Bad Sex in Fiction Award

Debut novelist Iain Hollingshead has won a dubious literary honour – the Bad Sex in Fiction Award.  Quite a feat, considering the competition out there.  The runners up for the prize, which rewards the author for “the crude, tasteless, often perfunctory use of redundant passages of sexual description in the modern novel”, were all men.  So, men win hands down when it comes to cringe worthy erotic writing.  Somehow I don’t find this too surprising.  Most male authors, in my admittedly limited experience, appear to be quite capable of ‘doing it’, but sadly lacking in the ability to talk eloquently about it.   Roll your eyes all you want at female romance novelists, but at least most of them can describe a sex scene without making you laugh hysterically.  Apparently the judges were moved by Hollingshead’s evocation of “a commotion of grunts and squeaks, flashing unconnected images and explosions of a million little particles.” His description of “bulging trousers” sealed the win.  Sigh.

Hollingshead, 25, who received his award from rocker Courtney Love at a London ceremony, said he was delighted to become the prize’s youngest winner.

“I hope to win it every year,” said Hollingshead, who receives a statuette and a bottle of champagne.

Double, triple sigh.  I guess this means we can look forward to more of the scintilating details that vaulted previous winners to the forefront – breasts being compared to a pair of Danishes or two Space Hoppers,  and male genitalia to a shower hose. 

I suppose it’s possible that some writers are trying to get back to a place where nothing was overly explicit and you had to rely on your imagination for the details.  But stuff like this puts my imagination on overload.  It’s not merely unrealistic, it’s downright ghastly.  It’s the murder scenes that are supposed to make you shudder, guys.  Come on.