I blogged about this last year, and it’s that time again! The Bad Sex in Writing awards! Since I write a lot about sex, I’m interested in these awards. And I’m especially horrified by the winners.
In 2008, two prizes were awarded. The 16th annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award went to Rachel Johnson, for a passage from her book Shire Hell, while a Lifetime Achievement Award went to John Updike, whose The Widows of Eastwick garnered him a fourth consecutive nomination. John Updike was one of the winners I wrote about last year- year - check out last year's winner. I have to say I’m disappointed in the 2008 winners. They’re not actually as disturbing as last year's.
Here are some excerpts from the 2008 winners:
Shire Hell, by Rachel Johnson (Penguin Books).
Almost screaming after five agonizingly pleasurable minutes, I make a grab, to put him, now angrily slapping against both our bellies, inside, but he holds both my arms down, and puts his tongue to my core, like a cat lapping up a dish of cream so as not to miss a single drop. I find myself gripping his ears and tugging at the locks curling over them, beside myself, and a strange animal noise escapes from me as the mounting, Wagnerian crescendo overtakes me. I really do hope at this point that all the Spodders are, as requested, attending the meeting about slug clearance or whatever it is.
Okay, cat lapping at cream is major cliché. And yeah, I always think about slugs while having sex.
The Widows of Eastwick, by John Updike (Hamish Hamilton).
She said nothing then, her lovely mouth otherwise engaged, until he came, all over her face. She had gagged, and moved him outside her lips, rubbing his spurting glans across her cheeks and chin. He had wanted to cry out, sitting up as if jolted by electricity as the spurts, the deep throbs rooted in his asshole, continued, but he didn't know what name to call her. 'Mrs Rougement' was the name he had always known her by. God, she was antique, but here they were. Her face gleamed with his jism in the spotty light of the motel room, there on the far end of East Beach, within sound of the sea. The rhythmic relentless shushing returned to their ears. She laid her head on the pillow and seemed to want to be kissed. Well, why not? It was his jism. Having got rid of it, there was an aftermath of sorrow in which he needed to be alone; but there was no getting rid of her. 'Call me Sukie,' she said, having read his mind. 'I sucked your cock.'
'You sure did. Thanks. Wow.'
This is so romantic - gagging, a woman who is antique, the jism gleaming in the spotty light. Ah.
Brida, by Paulo Coelho (Harper Collins).
Okay, you know what? I couldn’t even make much fun of this one. I’ve read way worse.
To Love, Honour and Betray, by Kathy Lette (Bantam Press).
This line is particularly memorable:
Sebastian's erect member was so big I mistook it for some sort of monument in the centre of a town. I almost started directing traffic around it.
Okay that's a metaphor that's really strained.
So I was thinking of posting an excerpt of my own to compare to these winners and you know what? Every excerpt I pulled out of context suddenly didn’t seem quite so…impressive. Which goes to show you, even though these excerpts seem really, really bad, in context they might be…not so bad. .