Bad Sex!

Oh, I am on pins and needles. Or pricks and nipples. Why? Because, thanks to Tania and Elizabeth, I know the Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction award will be presented today. Why is this not televised?! In HD?!

This year’s entries are just marvelous in a way that makes you want to cross your legs and contemplate things like chastity belts. According to, Passages from Winterson’s The Stone Gods, Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach and Ali Smith’s Girl Meets Boy, among others, were all deemed to qualify. The prize aims to ‘draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it.’”

The Guardian has some great excerpts, including my fave, from Will by Christopher Rush, which starts out: O glorious pubes! The ultimate triangle, whose angles delve to hell but point to paradise.

My brain keeps trying to set that line to the tune of “O, Canada!” Sorry, Canada.



The Link-O-Lator

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  1. 1
    Kristen says:

    Great. I’m going to be singing a rather improper version of O Canada to myself for the rest of the day.

  2. 2
    Aemelia says:

    oh GAWD, those are just so bad…

  3. 3

    Ha ha!

    I forwarded the link to the excerpts to my husband, who got as far as the Absurdistan one, and said, “This is gross.  Why am I reading this?  This is gross!”

    The robot one wasn’t so bad, though.  Not hot or anything, but not actively painful either.

  4. 4
    Freezair says:

    Ok, the robot one had me snorting like a pig, trying not to get my roomate to notice me.

    Some of these writers clearly know how to write. They just don’t know how to write sex.

    find86: Find me an author who can write a good sex scene and I’ll find you 86 that can’t.

  5. 5

    My eyes! My eyes!!! Why did you have to post that link and why oh why did I have to follow it!?? I could have lived my whole life in ignorance of those passages existence!

    (after reading those entries, the above sounds like a double entendre but it’s not!)

  6. 6

    You’re kidding me. Those are sex scenes?!  Even the kama sutra sounds less… mechanical about it.

  7. 7
    Estelle Chauvelin says:

    I take it John Updike didn’t publish anything in this “award season”?  I’m sure I’ve run across more than one list of nominees that he was on in past years.

  8. 8
    Sarah Frantz says:

    Norman Mailer got it for depicting the incestuous (?) conception of Hitler.  Yum.


  9. 9
    Angelina says:

    Now, thanks to Mr. Milward, I am going to ask all my friends if these pants make my ass look like a tropical fish. word is normal97. Nope, haven’t been considered normal since I graduated high school in 1997. I didn’t know this system was psychic?!?!

  10. 10
    Lizzie (greeneyed fem) says:

    From ‘The Nature of Monsters’: Okay, this line? After the orgasm has happened?

    “He raised a finger to his lips and smiled.”

    Did anyone else think of Dr. Evil from Austin Powers?

  11. 11
    quichepup says:

    Norman Mailer should have received some Lifetime Achievement award. His sex scenes are awful and painful to read. The last book of his I tried to read was Ancient Evenings and I still haven’t gotten over the urination scene.

  12. 12
    SB Sarah says:

    Nothing good could ever come from the words “urination scene.”

  13. 13
    kirsten saell says:

    Actually, that one where the woman tries to set the man’s nipple on fire kinda turns me on. I think maybe I will check myself into a mental hospital…

  14. 14
    Lauren says:

    Something about Professor Lupin writing bad pr0n smacks of fanfiction and it’s funnier because it’s true.

  15. 15
    Wry Hag says:

    Ah, that “pulpy, furred wetness” that leads to the Slough of Depond, so redolent of a rank, dank miasma worthy of the tarn into which sank the forlorn House of Usher…

    No, wait, “pulpy, furred wetness” sounds more Lovecraftian.

    Lest we forget, these passages are from GOOD lit’rature.  We scribblers of trash don’t know what that is.  We do, however, know how to write a smacky good sex scene.

  16. 16
    Melissa Blue says:

    One of the authors said it best.

    From The Late Hector Kipling by David Thewlis (Picador)

    “This is not pleasurable.”

  17. 17
    Brandi says:

    I’m really surprised the Will one didn’t win, but the Beeb article suggests Mailer may have gotten the award as a (backhanded?) tribute.

  18. 18

    And people make fun of Harlequin romances? These are just gawd awful. Nauseating, in fact. thanks. I was just sitting down to dinner…now I’ll have to wait until my stomach settles!

  19. 19
    Teddy Pig says:

    O glorious pubes!

    To shave or not to shave, That is the question;
    Whether ‘tis nobler in the groin to suffer
    The Brazilian Wax of outrageous fortune,

  20. 20
    Chrissy says:

    Was it my imagination or were there many more men there?

    Not that pen names don’t make it a moot point.

    Gar.  I can’t help thinking “dear lord I hope you don’t actually DO IT that way!!”

  21. 21

    The one from WILL was very… elaborate. I can’t but think that it’s a good thing Shakespeare actually wrote nothing like that.

    But still, I kinda liked it. And the one by Thewlis wasn’t so bad, not so much sex as absurdity. The ghetto-slang one was totally fascinating in a perverted, pathetic kind of way…

  22. 22

    Baby Jesus is glad He is a baby and therefore cannot read. 

    I am a nurse.  It is very difficult to gross me out.  When I assisted in lots of minor surgeries, I would package up specimens of things we cut out of people during lunch.  I remember discussing recipes with the doc while doing a bowel scope.  Are you getting the picture?  I have a stomach of cast iron.

    So when I tell you that reading these put me off my dinner, I hope you realize just what that means.  Sweet Christ with a blindfold.

  23. 23

    By the way… it was the one with the asparagus smell, and the guy’s “upper and lower stomach” and HIS tits (???!!!) that did it.  As Tony the Tiger would say, “They’re GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRROSS!”

  24. 24
    Melanie says:

    Wow! and Ewww…

  25. 25
    snarkhunter says:

    Now, thanks to Mr. Milward, I am going to ask all my friends if these pants make my ass look like a tropical fish

    Apparently, in Britslang, “fanny” means “twat.” (Or insert (*snicker*) whatever crude word for female genitalia that you prefer.)

    So you should be asking your friends if your pants make you have tropical-fish-like camel toe? I guess?

    Also, I *LOVE* that the robot used up “three silicon-lined vaginas.”

  26. 26
    smartmensab-tch says:

    Dear Goddess…PLZ pass the brain bleach, y’all. FAST.

  27. 27
    anu says:

    The SBs should do a Bad Sex Award. If it’d be too crass to give it to an actual author, you could always do it similar to AAR’s Purple Prose Contest. That shit was hilarious.

  28. 28

    The O Canada thing works better if you live in Quebec:

    “Pubes glorieux! La triangle finale, dont les angles fouillent à l’enfer mais au point au paradis.”

  29. 29

    I am totally titling my next book “Pubes Glorieux”!

  30. 30
    Angelina says:

    Thanks snarkhunter. I can’t believe there is a word in Britslang I didn’t know already!

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