This is a story about the Bad Sex Literary awards
and I think the trophy is called the Interruptus.
Anyway. I've often described (the majority of)
Brits as insecure, quiet and retiring, but they
do tend to like to read.
So, I suppose they could, vicariously, know what
good sex feels like when they read about it.
After all, the largest sex organ is the brain.
Beyond that, those same Brits are embarrassed
by discussing sex, and giggle or avoid it. So,
the discussion of bad literary sex is a complicated
journey in the UK.
If you look at the Bradshaw text at the bottom, he says
that those who criticise literary sex should basically
get on stage naked and show what good sex looks like.
Therefore, I have enjoyed the discussion of this award.
Some think it's fair game, because authors have dared
to produce a work and have sought public
approbation and lucre. Therefore, their works are
fair game, especially if they make us giggle with
their "view" on the
monster with 8 limbs.
I agree with this "position", wholeheartedly. I think that
some authors may think that they'll make more money
by making a kind of erotica that can be accepted by
the public, like "50 shades of boring" that
everybody was talking about 2 years ago. So, fair
game. I've already trashed "50" previously.
A feminist perspective would also improve the
proceedings by having a Bad Foreplay prize,
called the Doorbell.
This prize is exclusively for men. It's given
with the bons mots: "You haven't a clue, buddy"
I'm not sure who won, but I believe the main
contender was Morrisey. If I'm not mistaken,
I had read, as a young man, that he was
asexual, as in he didn't engage in sexual activity.
Undaunted, as an author, he really put the fiction
into his fiction by trying to describe a horizontal
union of bodies.
Also, the authors, even if they can't separate a
arse from an elbow, can show their creativity
by giving as good as they get. Case in point,
below, is AA Gill, who basically called the
prize creator Auberon Waugh a wanker,
but in the most colourful way. Now, that's
a nasty f&*cker. Too bad he couldn't
transfer that to his fiction.
First, the offending authors' best book-boinking
(I've actually read one, by Pelecanos- it's a bit crass):
Hold your vom: Guardian
Bad sex award 2015: the contenders in quotes
Eight purple passages are up for the prize every author dreads, the annual Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction award. Can Erica Jong beat Morrissey to the sweetspot?
Her breasts were like like young fawns....
Her breasts were like like young fawns.... Photograph: David McNew/Getty Images
Wednesday 18 November 2015 07.00 GMT
Last modified on Monday 23 November 2015 12.50 GMT
List of the Lost by Morrissey
At this, 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.
The Making of Zombie Wars by Aleksandar Hemon
Then he slid up her body and his cock was inside her, and he was kissing her, the same whetted tongue now inside her mouth. 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 – she let him in so deep he didn’t have to think about her, and therefore he didn’t have to think about himself, but of course he was thinking about not thinking about himself …
Before, During, After by 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.’ She felt him harden, and she tightened her lips and pulled, and then ran her tongue slow along the shaft, and then straightened and straddled him, guiding him into her, sinking and rising on him, head back, hands gripping his shoulders. It went on. It was very good.
Book of Numbers by 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.
“Josh,” I said.
“Je vais me undressed, clothes off, unhabillé, déshab.”
Fear of Dying by Erica Jong
I slip into bed, amazed that Asher is making the first move – which is unusual for him.
While I lie next to him, astounded by his presence still, he opens my silk robe and touches my cunt as if he were Adam just discovering Eve’s pussy.
‘Beautiful,’ he says.
And then he begins to run his tongue slowly along my labia, gently inserting one finger to feel for my G-spot on the front wall of wet pussy.
Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff
The party was loud. She pushed him back on the sandy tar paper, and he was looking up at her face in the glow, and she lifted her skirt and moved the crotch of her underwear aside, and Lotto, who was always ready, who was ready at the most abstract imaginings of a girl – footprints of a sandpiper like a crotch, gallons of milk evoking boobs – was not ready at this oh-so-abrupt beginning. It didn’t matter. Gwennie shoved him in though she was dry. He shut his eyes and thought of mangoes, split papayas, fruits tart and sweet and dripping with juice, and then it was off, and he groaned and his whole body turned sweet …
The Martini Shot by George Pelecanos
We kissed some more and had a few laughs. While we talked, I slid my hand beneath her sweats, pushed the crotch of her damp lace panties aside, slipped my longest finger inside her, and stroked her clit. It got warm in the room. She lay back on the couch and arched her back, and I peeled off her pants and thong. Now she was nude. I stripped down to my boxer briefs and crouched over her. I let her pull me free because I knew she liked to. She stroked my pole and took off my briefs, and I got between her and spread her muscular thighs with my knees and rubbed myself against her until she was wet as a waterslide, and then I split her.
Against Nature by Tomas Espedal
Héloïse has lost all sense of how she ought to behave, she practically throws herself at Abélard, pulls him to the floor and straddles him as if they’re two boys fighting. 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 stops his mouth hard with her hand and takes his breath away. She rides above him the way she’d imagined that one day she’d ride a boy, a man, a beast...
and the award kerfuffle
The bad sex award needs a new sort of climax
The Literary Review has been a force for good in British public life, and I must sentimentally say that it was the first place I ever had anything published. But in 1993 its editor, Auberon Waugh, created a monster, soon to raise its ugly head again – the bad sex award, a prize for the most embarrassing description of sex in a new novel.
On 1 December the winner will be announced, and the frontrunner appears to be Morrissey – whose debut novel List of the Lost has been widely panned for its silly sexy bits. Well, I haven’t read that. But the bad sex award is a terribly English display of smug, gigglingly unfunny, charmless and spiteful bullying.
Bad sex award 2015: the contenders in quotes
The writers who are baited in this way are of course supposed to grin and bear it, because to object in any way would be gleefully seized upon as evidence of humourless priggishness. It is like a nightmare ritual from the prefects’ room at some seedy minor public school.
When he won the prize, AA Gill, to his great credit, crisply compared Waugh’s own sex life to “the sound of one hand clapping”. I now have a suggestion. Those awarding the prize should be compelled to cite literary passages that they think are good sex: ie, explicit descriptions of sex that are not embarrassing.
And they’re not allowed to get away with airily claiming that subtle literary passages are much sexier – hey, Jane Austen is actually really erotic, etc, etc. No. The bad sex judges should say what explicit sex is good, and thereby risk revealing something about their own private lives.