It’s time for the Literary Review’s annual Bad Sex Awards — given to “to draw attention to the crude and often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel – and to discourage it.”
And this year’s nominees are truly worthy contenders. The full shortlist is: The Yips by Nicola Barker, The Adventuress by Nicholas Coleridge, Infrared by Nancy Huston, Rare Earth by Paul Mason, Noughties by Ben Masters, The Quiddity of Will Self by Sam Mills, The Divine Comedy by Craig Raine and Back to Blood by Tom Wolfe. These lamentable literary sexual encounters include such gems as sex likened to pudding to a penis that acts like a “wubbering springboard.” Yes. Wubbering. And, no, we don’t get it either.
Now, without further ado, excerpts from the 2012 nominees for the Bad Sex in Fiction awards:
• The Adventuress: The Irresistible Rise of Miss Cath Fox by Nicholas Coleridge In seconds the duke had lowered his trousers and boxers and positioned himself across a leather steamer trunk, emblazoned with the royal arms of Hohenzollern Castle. ‘Give me no quarter,’ he commanded. ‘Lay it on with all your might.’
• Back to Blood, by Tom Wolfe Now his big generative jockey was inside her pelvic saddle, riding, riding, riding, and she was eagerly swallowing it swallowing it swallowing it with the saddle’s own lips and maw — all this without a word.
• The Divine Comedy by Craig Raine And he came. Like a wubbering springboard. His ejaculate jumped the length of her arm. Eight diminishing gouts. The first too high for her to lick. Right on the shoulder.
• Infrared by Nancy Huston This is when I take my picture, from deep inside the loving. The Canon is part of my body. I myself am the ultrasensitive film — capturing invisible reality, capturing heat.
• Noughties, by Ben Masters We got up from the chair and she led me to her elfin grot, getting amonst the pillows and cool sheets. We trawled each other’s bodies for every inch of history.
• The Quiddity of Wilf Self, by Sam Mills Down, down, on to the eschatological bed. Pages chafed me; my blood wept onto them. My cheek nestled against the scratch of paper. My cock was barely a ghost, but I did not suffer panic.
• Rare Earth by Paul Mason He began thrusting wildly in the general direction of her chrysanthemum, but missing — his paunchy frame shuddering with the effort of remaining rigid and upside down.
• The Yips by Nicola Barker She smells of almonds, like a plump Bakewell pudding; and he is the spoon, the whipped cream, the helpless dollop of warm custard.
Bizarre indeed. Includes how to chuck someone under the chin, how to hold hands the right way, how to hold ARMS the right way, and, of course, the ever-sexy shoe polishing technique. Plus there’s the painting mannequin acting out certain moves … Wow.