Writing a good sex scene is hard to do. It can be difficult to strike a balance between realism and eroticism; even otherwise critically acclaimed authors have been guilty of writing laughable, cringe-worthy bits about their characters doing it. ("Her excited clitoris grew to be eight inches long, a protruding pencil of tenderness," anyone?) That's where the Literary Review comes in: Ever since 1993, they've been awarding an annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award to authors whose sex scenes completely miss the mark. This year's nominees include Before, During, After by Richard Bausch, Book of Numbers by Joshua Cohen, Against Nature by Tomas Espedal, Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff, The Making of Zombie Wars by Aleksandar Hemon, Fear of Dying by Erica Jong, List of the Lost by Morrissey, and The Martini Shot by George Pelecanos. According to the Review, "The purpose of the prize is to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them."
After reading the sex scenes, we realized they were, in fact, god-awful. But then we wondered — if these were terrible on the page, how bad would they sound read out loud (by the people we have to face every day in the office, no less)? Watch and find out.
The winner of the Bad Sex in Fiction Award will be announced on December 1st.