Cabbages and Kings

A diary by the authors of the Louis Kincaid series

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Location: Fort Lauderdale/Elk Rapids, Florida and Michigan, United States

We are the New York Times bestselling authors of the Louis Kincaid series and other stand alone thrillers. We have taught writing at major conferences for ten years.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

More bad sex

I just can't let this go without sharing some links with you guys. Did you know there are actual awards for bad sex scenes? For nine years now, the Literary Review has been handing out its Bad Sex award to "draw attention to the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel, and to discourage it."

Thought you'd like to see some of my favorite contenders. The comments in bold are mine...

Is that a salmon in your pocket or you just glad to see me?
"The wind thrust between her legs, its icy blast displaced by solid warmth as he covered her like a dog. The thing inside her jerked and threshed, a rising salmon, plunging home to spawn. "Yes!" she shouted, relishing the scarlet pain in her knees as he kept grinding them against the barnacled surface of the groyne."
-- From Dreams, Demons and Desires by Wendy Perriam (Peter Owen)

Ah, hold the anchovies, please...
"She confiscated the zapper and slid my hand between her thighs. It was wet and warm down there, which was only to be expected, but she might just as well have deposited my hand on a pizza for all the effect it had. I actually found my self wondering if I would be able to tell a pizza and my wife apart by touch alone..."
-- From Where Do We Go From Here? by Doris Dörrie (Bloomsbury)

The Tom Cruise Special Award
"His lips mesh into mine and we're kissing so hard I can't tell them apart. He scrabbles with his flies and then sinks into me. I stare into his eyes and he stares back, never losing me. Not for a second. It feels amazing. It feels important. It feels right. He's climbing, he's filling, he's plugging. He completes me..."
-- From Game Over by Adele Parks (Viking)

But the German judge only gave it a 7.5
"His hand reached through the armhole of her halter-neck top and pulled it to one side to expose her breast. She let out an involuntary gasp as his tongue flicked the aroused nipple and his left hand caressed the other through the flimsy material. The double breast stroke had always been a winner for Jo..."
-- From Fourplay by Jane Moore (Orion)

Always did think those Stanley Steemer guys were hot
"He was kneeling at the feet of his chaise and sniffing its plush minutely, inch by inch, in hopes that some vaginal tang might still be lingering eight weeks after Melissa Paquette had lain here. Ordinarily distinct and identifiable smells - dust, sweat, urine, the dayroom reek of cigarette smoke, the fugitive afterscent of quim - became abstract and indistinguishable from oversmelling, and so he had to pause again and again to refresh his nostrils. He worked his lips down into the chaise's buttoned navels and kissed the lint and grit and crumbs and hairs that had collected in them. None of the three spots where he thought he smelled Melissa was unambiguously tangy, but after exhaustive comparison he was able to settle on the least questionable of the three spots ..."
-- From The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (Fourth Estate)

And my absolute favorite....

Get that woman a Brazilian rain forest wax
. . . the most tousled, tangled pubic patch through which I have ever had to find my way. A near impenetrable little forest, a small private Amazon to get lost in. But when one finally got down to the river, slipping and sliding through reeds and weeds and rushes and undergrowth, one could slither through the mud and dive in, wholly immerse oneself, stay down for an impossibly long time, nearly drowning, before coming up again, panting and heaving. . .
-- Before I Forget by André Brink (Secker & Warburg)

And they make fun of us genre writers.


Anonymous Mark Terry said...

This is sort of astonishing, actually. I mean, Franzen was an Oprah pick, for god sakes, before the National Book Award got in the way. :) What really amazes me is how really, um, non-arousing those are, on the one, uh, hand, and how on the other, uh, hand, boring they are. Boring in fiction is the ultimate no-no, but it takes a really tremendous amount of talent to make a sex scene boring, don't you think?

Mark Terry

10:23 AM  
Blogger Sling Words said...

Wonder if there's an award for worst childbirth scene? A few years ago I judged a writing contest. I'll never forget one particular entry, to wit: Like a bowling ball ripped from hell, the baby came.

11:11 AM  
Blogger PJ Parrish said...

Omigod. Worst birth scene. I don't even want to go there.

11:42 AM  
Blogger PJ Parrish said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

11:43 AM  
Blogger PJ Parrish said...


Yeah, I was pretty surprised about the Franzen thing. But even more surprised because I read that book, enjoyed it, and CAN'T REMEMBER the sex scene. Which is way to close to my real life for comfort!

11:44 AM  
Anonymous Mark Terry said...

Actually, I think my wife wins for worst childbirth scene--twice! 50+ hours in induced labor prior to a C-section for my oldest, and something similar, about 45 hours, for the second. Talk about 'going the distance.'

Mark Terry

12:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Holy smokes! My grape Kool-aid isn't as purple as those scenes.

It makes you wonder what the editors were thinking. "Oooh, the Amazon. Sexy analogy." or "Ooooh, pizza. Yes, I often wonder about that sensation." What kind of pizza? Cheese pizza? Pepperoni? Those mini bits of beef chunks with green peppers? What kind of pizza, I want to know. :::shudder:::

I think I need a shower.

Too funny by the way. May I never write like this in my life and may my critique partners beat me with aluminum baseball bats and hockey sticks if I do.

2:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those writers, if you want to call them that, must have paid to have that garbage published.

Thank God talented authors are out there.

Hey while you're here why not check out my web page at,
Be sure to sign my guest book!

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Elaine Flinn said...

I'm glad I didn't finish Corrections! (I was bored by page 30) That scene would have done me in for sure. :)

1:38 AM  
Blogger Bernita said...

They're enough to turn one celibate.
And mostly crappy writing too.

10:14 AM  

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