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How To Write Good Sex

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If you’re writing sex, make sure you do your research. As one might imagine this topic has been screwed to death and upon its beaten body lie clichés, unfortunate comparisons, and loads of downright awfulness.

Here’s what you’ll need for researching how not to write about sex:

Penthouse letters
At least a couple trashy romance novels
Anything by Charles Bukowski
The Literary Review’s Bad Sex Awards

These will show you how to never, ever write sex scenes. This passage from David Mitchell’s Black Swan Green, as found on the Literary Review’s site, just kills me:

“If Dawn Madden’s breasts were a pair of Danishes, Debby Crombie’s got two Space Hoppers. Each armed with a gribbly nipple. Tom Yew kissed them in turn and his saliva glistened in the April sun….
Tom Yew got on her and sort of jiggled there and she gasped like he was giving her a Chinese burn and wrapped her legs round him, froggily. Now he moved up and down, Man-from-Atlantisly. His silver chain jiggled on his neck.
Now her grubby soles met like they were praying.
Now his skin was glazed in roast pork sweat.
Now she made a noise like a tortured Moomintroll.
Now Tom Yew’s body jerkjerked judderily jackknifed and a noise like a ripping cable tore out of him….”

I haven’t read the book, so don’t know the context, but I hope Mitchell meant that to be comical.

Now that you know where to turn to learn how not to write sex, read this article by Steve Almond. The man speaks the truth.

While you’re at it, give a gander to Jessica Barksdale Inclan’s recommendations of who writes sex right.



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