The Bad Sex Awards Honor The Worst Examples Of Lovemaking In Literature

Eres-Photo: courtesy of Eres.
"It is not difficult to write about sex. It is impossible," stated author Toni Bentley last month in The New York Times. The writer was part a panel discussion on the perils of turning a gloriously 3-D, transcendent act into mere words on a page. Most will fail at it. Some fail more spectacularly than others, and that's exactly why we love Britain's Bad Sex Awards. The notorious honor celebrates books that do the delightful deed a grievous injustice. And, the 2013 edition is a doozy. The literary facepalms below demonstrate exactly how NOT to turn an audience on.

The Victoria System by Eric Reinhardt

"'Look,’ she was saying, ‘look at my breasts. I want to show them to you. I hope you like them. They’re for you. I’m giving them to you.' And her chest appeared before my eyes like a slow-motion shot of a natural phenomenon in a television documentary."

Secrecy By Rupert Thompson
"'I came too quickly,' I said. "I’m sorry. I couldn’t help it.'

‘No, no. It was good. I liked it.’"

The Last Banquet by Jonathan Grimwood

"She tasted almost as she had the day I took the drop of milk on my finger."

Motherland by William Nicholson

"'If you f*k me, will God punish you, Lawrence?’
‘I don’t care,’ he says.
‘God won’t punish you,’ she says, ‘if you love me.’"

The City of Devi by Manil Suri "We streak like superheroes past suns and solar systems, we dive through shoals of quarks and atomic nuclei. In celebration of our breakthrough fourth star, statisticians the world over rejoice."
The World Was All Before Them by Matthew Reynolds "...and she stirred and her breath became a moan as endorphinergic and morphinergic mechanisms spluttered into life."

My Education by Susan Choi

"...for Martha, in dismantling me, dredged a voice out of me I did not know I owned; the devastation of my pleasure surged outward and outward again, like an ocean-floor tremour, while that voice I had never imagined was bellowing harshly oh GOD, oh GOD, OHGODOHGOD!"

House of Earth by Woody Guthrie

"And inside the door of her womb she felt her inner organs and tissues, all her muscles and glands, felt them roll, squeeze, squeeze, and roll, and felt that every inch of her whole being stretched, reached, felt out, felt in, felt all around the shape of his penis."

Well then. (Thanks to Woody Guthrie for forever tainting lovemaking with those excruciatingly sterile, gynecological details). Reading may be like sex in some ways (in that it's usually done privately and often in bed), but reading about sex is not always a turn-on. And, these cases, it's an absolute libido killer. (Telegraph)

More from Books & Art

R29 Original Series