Bad Sex in Fiction Award: Haruki Murakami, James Frey and Gerard Woodward among all-male shortlist

The awards single out the worst sex scenes in non-pornographic, non-erotic fiction each year

Clémence Michallon@Clemence_Mcl
Monday 03 December 2018 13:12
There are some seriously dubious descriptions of sex in the shortlist for the annual literature prize
There are some seriously dubious descriptions of sex in the shortlist for the annual literature prize

The shortlist for this year's Bad Sex in Fiction Award is an all-male cast of authors – and includes a regular object of Nobel chatter as well as a controversial memoirist.

Haruki Murakami and James Frey are among the seven writers picked by the Literary Review as contenders for its 2018 award, which every year singles out the worst sex scenes in non-pornographic, non-erotic fiction.

Murakami, whose name is more often mentioned among lists of possible Nobel Prize recipients, is nominated for Killing Commendatore, his novel released in October this year.

The book includes a scene in which the male narrator produces anatomy-defying quantities of sperm.

Frey, who was revealed to have altered events in his 2003 memoir A Million Little Pieces, is among the possible recipients of this year's prize for his novel Katerina, released in September.

Literary Review contributor Frank Brinkley wouldn't "officially" confirm to The Guardian that male authors write poorer sex scenes than their female peers, though he admitted that men were "prime offenders" this year – and that the female writers included on the longlist weren't "bad enough" to make the cut.

Also included in this year's shortlist are Gerard Woodward, Major Victor Cornwall and Major Arthur St John Trevelyan, Julian Gough, Luke Tredget, and William Wall, the newspaper previously reported.

The winner of the 2018 Bad Sex in Fiction award will be announced on 3 December.

Here are the seven male authors on the shortlist for this year's Bad Sex in Fiction Award:

Haruki Murakami, Killing Commendatore

My ejaculation was violent, and repeated. Again and again, semen poured from me, overflowing her vagina, turning the sheets sticky. There was nothing I could do to make it stop. If it continued, I worried, I would be completely emptied out. Yuzu slept deeply through it all without making a sound, her breathing even. Her sex, though, had contracted around mine, and would not let go. As if it had an unshakeable will of its own and was determined to wring every last drop from my body.

James Frey, Katerina

I’m hard and deep inside her fucking her on the bathroom sink her tight little black dress still on her thong on the floor my pants at my knees our eyes locked, our hearts and souls and bodies locked.

Cum inside me.

Cum inside me.

Cum inside me.

Blinding breathless shaking overwhelming exploding white God I cum inside her my cock throbbing we’re both moaning eyes hearts souls bodies one.

Gerard Woodward, The Paper Lovers

He was aware that she was making a mewling sound as he put his lips to her tightened nipple and sucked. Her mouth was at his ear, her tongue travelling along its grooves, voice filling it. His mouth tugged at her, extended her, she snapped back, there was a taste of something on his tongue. In his mind he pictured her neck, her long neck, her swan’s neck, her Alice in Wonderland neck coiling like a serpent, like a serpent, coiling down on him. She had found a way through his clothing and her fingers had lightly touched his cock, then slowly began to take a firmer hold. He wanted to cry like a baby. He felt helpless, as though his body had come undone and she was fastening it. He felt as though he was bleeding somewhere. Then he felt powerful, gigantic. He would have kicked a door down.

Major Victor Cornwall and Major Arthur St John Trevelyan, Scoundrels: The Hunt for Hansclapp

"Empty my tanks,” I’d begged breathlessly, as once more she began drawing me deep inside her pleasure cave. Her vaginal ratchet moved in concertina-like waves, slowly chugging my organ as a boa constrictor swallows its prey. Soon I was locked in, balls deep, ready to be ground down by the enamelled pepper mill within her.

Julian Gough, Connect

He drops the bra to the floor, looks up, into her eyes, it’s too much. He kisses her chin, her mouth, and their tongues touch, oh, too much, he slips his lips free with a soft suck. Moves up to kiss her strong nose, on one side, then the other, it’s hard and soft at once. He moves back down, till he is level with her breasts.

‘They’re small,’ she says, surprisingly shy, apologetic.

‘They’re perfect,’ he says.

He kisses them. Teases a nipple with his lips. It’s so soft; and then, suddenly, hard.


Luke Tredget, Kismet

She shuffles her head closer to his cock, close enough to smell her own residue, and then takes it in her mouth, with the vague idea of cleaning it. Geoff mirrors this gesture by burying his head between her legs, and gradually she can feel his cock pumping up with blood, one pulse at a time, until it is long and hard and filling her wide-open mouth. They stay in this position for a long time, Anna sucking and slurping with the same lazy persistence you’d use on a gobstopper or a stick of rock. Eventually she loses her sense of the context altogether – of what she is doing or who she is with or where they are – and becomes an empty vessel for what feels like disembodied consciousness.

William Wall, Grace's Day

He’s almost weightless. When he enters me it hurts and my pain belongs to the subterranean world, primitive as the clay. His body is slacker than I expected, a small paunch begins at his waist and settles in a downward parabola to his groin. His pubic hair is red. His erect penis is a surprise although I had imagined what they would feel like, read about them, seen them represented on toilet walls and magazines. I didn’t see it before he entered me, but afterwards it is small and sticky and amusing. I want to touch it but I don’t dare. I don’t know the etiquette. He is twenty or more years older than me. This is sex.

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