Philip Larkin wrote in "Annus Mirabilis"
Sexual intercourse began
In nineteen sixty-three
(which was rather late for me) -
Between the end of the "Chatterley" ban
And the Beatles' first LP.
Up to then there'd only been
A sort of bargaining,
A wrangle for the ring,
A shame that started at sixteen
And spread to everything.
Sex is a tricky subject isn't it? Reviewers are sharp to attack a description that descends into the tawdry, readers feel they are being made into voyeurs. Yet sexuality is part of character. And as an author I believe if you engage with your characters you will write about their sexuality.
Let’s leave gratuitous sex aside and concentrate on the history of this. Joyce’s Ulysses got him in trouble as did DH Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley's Lover. Today both are deemed innocuous. Much has to do with the prevalent moral structure, often prurient shackles on free writing.
I think one of the finest examples of good writing about sex comes in DM Thomas’s The White Hotel. It deals with a hysteric's sessions on a psychoanalyst's couch as she grapples with her desire and guilt. As such the author manages to place it within a context that rids it of the downfalls sex in literature often falls prey too.
Suffice it to say my second novel Mr. Glamour is published this month by Black Jackal Books in paperback. It contains a few sex scenes and they are not written in the usual way, in fact they are written in such a way as to make the reader think he or she is not reading about sex at all.