Because it's the new year, and we all want it to be a good one, I thought I'd start it with sex. Writing about it, to be more precise. We've all heard Elmore Leonard's dictum about leaving out the stuff the reader skips many many times--but I almost always skip sex scenes. Yes, he/she took off her/his clothes. They got naked, they got into bed/backseat of car/faux-skin rug in front of fire/billiard table, and heaved about like demented hippopotami for a bit and then-can we get back to the story?
I also skip sex scenes as a writer. Every year, when the Bad Sex in Fiction Award is announced, I thank my writing muse for steering me clear of any chance of being publicly humiliated at the In and Out Club.
This past December, Philip Roth was shortlisted for The Humbling, in which an aging actor "converts" a lesbian to homosexuality: