It’s that time of year again, when another batch of gloriously terrible literary sex scenes has the whole office giggling. The Bad Sex in Fiction Award is back and the nominations so far have been revealed, including Morrissey’s atrocious debut List of the Lost and a novel from George Pelecanos, screenwriter of The Wire.
Read the excerpts in the gallery below, at your peril
Britain’s most dreaded annual prize returns for a 23rd year to highlight the most egregiouss passage of sexual description in a work of fiction. The point of the prize is to draw readers’ attention to “poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them”. Pornographic or expressly erotic literature is not covered, according to Literary Review.
Other authors in the running this year include Lauren Groff for Fates and Furies, Tomas Espedal for Against Nature and Aleksandar Hemon for The Making of Zombie Wars.
Bad Sex in Fiction 2015 nominees
Bad Sex in Fiction 2015 nominees
1/8 List of the Lost, Morrissey
Eliza and Ezra rolled together into the one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza's breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it whacked and smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza's body except for the otherwise central zone.
2/8 Against Nature, Tomas Espedal
She presses him to the ground, pins his hands to the floor. She kisses his face and licks it. She bites his lip. She bites his cheek. She pants in his ear, shouts his name in his ear, she whips his face with her hair […] she rides above him the way she'd imagined that one day she’d ride a boy, a man, a beast; she grasps his long hair with both her hands and rides him as if he were a horse…
3/8 The Martini Shot, George Pelecanos
I pulled her to me. I took her band off, and her hair fell free about her shoulders. I cupped my hand around the back of her neck, and we made out standing beside my bed. It felt good to both of us, pressed together, her body lush, soft, and hot against mine. She was a good kisser; our mouths fit.
4/8 The Making of Zombie Wars, Aleksander Hemon
Far in the back of whatever was left of his mind, the light of reason was struggling against being finally extinguished and he was aware that wearing a condom would’ve been a good idea, but there was no way that he was getting out of her, because she took him in and he was with her in every move, in every gasp, kiss, and lick.
5/8 Before, During, After, Richard Bausch
She reached up and brought him to her, then rolled over on top of him and began softly to move down. When she took him, still a little flaccid, into her mouth, he moaned, ‘Oh, lover.’
6/8 Book of Numbers, Joshua Cohen
Her mouth was intensely ovoid, an almond mouth, of citrus crescents. And under that sling, her breasts were like young fawns, sheep frolicking in hyssop – Psalms were about to pour out of me.
7/8 Fear of Dying, Erica Jong
I am swept away with waves of anticipation that blank out my mind and let me focus only on pleasure, releasing the painful past, releasing the desire to return there and be young and beautiful again. Fuck young and beautiful – this is worth everything – and I come with fierce contractions that seem to go on and on endlessly.
8/8 Fates and Furies
Glorious, he was made to do this. There was cracking all around and a blistering sunlike heat, and Gwennie was shuddering beneath him, and one-two-three, he burst within her.
Unauthorised David Cameron biography Call Me Dave by Michael Ashcroft and Isabel Oakeshott came to the judges’ attention with its suggestion that “the future Prime Minister inserted a private part of his anatomy into the animal’s mouth” but was dismissed as “too flimsily correlated as to resemble fiction”. Essentially, it was too bad even for the Bad Sex awards.
Last year’s ‘accolade’ was won by Ben Okri for The Age of Magic. If you need a reminder of his dubious sexual writing, look no further:
When his hand brushed her nipple it tripped a switch and she came alight. He touched her belly and his hand seemed to burn through her. He lavished on her body indirect touches and bittersweet sensations flooded her brain.
The 2015 winner will be announced at a London ceremony on Tuesday 1 December.
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