page. Well, there's some pretty good poetry about sex, but detailing sex in prose is like putting sex in a movie. It just changes what type of work it is.