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The English, who annually hand out an award for the worst sex writing, seem to be obsessed with the erotic in fiction.(See The Bad Sex Award is Coming, Oh God Oh God Yes Yes Yes It’s Coming!). The latest foray into the subject raises the question, Do women write more erotic sex scenes than men? In a recent piece posted in The Telegraph, novelist Martin Amis not only solemnly asks the question but solemnly tries to answer it, not realizing how reminiscent is is of those earnest college dorm debates over the existence of God. Such arguments generate lots of heat but inevitably fizzle as soon as the combatants try to define their terms.
Amis defines his terms and fizzles, ultimately declaring that sex is “almost impossible to write about and no one has done it very well, ever.”
“Ever” is a long time and, given the wealth of erotic literature going back to Greek and Persian times (and let’s not forget The Song of Songs), this is a surprisingly fatuous remark from an otherwise intelligent man and a professor of creative writing to boot. You can read his twaddly observations in full in And the good sex award goes to…
Related, we suppose, to this distinctly British preoccupation comes the news that, according to a recent poll, “nearly half of UK women would much rather read about sex than actually have it.” The survey was conducted by a blog called Dotty Bingo, so we cannot vouch for its reliability. But according to femalefirst.co.uk, Dotty tells us that “44 per cent of the 400 site members surveyed said that they’d rather live out someone else’s sex life through a book than take part in their own.”
“I’d much rather read about it then do it,” one respondent said. “It’s always exciting in a book and, unlike in real life, the hero never rolls off when he’s finished and starts snoring without so much as a cuddle.”
For a full report on the dotty findings, read Erotic Literature More Exciting Than Sex