“Writing about sex contains an additional anxiety on top of all the usual ones that the writer might be giving him- or herself away, that readers may conclude, when you describe a sexual act, that it must already have happened to you in pretty much the manner described.”
I know he’s not alone, because I’ve heard other writers say similar things. I’m probably a freak of nature, but writing sex scenes doesn’t affect me this way. I assume that my readers assume – because my author bio broadcasts the fact that I’m an adult, married woman with children – that I have had sex. Similarly, I assume – because statistics and human nature have thus informed me – that the majority of them have had sex as well. If, after reading some of the steamier parts of Waiting For Spring, my readers conclude that what’s written there must already have happened to me in pretty much the manner described, so what? Should that make me ashamed? Chances are it’s happened to them in pretty much the manner described, too…and high five! Good for us! I’m much more concerned that my readers may conclude that I, like Tess, had once been an accessory to murder or discover that I, too, sometimes shop at Walmart.
I think we, as a society, might need to reexamine our priorities and, maybe, grow up a little.