One of the nominations described sex as moving with 'avalanche precision' iStock


  • Literary Review announce this year's shortlist of bad sex in fiction.
  • Previous winners include Morrissey, Sebastian Faulks and Erri De Luca.

The Literary Review has announced this year's nominations for the Bad Sex in fiction award.

The award recognises an author who has the dubious honour of producing an "outstandingly bad" scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel.

The nominations for the 2017 award are:

The Seventh Function of Language by Laurent Binet, The Destroyers by Christopher Bollen, Mother of Darkness by Venetia Welby, As a God Might Be by Neil Griffiths, The Future Won't Be Long by Jarett Kobek, War Cry by Wilbur Smith (with David Churchill), and Here Comes Trouble by Simon Wroe.

Previous winners of the award include Erri De Luca for last year's book The Day Before Happiness for lines including "my p***k was a plank stuck to her stomach" and singer Morrisey for a passage in his 2015 book which included the description "Ezra's howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement".

The winner of this year's award will be announced on 30 November. You can read extracts from each of this year's nominations below.

The Seventh Function of Language by Laurent Binet

He tips her back and lays her on the dissecting table. She takes off her skirt, spreads her legs and tells him: 'F**k me like a machine.' And while her breasts spill out, Simon begins to flow into her assemblage. His tongue-machine slides inside her like a coin in the slot, and Bianca's mouth, which also has multiple uses, expels air like a bellows, a powerful, rhythmic breathing whose echo – 'Si! Si!' – reverberates in the pulsing blood in Simon's c**k. Bianca moans, Simon gets hard, Simon licks Bianca, Bianca touches her breasts, the flayed men get hard, Gallienus starts to w**k under his robe, and Hippocrates under his toga. 'Si! Si!'

Bianca grabs Simon's dick, which is hot and hard as if it's just come out of a steel forge, and connects it to her mouth-machine. Simon declaims as if to himself, quoting Artaud in an oddly detached voice: 'The body under the skin is an overheated factory.' The Bianca Factory automatically lubricates her devenir-sexe. Their mingled moans ring out through the deserted Anatomical Theatre."

The Destroyers by Christopher Bollen

On the stone porch, in the hot, mountain air, we grapple with our clothing, which, in the darkness, becomes as complicated as mountaineering gear. Her black shirt around her neck, mine unbuttoned, our shorts and underwear slid to our ankles, we seem to be moving at avalanche speed and also, unfortunately, with avalanche precision.

Mother of Darkness by Venetia Welby

They lie beneath molten sunrise, head nestled in inner elbow, mould of muscle mingling flesh with flesh, one body, soul within soul. The green grass curls around Tera's left breast as she curves her sleek physique around Matty's diabolical torso like a vine. Paralysed, complete, the marble statue of the lovers allows itself to be painted by the dawn's lurid orange spillage. Shards of innocence, they lie in the sweet, sweaty chill of the morning light. Darkened by the sun and dust, Yang curls round s-curved Yin, a perfect fit.

As a God Might Be by Neil Griffiths

"The kiss was an order and a disguise. She pushed her hand into his jeans and felt for his cock. She was experienced enough to prepare for disappointment. Her tongue sought out his tongue and whipped around it, teasing it out. There was the taste of whisky, the fresh basil from the salad. Both knew that from where they were standing, getting to the bed would be awkward; he still had his boots on."

The Future Won't Be Long by Jarett Kobek

With Jon it was communication, a dialogue between two bodies, electric impulses transmitted over wires of flesh and bone. Words one cannot speak, words that can only be heard. Skin that became skin that became skin anew.

We made love and we had sex and we had sex and we made love. But reader, again, I implore. Mistake me not. I am not your Pollyanna, I am not your sweet princess. We f****d, we f****d, we f****d, we f****d, we f****d, we f****d.

We f****d in the effluvia of our bodies, we f****d in the scent of it, in the sheer stench of it, in the garden of our human flowering. Stained sheets, stained clothes, stained souls, stained towels.

War Cry by Wilbur Smith (with David Churchill)

'I'm going to have you now,' Leon said. He led her back up the beach to where the sand was dry. Then he took off his coat, placed it on the ground and she lay down upon it.

'Christ!' he muttered, placing himself on top of her. 'It's bloody cold. I might get frostbite on my cock.'

She gave a low purring laugh. 'Silly man. Why don't you put it somewhere hot?'

Here Comes Trouble by Simon Wroe

The details of what happened in that bed, while engrossing, have no business in this report. Nor is it certain that, put into words, they would survive the imprisonment. But it is worth noting that when people shed their clothes they lose certain trappings and conventions.

A clothed body is always human or human-like, a naked body always animal or animal-like. Only at close quarters is the full extent of a body's wildness revealed, like when a bird gets trapped inside a house. One is moved to not entirely human thinking then. One goes towards its animalness.