Worst Sex Writing of 2010. Really, That Bad.

Each year, The Guardian chooses the worst sex scene from a novel published that year. While the winner apparently faced serious competition from Jonathan Franzen (Really? Does this make me want to read Freedom more or less?), Rowan Somerville ultimately prevailed with his really terrible description of a great act in his book The Shape of Her.

Unfortunately for fans of terrible sex writing, it's only available in England. But we did at least get an excerpt out of this opus.

The wet friction of her, tight around him, the sight of her open, stretched around him, the cleft of her body, it tore a climax out of him with a final lunge. Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.

He unbuttoned the front of her shirt and pulled it to the side so that her breast was uncovered, her nipple poking out, upturned like the nose of the loveliest nocturnal animal, sniffing in the night. He took it between his lips and sucked the salt from her.

'I want to suck you,' she said, descending […] She loosed his trousers, pulled away his underwear and gripped him with fingers tender enough to hold a tiny bird. As he felt her mouth's engulfment, he acquiesced, disappointment melting like ice in hot cream.

Bugs? Hot cream? Blunt pin? Tiny birds? Nocturnal animal? What the fuck is going on here? He apparently describes pubic hair as, "like desert vegetation following an underground stream" and a woman's sex position as "a fish flipping itself."

Back to Franzen. Anyone have proof of how bad his sex writing is in Freedom? For real, as a New Yorker, it would be refreshing to have someone talk shit about the man.


  1. Oh man, I liked you guys until you said New York... jk!!!

  2. I know! Don't count it against us.