Every year, the Literary Review gives out the best prize in fiction but one that nobody wants to receive: The Bad Sex Award! The aim of the award is ‘to draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it.’ I feel it is an important objective. Some authors just do not seem to know what sex is and should be warned for the sake of their own health and that of the general public. It’s not just a case of left, right, pivot 38 degrees, you know. Besides, as a lover of romance novels, I consider the prize a nice way of resetting the universe’s balance. If my genre of choice must be the butt of the literary establishment’s joke then at least we can rub it in their faces how much better we are at fictional f**king.
Some consider the prize equivalent to censorship and public shaming. Yeah, no. You put your work out there and if you insist on referring to it as a ‘quim’ or comparing it to food or hard, long objects, you get what you deserve. At the end of 2019, the prize was awarded to two authors: Didier Decoin for The Office of Gardens and Ponds, and John Harvey for Pax. Let’s take a look at the illustrious winners!
Didier: ‘Katsuro moaned as a bulge formed beneath the material of his kimono, a bulge that Miyuki seized, kneaded, massaged, squashed and crushed. With the fondling, Katsuro’s penis and testicles became one single mound that rolled around beneath the grip of her hand. Miyuki felt as though she was manipulating a small monkey that was curling up its paws.’
Harvey: ‘She was burning hot and the heat was in him. He looked down on her perfect black slenderness. Her eyes were ravenous. Like his own they were fire and desire. More than torrid, more than tropical: they two were riding the Equator. They embraced as if with violent holding they could weld the two of them one.’
I don’t know about you, but I’m sure all possessors of penises love to see them compared to tiny monkeys. I know that’s a favored kind of slang but it’s not one you want in your head during the throes of passion. I also greatly hope we adopt ‘riding the equator’ as our new term of choice for top notch boning.
2013 nominee Jonathan Grimwood had called the prize ‘idiotic.’ Well, he would say that. He wrote this…
‘Reaching behind me, I found the Brie and broke off a fragment, sucking her nipple through it. She tasted almost as she had the day I took the drop of milk on my finger.
Manon smiled when she realised what I was doing.
You know the peasant saying? If you can’t imagine how neighbouring vineyards can produce such different wines put one finger in your woman’s quim and another up her arse, then taste both and stop asking stupid questions… My fingers found both vineyards. At the front, she tasted salt as anchovy and as delicious. At the rear, bitter like chocolate and smelling strangely of tobacco.’
Shockingly, he lost. To THIS, by Manil Sura…
Surely supernovas explode that instant, somewhere, in some galaxy. The hut vanishes, and with it the sea and the sands - only Karun’s body, locked with mine, remains. 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.
I honestly don’t blame any of you if you never want to do the horizontal equator ride ever again. Sorry.
Header Image Source: Universal