Bad Sex In Romance

imageSo now that the Bad Sex Award has been given, and we’re all revolted by insect imagery (*shudder*), my question is this: what about bad sex descriptions in romance? I mean, you have your everyday thrusting, cresting, explodey-ing imagery, and then you have some truly erotic descriptions… countered by some truly unbelievably bad descriptions of sex and sex-related acts.

Of the What Not to Write that I’ve profiled here, only three were written in 2010, so with a very fine selection, it’s time to pick the Bad Sex in Romance for 2010.

The nominees for 2010 are:

The weeping furnace of her sheath from Stephanie Laurens’ “The Brazen Bride.

”…he could feel the dampness between her legs just from where they pressed together like Twinkies inside their cellophane wrapper” from Heidi Betts’ “A Bite Before Christmas.”

“What is that? Rainwater with chalk or lime deposits?” He snorted. “That was from me.” (aka “werepanther spooge puddles”) from Kerrelyn Sparks’ “Eat Prey Love.”

Keep in mind your horrible choices for 2011, because if you find bad sex descriptions, Good Lord, we absolutely need to know about them!

And if you’ve found worse in 2010 and we didn’t know about it, by all means share in the comments. One winner will be chosen of these three, but there is always next year for celebrating the very best of bad romance sex.


Random Musings

Comments are Closed

  1. Peggy says:

    Just when I began to worry that you would get too serious after your affair with the Grey Lady today!  Thank you.

  2. DianeN says:

    It’s so hard to choose!! I eliminated twinkies because I figured that some junk food addicted guy might actually think that, and even see it as a compliment. Then I eliminated the weeping sheath furnace because it fits nicely (like his blade in her sheath) (sorry) into Romancelandia’s long tradition of hot, wet, magical hoohahs. I went with “Rainwater or chalk deposits” because it’s just so RANDOM. I mean, who would look at a werepanther spooge puddle and think about chalk deposits, for heaven’s sake??

    Incidentally, had it read “What is that? Rainwater with chalk deposits or a werepanther spooge puddle?” I would have voted for it in the Best Sex writing category!

  3. Laurel says:

    Weeping anything shoots right to the top of my list. All I can think is “Penicillin! STAT!”

  4. RebeccaJ says:

    That Twinkies line just “rubs” me the wrong way…har har!

  5. jayhjay says:

    I went with twinkies. The spoogy lime deposits is totally gross and creepy (this was the “puddles” of spooge scene).  But for the hero to describe a woman’s thighs as something soft and puffy and bursting at the seams of the plastic wrapper is just too cruel!

  6. Barbara W. says:

    BWAHAHA!  I just read, “Eat Prey Love” a couple of weeks ago and died at the bit about werepanther splooge.  It was funny in context, but once I was out of it, I had to admit, it was just… actually, pretty genius if Sparks was going for utter grossness.  Because it was.

    And now I wish I hadn’t added creamer to my coffee, because it’s been sitting here long enough that it’s developed a sort of oil-slick thing on top.  Gah.

  7. Lisa J says:

    Well, I just put the twinkie I was going to have for lunch in my desk drawer.  I don;t think I will be eating that today.

  8. Fiamma says:

    I wish there was a tie button to choose from for werespooge and twinkies!

    Actually, there are some Joey W Hill books that come up with some interesting and sometimes frightening devices to be used for pleasure.

  9. Elemental says:

    I went for the panther juice. The other two describe things that are usually considered sexy, just in a really inept way. But that one is horribly unsexy both in the language it uses and what it actually describes.

    Hmm, “Panther Juice” sounds like the name of a brand of soda, doesn’t it?

  10. Ruby Duvall says:

    They’re all pretty disturbing, but the Twinkies one is just… *gag* I’m actually embarking on a mission to collect/find examples of bad romance writing. It’s all going onto a tumblr at If I find any especially noteworthy ones, I’ll forward them to you. 😀

  11. ghn says:

    I agree with Laurel upthread – “weeping” anything definitely needs antibiotics. Yet I went with the Twinkies after all – and for me it was the cellophane that did it!

  12. DreadPirateRachel says:

    In context, the werepanther spooge is definitely the worst, but as far as sheer bad wording goes, I had to vote for the Twinkies. It’s the worst description of a vagina/thighs EVER! Seriously, what woman wants to be told her thighs are like Twinkies?

  13. Donna says:

    Sorry, it’s not just that splooge puddles are gross, it’s the way it’s written. “Rainwater with chalk or lime deposits?” Who talks like that? Bad, bad, bad.

  14. Jason says:


  15. Hannah says:

    I voted for the first entry. While the other two are sillier, the “weeping furnace” makes me cringe the most.

  16. Woke up this morning and checked to be sure I’m neither in the obituaries nor in the Bad Sex in Romance competition.  Now I know it’s going to be a great day!

  17. Vicki says:

    You need an “all of the above” button. It was hard to choose. I finally went with weeping furnace but I was so tempted by the others.

  18. M Lopez says:

    I don’t have the book with me anymore so I can’t give you a direct quote, but Sandra Hill writes in “Viking in Love” something about her “milking him with her traitorous inner lady parts.”

  19. Jewel Dedmon says:

    Anyone who refers to my thighs as twinkies shall never get through my cellophane wrapper to have access to my creamy filling!

    Bleck – I think I just grossed myself out. Just don’t like food metaphors with regard to sex.

  20. Betty Fokker says:

    My “furnace” sure must be tough, because it never weeps. It didn’t even weep during natural childbirth, that’s how hearty my furnace is.

  21. TaraL says:

    traitorous inner lady parts

    OMG. That cracked me up. I’m not sure, but I think that might be a bonafide medical condition. I think I’ve had that. It makes you talk to yourself. Conversations like, “Yes, I know he’s pretty but you can’t have him. Why? Because everyone knows he’s a huge dick! No, you know that’s not what I meant. You can’t have him!”

    Of course, that’s when I was in my twenties. They’re hardly ever traitorous these days…

  22. Being a Brit, and therefore not having a truly gross mental picture of Twinkies (what the hell is a Twinkie anyway?), I went for the weeping furnace.  It just sounds so…so…naff.  I can actually imagine someone saying the other two (in my worst, cheesemares) but if anyone asks to shove anything near the weeping furnace of my sheath then I’m afraid I’d have to kill them for being ridiculously overwrought.

  23. Maya M. says:

    I vote for ‘weeping furnace’ because it squicked me out all on it’s own,

    whereas ‘Twinkies’ was more humorous than anything,

    and ‘Rainwater with chalk deposits’ is innocuous until you know what it is they’re talking about.

  24. Carin says:

    Anyone who refers to my thighs as twinkies shall never get through my cellophane wrapper to have access to my creamy filling!

    Love this!

  25. Splooge Puddle says:

    It was a tie between the furance and twinkies because both are just…stupid.  As for the splooge puddles, that’s too damn funny.  The twinkies won.

  26. LOL..Maybe some people get hot reading this type of stuff…LOL…No idea how that is possible…Those are just funny and so bad….

  27. Quenby says:

    Hmm, “Panther Juice” sounds like the name of a brand of soda, doesn’t it?

    In Sophie Kinsella’s book “Can You Keep A Secret”, there was a Panther Cola. 🙂

    I voted for Twinkies, just because I’ve never been a fan of sex and food together.

  28. kkw says:

    I love that John Updike gets a lifetime achievement award for bad sex writing.

  29. Laura (in PA) says:

    @ Jane Lovering – a Twinkie is a snack cake – sponge cake with a cream filling. Here is a link to a picture of them inside their cellophane wrapper:

    It’s too hard to choose – I finally decided on the Twinkies, because, ick.

  30. Randi says:


    I’m totally with you. I don’t know *why* anyone would use the word “weeping” in relation to sex. You know what “weeps”? Wounds. Not at ALL sexy or romantic.

    united74: I bet there are 74 of us who could unite to ban using the word “weep” in relation to a sex scene.

  31. NatashaB says:

    I’m surprised that “a woman’s sex is like a horses mouth” wasn’t among the nominees.

    Now that I’ve seen a picture of a twinkie, I finally understand what the fuss was about.

  32. lizw65 says:

    They’re all pretty bad, but I went with the “weeping furnace” because it’s such a mixed metaphor.  Seriously, if your furnace started to weep, wouldn’t the heat turn it to steam in fairly short order?

  33. Tracy says:

    “Rainwater with chalk or lime deposits” wins hands-down when you’re a geologist who has seen such a thing.  Eeeewww.

    And I have never craved Twinkies so little in my entire life.

  34. RebeccaJ says:

    I went with the Twinkies thing earlier today but I had never read the “splooge” piece before and now that I did……EWWWWWWW! That’s just disgusting! But I’m still going with the Twinkies thing:)

  35. zinemama says:

    I can put up with an awful lot when it comes to sex scenes. I mean, I know they’re hard to write just from trying to describe things in my journal. But I draw the line at thighs being compared to Twinkies. I just do.

  36. Colonel Angus says:

    What the What!?


  37. PetiteJ says:

    I second that @NatashaB.  I was hoping for the horse’s mouth description as well because while the others are definitely overblown purple prose to the most lavender, this description implied TEETH.

  38. Jen H says:

    I had to go with the Twinkies, because it brought rubbing and cellophane into the equation, and that’s just WRONG.

    south28: comparing thighs to Twinkies is 28 kinds of wrong and guarantees he won’t be going south for a long while!

  39. Pam says:

    I’m with the minority.  While Twinkie thighs and panther splooge are definitely weirder and funnier, they aren’t actual descriptions of the act itself.  However, the weeping furnace of her sheath—oh, please!

  40. Since our Bad Quotes blog is *nothing BUT* bad romance writing (although we do branch out from sex scenes), I think we should sort-of steal your idea and do an end-of-year contest.  I don’t particularly want to separate it out into books that have been published this year, as we cover every decade available, but maybe a best of the worst of the year would work…

    FWIW, when I read The Brazen Bride, this barely registered.  In our search for bad quotes we come across “weeping” things *all the time.”  The werepanther spooge was bad, but just so totally random that I kind of liked it.  The twinkies reference, while maybe (if you stretch it) sort of understandable, it’s JUST PLAIN BAD WRITING.

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