The Agony of the Ecstasy

The UK Literary Review’s annual “Bad Sex in Fiction” finalists have been announced, but unfortunately nobody’s posting excerpts yet. (Shout-out to John Updike for Rabbit is Flaccid The Widows of Eastwick, however.) So we’ll just have to make do with horny moments from last year’s finalists. Because while good sex may last all night, bad sex is forever.

Jeanette Winterson, The Stone Gods: I start to slip off my jeans and I feel her gaze as I stand in my bra and pants. Why am I embarrassed about taking off my clothes right in front of a robot?

Richard Milward, Apples: She had on no knickers, and my heart went crash-bang-wallop and my eyes popped out. She hadn’t shaved, and her fanny looked like a tropical fish or a bit of old carpet.

David Thewlis, The Late Hector Kipling: “Ooowwww!” Oh shit, my nipple’s on fire. She’s poured lighter fluid onto my chest and my tit’s gone up in flames like some dessert in a posh restaurant.

Gary Shteyngart, Absurdistan: I find it clichéd when couples insist that they have “the perfect fit,” but between the busted-up, zigzag, Broadway boogie-woogie of my maligned purple khui and the all-encompassing nature of her Caspian pizda, we reached a third way, as it were.

Christopher Rush, Will: O glorious pubes! The ultimate triangle, whose angles delve to hell but point to paradise. Let me sing the black banner, the blackbird’s wing, the chink, the cleft, the keyhole in the door. The fig, the fanny, the cranny, the quim — I’d come close to it now, this sudden blush, this ancient avenue, the end of all odysseys and epic aim of life, pulling at my prick now, pulling like a lodestone.

Clare Clark, The Nature of Monsters: I held my breath. In the explosion I lost sight of myself. I was a million brilliant fragments, the darkness of my belly alive with stars. When at last I opened my eyes to look at him, my lashes shone with tears. He raised a finger to his lips and smiled.

Ali Smith, Boy Meets Girl: I was hard all right, and then I was sinew, I was a snake, I changed stone to snake in three simple moves, stoke stake snake, then I was a tree whose branches were all budded knots, and what were those felty buds, were they antlers? were antlers really growing out of both of us? was my whole front furring over? and were we the same pelt? were our hands black shining hoofs? were we kicking? were we bitten?

And the 2007 winner…

Norman Mailer, The Castle in the Forest: Uncle was now as soft as a coil of excrement. She sucked on him nonetheless with an avidity that could come only from the Evil One — that she knew. From there, the impulse had come. So now they both had their heads at the wrong end, and the Evil One was there. He had never been so close before.

Bad sex award exposes this year’s nominees [Guardian UK]

Bad Sex Award 2007 shortlisted passages [Guardian UK]

60 comments:

11:49 pm • Friday • November 21, 2008

Can’t stand Mailer. Haha, it would piss him off so much to have “won” this award.

11:52 pm • Friday • November 21, 2008

Isn’t the real scandal that Norman Mailer obviously word-for-word plagiarized Sarah: How a Hockey Mom Turned Alaska’s Political Establishment on Its Ear.

11:54 pm • Friday • November 21, 2008

Whoa. Can that really be abbreviated Sarah: Hhm TAP Ete for short?

12:06 am • Saturday • November 22, 2008

Ugh. Bunch of Lit Brits and Mailer. Just shoot me. Let’s see: Do I re-up my subscription to Granta or just read all the installments of Wicked? What the fuck do you think?

12:25 am • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@Benedick:

Hey are you saying the Brits can’t have Teh Hawt Secks? That there are no books where someone’s screaming they left the tea cozy on the cooker with the biscuits, and that it would be totally improper to expose their John Thomas in the drawing room? Well that’s just not cricket.

1:03 am • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@Original Andrew: There is Lawrence. And all that’s not said in Forster (Maurice. Be still my heart). And of course Shakespeare. And Hardy, the master of them all.

And let’s not forget that we Brits were shoving cocks up bums when you Yanks were merely… yanquing it.

1:26 am • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@Benedick: I love you for loving Hardy. I often count myself lucky for being able to read both English and German, because I can experience Shakespeare and Goethe in their own words, but it really might as well be Hardy and Goethe.

1:45 am • Saturday • November 22, 2008

Maybe I’m biased, but what’s wrong with the Winterson one? It feels like a narrative moment, not a sexy sexy try-too-hard sex scene like the others. Also her other books are pretty sexy, in an arty way? Tough I admit I haven’t read this one.

The Gary Shteyngart one, though, demonstrates everything I dislike about the sniggering, overworked sex-joke satirist “ooh I’m so intellectual-yet-profane” pose, and yes, I include Robbins in that bin. Irritating.

1:48 am • Saturday • November 22, 2008

Mammoth humor.

http://www.explosm.net/comics/1425/

/takes and stays on the lowbrow road

2:26 am • Saturday • November 22, 2008

OK, when the new Australian Sex Party takes over, they really need to take the lead on eliminating these travesties. I’m not kidding — it’s a real political party. Not an orgy. Though that might be a fundraising tactic if they play their cards right.

Srsly though, they raise good points in that news story linked above.

10:48 am • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@mellbell: Britten’s settings of a suite of Hardy’s poems is very beautiful. I love all his work. Entrance of Old Father Time in Jude the Obscure is a stunner. That and the fact that he had a famously bad dog who was allowed to walk on the dining table and eat from his guests’ plate.

Not read much Goethe, the usual bits and pieces. But was riveted by his novel Elective Affinities.

1:21 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@rptrcub: So that’s where Cheap Boy’s been.
@Benedick: I have a rose called Jude the Obscure, which I bought as much for the name as for the incredible scent. I hope to plant a Tess of the D’Urberville next summer — it’s a wonderful deep red (Jude is pale apricot) with a very true rose scent.

4:08 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@rptrcub: Ahhh the good old Eros Association. I can see the wingnuts calling it the “Pornographer’s Party” in their press releases.

Seriously, people do tend to get too hung up about sex. Relax, it’ll go in easier if ya do.

@Mistress Cynica: No, first I’ve heard about it. But today I am off to a workshop on cunnilingus run by the wonderful Midori whose quite a wonderful person and her previous workshops have always added to my knowledge.

4:45 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@CheapBoy: JNOV is gonna die when she reads that. We’ll expect a full report.

5:02 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@Mistress Cynica: Where did you get them? Mail order? Walmart?

I planted almost 1000 bulbs this fall. Over 500 daffodils. I put in four roses. Not done too well with them in the past, unlike peonies which grow like weeds. I have one Mr. Lincoln which is a wonderful deep red.

5:50 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@CheapBoy: Seriously?

@Mistress Cynica: Seriously!

6:35 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

I really liked Christopher Rush’s ode to the Bushy Beaver. If you want truly awful, awful, sex, read that one Tom Clancy novel where the hero gets it on in his boat on the Chesapeake, clearly, Tom Clancy has never actually had sex, or even spoken to a woman, they seem utterly beyond his understanding, he quickly gets back to the hardware and weapon porn at which he excels.

6:44 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@Mistress Cynica: I’ll take notes.

@JNOV: Seriously. The most difficult part was finding a female to take along to the workshop as “cover”. Attending a workshop on this particular topic as a single male is awkward.

Thankfully I found someone willing to attend, who is female and also interested in the topic, and will attend with me.

I do like to “lunch at the Y” and often go back for seconds, thirds and fourths. It’s much better than fucking IMHO.

It’s more intimate than fucking. It’s longer, slower, more relaxing for the woman than fucking, and gosh darn, just much more friendly too.

6:50 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@CheapBoy: Oh, CheapBoy. Why do you live so so far away?

7:10 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

Hey, can we run the porn post early tonight? I am le tired. Speaking of le tired, have any of you seen The End of the World on EBaum’s World? It’s very old but very, very funny.

7:15 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@JNOV: Accident of birth. And yes it makes me sad that I can’t touch you, hug you, and brush your hair.

And when I say friendlier, I guess I really mean building closer, more intimate bond with each other. For me, I really dislkied having my cock sucked (Shocking I know) until a lovely lady cried because I kept saying no (Tears are my weak point).

The way she, ummm, expressed herself as she was “down there”made me realise that it’s not just “Oral Sex” it’s about expressing how much you love someone, want them to feel good about themselves and their sexuality.

And when I next had the chance to “re-pay the favour” with her I found my attitude toward oral had changed. I kissed her there because I loved her, and wanted to make her happy and feel loved. Like a hug with my lips on her clitoris.

I was slower, more considerate, and aware of her responses. It was an epiphany, you can say “I love you” and hold her in your arms and radiate the feeling of love and comfort.

But when you get down there between her legs, you can express yourself in a different way that also shows love and respect, and how much you cherish her and want her to feel loved, accepted and cared for. It’s not sex, it’s more like worship, comfort, acceptance, and desire.

it makes sense inside my head… And I always want to say thank-you when she says stop. It’s a wonderful gift to be so intimate.

7:17 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@JNOV: Hey girl. Did you ever weigh in a few days ago with your “Tales of the X-Ray Technician” about patients with shower nozzles, jacuzzi nozzles, etc., stuck in orifices? Prommie was waxing quite nostalgic about his childhood in the apartment jacuzzi with the older girls. I’m too lazy to find the thread right now.

7:22 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@SanFranLefty: LOL girls and spa/jacuzzi jets always make me laugh.

A friend of mine had never ‘ridden’ a spa jet, and decided to try it at a soiree we attended. She was quite pleased with the result until she got out and “queefed” as she walked.

I was laughing so hard at her mortification I hardly felt the blows she rained down upon me for laughing at them Blerty sounds.

I am a bad person.

7:26 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@CheapBoy: I am touched by everything you wrote. You radiate tenderness and caring, and I’m in a very tender mood today. I can’t even remember the last time someone brushed my hair. Sadness.

I am watching my mother grow older alone, and my life has mirrored hers so precisely that I wonder if worry assume that that will be me in twenty years. She says it doesn’t bother her, so maybe it won’t bother me one day, but I miss the comfort of being held. I miss stroking someone’s face while I kiss their tears. There’s so much I miss, and little of it has to do with sex.

7:32 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@SanFranLefty: Hi, My Darling! Yes, I saw that, but I came late to the party. I’ve been overwhelmed and not too chatty.

Yes, I feel for the people with the odd object stuck up their heinies. You have to wonder how long they suffered before they sucked it up (heh) and sought medical attention. It’s one thing to have a shower massage nozzle stuck in your bum. It’s quite another to make your way to the hospital and tell a bunch of strangers why you’re there and how you got in that mess to begin with. I feel somewhat guilty for poking fun at them. But then again, the guy with the GI Joe heads in his tummy was truly odd.

7:35 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@JNOV: And sometimes, all you need is to be held. I’ve been having these discussions with my friends this week, and they all seem to be coming from some similar place: although we’re young, we see other friends married and having children, and wonder about ourselves.

7:38 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@rptrcub: Yes, and my son will be moving out one of these days, and I’ll be left with my cats. They bring me a lot of joy and comfort, but they don’t brush my hair very well. They don’t like it much when I try to put my head in their laps and get them to tickle my neck while I watch Nova.

7:56 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@JNOV: Mine also has a tendency of running away and hissing at me when I hold a plastic bag or have to change out the garbage. He hates the sound somehow.

8:00 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@rptrcub: Ha ha! My cats are not fans of plastic bags either. They are fans of looking out the window, sitting near the heater, eating, sleeping and having their heads scratched.

9:07 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

Self-serving TJ/ I brought back my blog.

9:16 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@JNOV: Don’t make no ‘pologies! TJing is what we’re all about!

9:20 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@rptrcub: :-D

9:22 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

Now where is that porn post? Seriously. Liev Schrieber (sp?) is narrating this Nova show I have TiVod and watch when I’m all twitchy, and soon his soothing voice will lull me to sleep. Someone needs to tell a joke or something.

9:27 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

JNOV, CHEAPBOY, CUBBIE, ALL

of all the threads i picked first to even at lurk at for days, this is kismet. serendipity, telepathy that i would so quickly find expressed so eloquently and honestly exactly what i am feeling right now. since rat got back, the lonliness and sadness has multiplied. i am in a very very bad place. but this is life. i will survive. i will laugh again. not today. thanks for the company. i can’t stop crying. yet.
i’ll be back stinquing godamit. yes.

10:02 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@JNOV: How about a joke from one of my favorite comics, Lewis Black?

Let’s face it, Americans are fat all year round, but the holidays are when we really hit our stride. And you can bet the food we eat will be just as unhealthy as the families we’re forced to visit.

@baked: Honey, if it’s causing you this much pain, is it really worth it?

10:05 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@baked: I’ve been reading your comments these past few days, and I am so very sorry your heart is breaking. I keep trying to come up with something to write that might make you feel better, but I am woefully inadequate. These are the times I wish I had a magic wand and could make all the sadness and heartache go “poof” with a flick of my wrist. I am so sorry, my love.

Yes, you will survive, and I’m glad to see you have that knowledge — you know you will get through this. I just wish I could fast forward this nightmarish chapter of your life for you. All I have to say is boourns to the shitty shit and yay for hope and the knowledge that there will soon be a new day with new challenges and even joy. Yes, joy.

10:06 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@SanFranLefty: Love Lewis Black!

11:26 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

Where did the topic go, sex in literature? Here’s a memory from my youth. One of the first novels I ever read was Johnny Got His Gun, my sister had to read it in high school, and at 11 or 12, it was exactly the same time as my indoor pool water jet story, I got hold of her copy and read it. It boggles my mind, by the way, that this was required reading in a public high school in the 60s, I mean, its as pacificist as can be and the author was blacklisted as a commie in the 50s. But early on in the novel, when the youung protagonist had signed up to go fight in France, he had a girlfriend, and the father of his girlfriend, encouraged, allowed, them to sleep together, there in his house, so he could have sex before he went off to war and possibly his death. I barely remember the scene in the book, I remember one detail, funny what details stand out when you have no clue what is being circumspectly described, about how at one point the boy could smell her, I had no idea, but years later, when I was facing sex for the first time, wondering when and what this smell thing was about.

11:27 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@baked: The way I know it’s over is if I feel lonely when I’m with that person. That is the worst. I’m so sorry, baby. We love you and are here for you. Hugs.
@CheapBoy: Wow. I need a cigarette now.

11:28 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@Benedick: Go to http://heirloomroses.com/. I’m lucky — that nursery is about half an hour from me in St Paul, OR. They have incredible gardens with acres of roses.

11:29 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@Promnight: Could anything be worse than Lynn Cheney’s lesbian sex scenes?

11:42 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

The sex lit book that opened my eyes were Henry Miller’s Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. I read them at 14.

To this day, I do not know when or why my dad bought those hard cover books, but I remember wondering what they were there in my dad’s libary for a long time sitting out in the open.

For the longest time I thought they were geography books. How little did I know.

11:43 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@baked:
Something’s very wrong (obviously.)

I hope you weather the storm.

11:45 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@Mistress Cynica: Yes, Scooter Libby’s bestiality rape scene, with the bear? How can anyone forget that one.

11:46 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@Promnight:
I want to, but what is read can not be unread.

11:57 pm • Saturday • November 22, 2008

@ManchuCandidate: I thought they were geography books. That is abso-fucking-lutely adorable.

2:47 am • Sunday • November 23, 2008

Well, I’m back. I don’t think I’ve laughed so hard in a long time.

The weirdest thing was one of the teaching aids. It was a transparent sex-doll. Yes transparent. You could see how the tongue strokes “worked” as they were demonstrated.

A lot of the workshop was devoted to the external massage of the vulva, clitoris. As practice everyone was given a peach to practice massage techniques with. Unfortunately my peach popped and squirted my glasses with juice and pulp much to everyone’s amusement.

A volunteer for a practical demonstration of the various massage techniques provided quite a bit of merriment as she had a very expressive face as the massage techniques were demonstrated.

In summary, each woman is different, take your time, listen/watch for feedback, and don’t be afraid to experiment.

3:36 am • Sunday • November 23, 2008

i want to marry lewis black. is he married?

lewis black:

“the republicans are a party of bad ideas, the democrats are a party of no ideas”.

4:55 am • Sunday • November 23, 2008
5:19 am • Sunday • November 23, 2008

@baked: *hugs* At least you know now.

Beats telling him to piss-off without a chance of reconciliation, and wondering “What if”. You can move on now knowing that it wouldn’t have been.

And I agree with IanJ. Don’t go to Israel with him. Stay with your support base, your community. Go when you want to or need to, by yourself, as yourself.

8:05 am • Sunday • November 23, 2008

@Mistress Cynica: Thanks for the link. I bought plants from them last year but they didn’t take too well. Mind you, the ones that did were thriving by the end of summer. With so many beautiful plants available at local nurseries I’m less willing to buy mail-order. However, it would be fun to be able to say “That’s my Jude”. I’ll go visit the site.

@baked: Take care of yourself.

9:36 am • Sunday • November 23, 2008

@baked: Dear baked, as hard as it is to do this, please don’t worry yourself with the rat. It’s sapping your energy, and it’s got to be easier said than done, but it’s going to rip you to pieces. Hugs.

9:47 am • Sunday • November 23, 2008

baked: Clearly the answer is spelled out in this thread. Divorce. Big cash settlement. Pay to fly Stinque’s very own cunnilingus devotee CheapBoy to T&C. Lay back and watch Lewis Black DVDs while he goes to town. Repeat as necessary.

12:52 pm • Sunday • November 23, 2008

@Benedick: Jude is a David Austin rose, so should be available in lots of rose nurseries. I’m sure your winters are a bit harsh for Oregon grown roses. We still haven’t hit freezing here yet, and I have roses still blooming.

1:06 pm • Sunday • November 23, 2008

@ Stinque Liteary Guild: As a rule, I don’t read much non-fiction since I spend most of my reading time on history, politics, and things that relate to my outdoor interests. Once in a while I’ll pick up something besides “Master of the Senate” or “Deer Rifles and Cartridges” and really get into it, such as “Wolf Totem” by Jiang Rong. It’s about a Chinese urban intellectual who heads out to Mongolia to live amongst the natives during the cultural revolution and the lessons drawn from the wolf and nature. Just started it and I’m loving it.

@Promnight: Johnny Got His Gun is the inspiration for the Metallica song “One.”

“Landmine has taken my sight
Taken my speech
Taken my hearing
Taken my arms
Taken my legs
Taken my soul
Left me with life in hell”

etc.

The new Field and Stream magazine has a really powerful feature on guys who got blown up in Iraq returning to hunt and fish with artificial limbs, over coming neurological damage and dealing with depression and PTSD. (Hmmm . . . no wimmins, no brown people in the article. Whatever. I know I’d freak out if something happened to keep me from hunting and fishing.)

3:50 pm • Sunday • November 23, 2008

@CheapBoy: A transparent sex doll?

Damn, I guess I need to go out more often. I can’t even visualize that. Full size doll, or just the important part(s)?

@Baked: I like General Homofascist’s suggestion.

5:36 pm • Sunday • November 23, 2008

@Mistress Cynica: I’m careful to order the hardier (get it?) kind. I think the problem lies in planting where it’s too wet/rocky/clayey. I’m making a sheltered corner with lots of sun and a light loamy/sandy soil which will suit them better. The winter wind here dries them out.

But if that’s an Austin rose I’ll special order a couple from my local nursery in the spring. I got a fantastic deal on White Flower Farm daffs. Boxes of 100 that sell for $76 were on end-of-season close-out at $10. I bought 400 and would have bought more but didn’t have time before frost set in. I planted the last of them Thurs and was having to break a crust of frozen soil in some places. Spectacular weather and a joy to be working outside.

5:38 pm • Sunday • November 23, 2008

Just occurred to me. Stereotypical Limey behavior: posting about gardening in the sex thread.

1:40 am • Monday • November 24, 2008

@SanFranLefty: Full size. But with the usual sock feet and hands type things.

1:41 am • Monday • November 24, 2008

@Benedick: You’ve never heard of “Screw the Roses and send me the thorns” (Laura Antonio from memory) ?

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