Bad Sex (Scenes)

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Are sex scenes in books always bad? At The Millions, Drew Nellis Smith muses on poorly written depictions of passion, why authors so often leave out the messier details, and his own attempts to get it right:

I’m no different than anyone else who has waded into this treacherous territory. I’m quite happy with my sex scenes. I think they’re just terrific, actually. I think they’re right in their frankness, in their zooming in and zooming out. In the smells they attempt to conjure and fan out at readers from the page, however subtly. I think they capture something real and true. But we all know what the odds say about the likelihood of their success.


Kelly Lynn Thomas reads, writes, and sometimes sews in Pittsburgh, PA. Her creative work has appeared in Sou’wester, Thin Air Magazine, Heavy Feather Review, metazen, and others, and she received her MFA in Creative Writing from Chatham University. She is hopelessly obsessed with Star Wars and can always be found with a large mug of tea. She also runs the very small Wild Age Press. Read more at kellylynnthomas.com. More from this author →