The Literary Companion to Sex by Fiona Pitt-Kethley - review by Nigella Lawson

Nigella Lawson

Come and Get Me

The Literary Companion to Sex


Sinclair-Stevenson 448pp £19.95 order from our bookshop

There is something pitiable about those persons who feel they must be forever advertising their own sexiness – for fear, one presumes, that if they didn’t tell us we would never have noticed. Fiona Pitt-Kethley has made a career out of setting her sexual exploits to verse. And while the contemplation of her own conquests might make Pitt-Kethley’s juices flow, the reader, required to consider the poet’s flailing limbs in amorous contortion, is offered no such erotic reward. I imagine she has her following. Perhaps Christopher Sinclair-Stevenson, who commissioned the collection of dirty bits under review, is to be numbered among them. Others will find it deeply boring.

Sex, anyway, is best left as a practical exercise. Once it is turned into a spectator sport, its more ridiculous aspect is revealed. There is more to sex, after all, than the pumping and heaving, the rude mechanicals. That is what this book singularly fails to convey; Pitt-Kethley’s compendium of

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter