I have never had any particular gift for fiction: I run out of gas somewhere around a thousand words, and if you believe the old yarn about there being only seven basic plots, you’d probably wonder if I’d ever seen the other six. Clearly I have no business trying to write a novel.
One reason I’ve never tried to write a novel is because, sooner or later, you’ve got to have a sex scene. There’s this gnawing fear that (a) the scene would be interpreted as the writer’s own personal fantasy or a roman à clef and (b) the results might be ridiculous.
There is no shortage of examples of (c) all of the above, either.
Then again, maybe it’s just imagination I lack. Cintra Wilson has an article in the current Out about a couple of straight females writing gay romance novels. Yes, there are sex scenes. Says one of the authors in question:
I hope she wasn’t too disappointed to be sent to write an article about writers of gay porn for women and come across me instead. I hope she believed me when I said that that was not what I thought I was doing, and that one or two sex scenes in a book full of other stuff does not automatically make that book porn.
I suppose this is where I’m supposed to insist that “I am not a prude,” despite the fact that I tend to get a trifle antsy during sex scenes, even of the sort George Carlin once described as “good old-fashioned American man-on-top get-it-over-with-quick.” Besides, there are probably a hundred contemporary synonyms for “penis,” and 98 of them tend to make me giggle. (I blame Mike Judge.) I should definitely steer clear of those M/M stories.