The award goes to… Part 2

The article below contains the occasional use of frank language. It is meant to be partly humorous, and I think is only a little bit crude; however, please do not read on if you’re likely to be offended.

I notice that this week US author James Frey, with his novel Katerina, has won the Literary Reviews Bad Sex in fiction award. The prize was established in 1993 to honour “an author who has produced an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel.”

As ever, it is amusing to read some of the extracts from the shortlisted works, although only fair to note that a. some of these may be extracted from otherwise estimable works (as the above criteria for the prize suggests), and that b. like the act itself, judging any type of ‘bad’ or indeed ‘good’ literature is going to hold a degree of subjectivity.  Perhaps to his credit, Frey’s response to winning began “I am deeply honored and humbled to receive this prestigious award…” and continued on a generous note (though having said that, his book overall seems to have had a bit of a critical mauling). This year, novel and author were selected from an all-male shortlist (make of that what you will – or not).

Unfortunate use of simile and metaphor appear to be the undoing on many of the short-listed writers. For instance, from this year’s shortlist we have Murakami’s Killing Commendatore: “… that part of her actively swallowed my penis, immersing it in what felt like warm butter” (really?) and Scoundrels by Major Victor Cornwall and Major Arthur St John Trevelyan: “Soon I was locked in, balls deep, ready to be ground down by the enameled pepper mill within her…” (An interesting culinary theme emerging there). Back in 2005, previous winner of the prize Giles Coren described male genitalia as “leaping around like a shower dropped in an empty bath” in his debut novel Winkler. In 2010, Rowan Somerville won with The Shape of Her and such description as: “Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.” And so on…

As I posted following the announcement of the award last year, re-blogged below, it seems a shame there is not a regular Good Sex award. This absence may be related to the apparent fact that the genre of erotica is often so disdained, and has in some minds become associated with a very specific type of novel, the ‘billionaire alpha male’ / Fifty Shades of Grey clone. Of course, “good” sex scenes don’t have to appear in ‘erotica’, and, in any case, can be sensual, tender — or even absurd.

Read the original post at


11 thoughts on “The award goes to… Part 2

  1. LOL a pepper mill???

    Liked by 2 people

    1. One can only admire the muscle tone!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. 😀 I have to agree ‘immersing it in what felt like warm butter’ is an awful line, all I can add is I’ve been ‘blown’ and it didn’t feel like warm butter!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Interesting to have a male perspective – though from some of the extracts shortlisted, I am not much the wiser!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Lol! Thanks for these. Good laugh 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Lol …but I think good sex award is only for cure romance-love-books 🙂 I liked the descriptions above …”swallowed” – what a perfect touch 👅😅😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see that The Erotic Review started up a Good Sex in Fiction award, but not sure what happened to it since 2016

      Liked by 1 person

  5. interesting and amusing…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ha! I’m not sure if I want to laugh or gag. I didn’t know there was an award for bad sex scenes.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close