Tuesday, January 5, 2010
The woes of sexy writing through the years
In a recent New York Times Essay, Katie Roiphe examines the many ways male writers write sex wrong. While some of the examples are indeed strange (Roth, I'm looking at you.), I can't help but wonder if there's any right way to write sex. According to Roiphe, neither the aggressive sex of macho author's past nor the "psuedosensitive"sex of young hipster writers meet the ideal feminist criteria.
But is the depiction of sex supposed to be ideal? Aggression, ego and insecurity are all part of both male and female sexual identity. Perfect literary sex would be untrue. Yes, many male writers write bad sex. But all sex writing is murky territory. For that matter, are women any better at writing sexy literature? Sex in literature, be it graphic or innuendo, is always a bit awkward for me. I've yet to see an example, that doesn't seem somewhat off. Anyone care to share some passages that prove me wrong?
VIA the nytimes