Tuesday, November 25, 2008
When good writers commit bad sex
"JM's hands are caressing my breasts, now, and I am allowed to kiss him back, but not for long, for he breaks off, to give each breast the attention it deserves. As he nibbles and pulls with his mouth, his hands find my bush, and with light fingers he flutters about there, as if he is a moth caught inside a lampshade.
"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 by 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."
And there she is, the winner of the Literary Review Bad Sex Award for 2008: the British novelist Rachel Johnson, for Shire Hell. She is the 16th victor in the competition, established by the British critic and novelist Auberon Waugh to discourage literary lions from committing, well, bad sex in their work.
Johnson is in good company. Such luminaries as Norman Mailer, Tom Wolfe and Sebastian Faulks have won the award. And at the ceremony in London last night, John Updike was bestowed a lifetime achievement award, having been nominated four times for the top prize, including this year for The Widows of Eastwick. A sample:
"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 writes. "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."
Other passages from novels short-listed for the 2008 awards can be found here. Viewer discretion is highly recommended.
It's enough to drive a writer to dump all his stock in Pfizer (maker of Viagra).
[With thanks to Mediabistro.com for the tip.]