Women better at writing about sex, says author
Speaking at a book festival, Amis said female writers are also more “sincere” about expressing emotion.
While men get carried away with the power of being able to conjure a sex scene onto the page, women are able to convey the reality of a fumble beneath the sheets, he explained.
“Let me venture a distinction between men’s writing and women’s writing,” a major newspaper quoted him as telling an audience at the festival.
“There is a difference between real sincerity and literary sincerity. When you’re told about the death of a friend you can burst into tears but you can’t burst into song.
“But I would say there’s a bit more song in women’s writing, there’s more real sincerity in women’s writing.
“And before I tiptoe away from this, I’d say the reason why women write better about sex - which is almost impossible to write about and no-one has done it very well, ever - is that as a novelist you are in a God-like relation to what you create.
“You are omnipotent and the question of potency is embarrassing for men. It is the great hidden weakness in men, that potency can fail, and it’s not something that troubles women. They have a lot else to worry about, but not that.
“So once a man is writing a sex scene he’s feeling omnipotent and he’s forgotten about all those fiascos and no-shows. But women don’t, and they write better about it,” he explained.
Two years ago, Amis attracted the ire of feminists when he said the sexual revolution had its downsides and women had “almost got too many powers for the harmony of their own lives”.
The author was at the festival to discuss his new novel, Lionel Asbo: State of England, a satire about a criminal who wins 139,999,999.50 pounds on the National Lottery.
Amis is resident in the United States, where he lives with his American wife.