re: writing about sex – 1

Recently the New York Times Sunday Book Review, asked a group of novelists, memoirists and poets to share thoughts/tips re: what novels first inspired them, what nouns they strive to avoid and who they think writes sex best. I have gathered a few of the more notable quotes below.

Toni Bentley – referenced the “filthy, uncensored fantasies froth forth in Nancy Friday’s collections…unconsidered desire slices swiftly to the core of lust, and with their — our — trailer-trash orgies of incest, bestiality, rape, pedophilia, domination and submission, whoredom and heterosexual lesbianism” and went on to argue “Wrong is hot, and great writing, by definition, can just never be quite wrong enough“.

Edmund White – looked to Henri Bergson and suggested “Most sex is funny, if we accept Henri Bergson’s definition of humor, the failure of the body to perform up to the sprit’s standards, or the resistance of the material world to the will’s impulses“. He then pointed out a common mistake “Don’t confine the sexiness to sex scenes“.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – shared her preferences “Clumsiness and fluids interest me. Vague waves of passion do not. And plain language never fails. I am wary of excessive or obscuring metaphor. partly because it suggests a kind of shame“. She ended with a line that, in reality is (IMHO) a recipe for good sex IRLI like sex scenes that choose instead to be honest and open“.

Full article here

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