I am in very good company. If the trolls are right and I am wretched at writing romance novels, at least I am not alone. Annually for the past quarter century, The Literary Review has taken it upon itself to uncover…ahem…the worst sex scenes.
This year’s crop of nominees includes Morrissey and Erica Jong! He’s a great songwriter; she coined the phrase the “zipless f***”. Also on the short list is Lauren Groff whose book Fates and Furies is on every bestseller list. She gets slammed for using food imagery in describing sex. Hey! I did that too! In Love on St. Barts, Sunny talks about beets and mushrooms and crème fraîche.
I didn’t make the list. Nor did many of the authors I check out to figure out why their romance novels are outselling mine. So many of them are putrid and deserving of being on the worst sex scenes list. Some because they are so unbelieveable…five times in a row? Really? Others because of the ick factor–use the word “step-brother” and I’m out of there. Others because I hate it when the man refers to penis by name. Often they don’t remember the name of their partner.
The list is for sex scenes in literature. You say “literature” with your pinky finger stuck out and your nose up in the air. Writing is writing. Some good, some bad. I’ve read best sellers I wouldn’t use to line parrot cages (if I still read paper books, which I don’t.)
I’ve read “literature” which was filthier than anything sold under the erotica title. It’s all in the packaging. One man’s filth is another’s treasure–or literary award.