Earlier this month, the Literary Review announced that the 2020 Bad Sex in Fiction Awards would be cancelled, on the grounds that "the public had been subjected to too many bad things this year to justify exposing it to bad sex as well." The annual literary award, which honors those authors like Morrissey who try way too hard to prove they've had a mutually enjoyable sexual encounter, has been handed out every year since 1993.
Rather than abandon us with no hilariously poorly written sex scenes with which to share with friends at Christmas parties (what, you guys don't do that?), the folks at Electric Lit took it upon themselves to create their own Bad Sex in Fiction Awards for 2020. But there's a catch:
In the spirit of the awards, which have gone to such luminaries as Tom Wolfe and Norman Mailer, we've assembled a group of extremely legitimate writers. Not at all in the spirit of the awards, we've asked them to deliberately write something embarrassing and awful. (We've also included one actually-published scene, from Kiik Araki-Kawaguchi, but he volunteered it!) The results are hysterically funny, mildly-to-extremely upsetting, and not at all hot, which is exactly what we'd hoped for. Also, one of them has an interactive element, which we could never have predicted. At this Bad Sex in Fiction awards ceremony, we all win.
While it might seem disappointing that these scenes were written to be intentionally bad … they're also impressively intentionally bad enough to read as if they could have been legitimate in any other year.
His searching fingers pushed inside me, probing my walls as if hunting for spare change. I grabbed the tip of his cock and ran my fingers across the papercut of his urethra until the tiniest bead of precum appeared. "You're drooling," I said to his cock. "Perhaps there's something you'd like to say?" With my index finger and thumb, I pretended to make its drillhole open and close like a tiny mouth. "If that's the bank, then I'd like to make a deposit of valuable cum," I mumbled in my best ventriloquist voice. He let out a moan not unlike a throaty elk bugle. "Yes," he agreed; "my moneybags have grown so full and heavy."
Or at least, they'll entertain you for a while, with awkwardly relevant Zoom scenes:
Here he was, his lighting not as good as hers, but what did it matter if the shadows of his supply closet and the poor camera quality of his phone rendered him grainy and small? In these three square inches in the middle of her monitor, he was here, and he was hers, and she had ten to fifteen minutes to coax from him a stream of creamy foam, one infinitely lovelier than any of the foamy streams of toothpaste and saliva that Brad shepherded into basins all day.
Evelyn lowered the camisole and released her fruit. Here was the ripe flesh; here were the small, hard pits. The ring light ringed both breasts in rings of light.
"I think you're muted," Brad said.
"I'm not muted," Evelyn said.
"I can't hear you," Brad said. "And you're frozen."
But my personal favorite entry comes from Calvin Kasulke, author of the upcoming novel Several People Are Typing, who wrote a scene using predictive text from a bot that had been trained on all of the previous winners of the Bad Sex in Fiction Awards.
When Pete swallowed her panties he felt her hands gripping his shoulders and guiding him into her pubic assemblage. His dick had grown inside of her vaginal corners, gyroscopically guided by little pleasure sounds.
Thick typewriter testicles iridesced in alternation and he came hard in her mouth and pulled his tail out of her buttocks without interfering in her now restored geography. She sucked on her genitals and he came again and he was in her and sort of jiggled there and she gasped like he was giving her a supplemental oxygen of her body. Her breasts spilled on her shoulders.
If that doesn't make you hate-horny enough, you can fool around with the same text corpus and make your own predictive bad sex scene via Botnik.
It's not quite the same as the usual awards every year, but it feels strangely fitting for 2020.
They Canceled the Bad Sex in Fiction Awards, so We Made Our Own [Electric Literature]
Image via Public Domain Photos