The strange but intriguing website Nothing In the Rulebook has an intriguing post highlighting the “Bad Sex in Fiction” award, described by Wikipedia thusly:
Each year since 1993, Literary Review has presented the annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award to the author who produces the worst description of a sex scene in a novel. The award itself is in the form of a “semi-abstract trophy representing sex in the 1950s”, which depicts a naked woman draped over an open book. The award was originally established by Rhoda Koenig, a literary critic, and Auberon Waugh, then the magazine’s editor.
The given rationale is “to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it.”
But the Wikipedia entry is deeply unsatisfying, because what you want to do now is read those bad sex scenes! I won’t reproduce them here, as this is supposed to be a family-friendly website, but you can read all the winners from 1993 on at Nothing in the Rulebook‘s post “Bad sex in fiction awards: The Connoisseur’s Compendium.” (The Guardian also has a series of posts on the award.) The latest one, however, isn’t too salacious, and comes from a new novel, The List of the Lost by Morrissey, once a singer with The Smiths. And here are the lines for which he nabbed the prize:
“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.”
Bulbous salutation! The otherwise central zone! Many of the other winners are just as funny, but you’ll have to see them for yourself. (As a biologist, I particularly like the 2010 winner. And 1997 isn’t too shabby, either.)
Morrissey, of course, doesn’t like the award, calling it a “repulsive horror.” Actually, the repulsive horror is his prose!