It's almost time for the "Bad Sex in Fiction" Awards, when the Literary Review chooses/makes fun of "the author who produces the worst description of a sex scene in a novel."
You might think that there's a clear winner this year in Fifty Shades of Grey, the horrific BDSM tome that captured the hearts, minds, and libidos of Americans with prose such as "Hmm...he's soft and hard at once, like steel encased in velvet, and surprisingly tasty - salty and smooth...he's my own Christian Grey flavor popsicle."
But the Literary Review's editors actually decided to exclude the bestseller from this year's shortlist, because the prize's rubric explicitly bans erotica (and maybe Twilight fan fiction?) but also because they unabashedly hate it.
Here's the full shortlist, care of The Guardian:
Tom Wolfe, nominated for the second time for Back to Blood, 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 – a particularly worthy nomination, since Self's own fiction has been shortlisted on three occasions– and The Divine Comedy by Craig Raine. Coleridge and Raine are also repeat offenders.
We're having a hard time stomaching this one from Tom Wolfe, who is notoriously shitty at writing about sex:
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.
Tom, no. Please stop. Please don't ever write about sex ever again.
But this one, from Nicola Barker, is pretty wonderful:
She smells of almonds, like a plump Bakewell pudding; and he is the spoon, the whipped cream, the helpless dollop of warm custard.
Image via RetroClipArt/Shutterstock.