Thursday, December 8, 2011

Bad Sex Week, Day 4: Bad Literary Sex

Anyone who thinks that America is no longer #1 needs look no further than True American Hero, David Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars) who just won the 2011 Literary Review's Bad Sex in Fiction Award. USA! US...er, oh bad sex. Right then. That's not good.

Guterson said he "couldn't attend" the award ceremony at London's In & Out Club (those Brits, so cheeky!), and I can't say I blame him. Would any of us be all that eager to attend a large, media-filled ceremony held for the sole purpose of mocking your sexual writing? It surely didn't help that it was announced with coy headlines like "David Guterson Comes First in..." and "'Ed King' Beats Off Competition to Win..."

On his win for his fifth novel, Ed King, Guterson said: "Oedipus practically invented bad sex, so I'm not in the least bit surprised." He sounds all crisp and British--"I'm not in the least bit surprised"--but is clearly trying to pretend that he, like, wanted to win. Later, however, I suspect he dissolved into a pile of tears and spent the rest of the day masturbating joylessly to his unappreciated sex scenes. Which, it is my duty to inform you, included some icky mother-son gettin' it on, aka "mother fucking," in such passages as:

"She took him by the wrist and moved the base of his hand into her pubic hair until his middle fingertip settled on the no-man's-land between her 'front parlour' and 'back door' (those were the quaint, prudish terms of her girlhood)".

and this:

"In the shower, Ed stood with his hands at the back of his head, like someone just arrested, while she abused him with a bar of soap. After a while he shut his eyes, and Diane, wielding her fingernails now and staring at his face, helped him out with two practiced hands, one squeezing the family jewels, the other vigorous with the soap-and-warm-water treatment. It didn't take long for the beautiful and perfect Ed King to ejaculate for the fifth time in twelve hours, while looking like Roman public-bath statuary. Then they rinsed, dried, dressed, and went to an expensive restaurant for lunch."

The last passage crams so much badness into such a small space that it's masterly in its own way. Not only does it lack sexiness, but it's littered with phrases that seem actively sex-repellent. I mean "abused him with a bar of soap," "wielding her fingernails," "family jewels"? Then that last sentence, about the drying and lunch eating, WTF is that? 

Award-winning American writing is what the fuck it is. And don't let anyone tell you any different.

In the meantime, anyone who utters the phrase "family jewels" to me is So Not Getting Any, so don't even try.


6 comments:

Lost.in.Idaho said...

I dunno, "Family Jewels" is better than "She juggled on my gonads while slobbing on my knob."

Gia said...

Hahahhaha that was awful.
"She took him by the wrist and moved the base of his hand into her pubic hair until his middle fingertip settled on the no-man's-land between her 'front parlour' and 'back door' (those were the quaint, prudish terms of her girlhood)".

That sounds like a terrible, terrible how to guide.

Cinderita said...

OH my word! That was so bad it was almost a turn on. I am loving these posts. I know you already know that but i thought I'd share that.

Can't keep anything to myself said...

Yay! All this bad sex is making my awful week so much better! Wait...

Also I think I should start referring to my womanly part as my front parlour. Sounds a hell of a lot nicer (and more proper) than hairy lasagna.

Sandra Davies said...

Hmm ... I must check again the shower scene I've just written ... but tell me, is 'balls' unused in America? I once had someone query it as strange?

in bed with married women said...

Lost.in.Idaho, uh, yeah, though the second has a certain pleasing rhyminess.

Gia, you are right and it's even difficult to understand what the hell is transpiring.

cinderita, oh you KNOW you want some front parlour action happening. ps love to you.

CKITM, too many terms. so confusing. maybe a massive switch to "down there" is in order.

Sandra, balls is indeed used, yes fellow yanks? i would saw actually 90% of the time. can't think of another contender, actually. so yes, balls, full steam ahead!

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