Read This Year’s ‘Bad Sex in Fiction’ Winners at Your Own Risk

Note: Don't compare your lover's skin to a stained bathtub

December 4, 2017 9:00 am

Since 1993, the Literary Review has bestowed the Bad Sex in Fiction Award to authors who have “produced an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel.” This year’s winner: Christopher Bollen, for The Destroyers.

The passage in question? Enjoy:

“The skin along her arms and shoulders are different shades of tan like water stains in a bathtub. Her face and vagina are competing for my attention, so I glance down at the billiard rack of my penis and testicles.”

There were some gems among this year’s runner-ups as well, like this bit of imagery from the The Seventh Function of Language by Laurent Binet:

“Bianca grabs Simon’s dick, which is hot and hard as if it’s just come out of a steel forge, and connects it to her mouth-machine.”

The awards were given out on November 30th at, natch, the In & Out Club in London. Given that the winning entry (heh) only goes to a well-received pieces of literature — no erotica here — Bollen should take this all in good fun (that’s what she said?). Previous winners of the prize include Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe and John Updike.

Then, maybe writers are lonely for a reason.

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