Prizes are awarded to “draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it.”
The prizes exclude purely erotic works, and do specifically look for poor writing. After reading a few of the snippets of past writing, I’d agree the past winners’ writing is painful.
But the intent behind this award is also to discourage sexual description they consider crude or tasteless. Which seems subjective.
Sex –explicitly described or not—is something that people do. But I don’t think enough of us do it enough… or well enough.
Explicit sex in fiction can help relationships.
I believe that explicit sex in popular writing gives the reader a payoff that can ignite the passion in themselves and their partner. It raises awareness and acceptance of sex as a part of life, including new and exciting sexual interests, and helps push us past this legacy Puritan, prudish sexual repression we continue to have in the United States.
Plus, a well-written sex scene provides a payoff for the reader, and can ignite the passion with their partner. And a little steaminess does sell books… because that’s what people want.
Writing about sex provides the opportunity to tell the reader what each character was thinking, and to explain how events, circumstances and upbringing led to the characters connecting, for better or for worse. Understanding the characters’ issues and challenges and how they resolve those problems is interesting and important, especially if it leads to the characters connecting in the most intimate way possible. And that means sex.
I passionately believe that a good sex life is a requirement for a healthy, vibrant marriage.
A lot of people –especially those who have been together a long time—aren’t having good sex. Books that inspire, explain and motivate both partners to more passionate sex life and thus greater intimacy have their place.
And that’s pretty much what I try to accomplish with the books I write.