Some years ago -- about forty, I suppose -- I saw a television interview with George Abbott, the famous Broadway writer and director. He was in London to direct the UK production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. 'Let me tell you something,' said George to the interviewer. 'Sex is not about to go out of fashion.'
George was dead right. Yesterday the Sunday Times announced that it intends to launch its own Good Sex Awards (for books, that is); and the subject was introduced with a lengthy article by Belle de Jour about her favourite bits of allegedly hot books.
And, as if that was not enough for an elderly gentleman on a quiet Sunday, an email arrived announcing the publication of The World's Best Sex Writing 2005, edited by the renowned Mitzi Szereto.
'Sex writers', the press release says, 'were busy in 2005. The World's Best Sex Writing features the funniest, most articulate -- the best -- nonfiction writing on sex, culled from publications around the globe. Publications featured include Wired, Salon.com, Nerve.com, LA Weekly, the Guardian (London), the Independent (London), and the Sunday Herald (Glasgow).'
The Sunday Herald, Glasgow? Shome mistake, shurely.
'Here' -- it says -- 'is Dave Barry (Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist for the Miami Herald) on sex, men and fruit flies; Nigel Planer (novelist and actor best known for playing Neil in 80s Brit sitcom The Young Ones) on the sexual allure of Tahitian women; the Nation's Katha Pollitt on Andrea Dworkin; Ron Nyswaner (screenwriter for Philadelphia) on his sexual and emotional domination by a male hustler; Toni Bentley (former ballerina) on her obsession with anal sex....' And so on.
No, I don't believe that bit about the ballerina either. But you could check it out. Mind you, I once knew a ballerina who took her baby out shopping in a pram, parked him outside Harrods while she nipped in for something, and then went home without him. Easily done, as I'm sure you'll agree.