He groaned, 'Oh! Chairman Mao!'
December 4, 2002 5:55 PM   Subscribe

The Literary Review Bad Sex Prize 2002. A runner-up: "In one fluid movement Herman rolled forward on to his knees, grasped Dorian by the shoulders, and kissed him. Such suction. They were like two flamingos, each attempting to filter the nutriment out of the other with great slurps of their muscular tongues. Adam's apples bobbed in the crap gloaming."
posted by mookieproof (22 comments total)

I feel ill.
posted by rushmc at 6:21 PM on December 4, 2002

You had me at "flamingos."
posted by Slagman at 6:23 PM on December 4, 2002

From Ethan Hawke's novel:

There's something about the feeling of snorting cocaine till your brain freezes and you weep 'cause you can't fall asleep that I enjoy - it's a fear of death or an awareness of life - and there was something about being near Christy, kissing her, feeling her wetness, that touched the same pulse, only with her it was the opposite of poison. It was more like some ancient healing elixir.
posted by Slagman at 6:26 PM on December 4, 2002

Oh Chairman Mao!
posted by pots at 6:34 PM on December 4, 2002

"When our orgasms come, it's like a naked electric cable dropped into a fish tank."

I bet you can get some ointment for that.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:56 PM on December 4, 2002

Franklin Delano Roosevelt? I've had better.
posted by superfem at 7:04 PM on December 4, 2002

the crap gloaming

What the hell does that mean?
posted by hippugeek at 7:21 PM on December 4, 2002

Is that THE Ethan Hawke?
posted by PrinceValium at 7:48 PM on December 4, 2002

Scarily enough, it is indeed the Ethan Hawke, "actor." TWO novels to his, uh, credit.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 8:00 PM on December 4, 2002

Pots, yah beat me to it. It's only on the short list, but they definitely saved the best for last:

Our bodies came together again. . .

He groaned, 'Oh! Chairman Mao!'

posted by risenc at 8:02 PM on December 4, 2002

I spanked her bottom and cranked up the tunes.
- Hawke

"He knew that when he kissed this girl, and forever wed his unutterable visions to her perishable breath, his mind would never romp again like the mind of God. So he waited, listening for a moment longer to the tuning-fork that had been struck upon a star. Then he kissed her. At his lips' touch she blossomed for him like a flower and the incarnation was complete."
- Fitzgerald
posted by four panels at 8:57 PM on December 4, 2002 [1 favorite]

Four panels, that reminds me of a line from the folks at the Style Invitational (slightly paraphrased): "You may have noticed that most of today's winning entries were submitted by Russell Beland (?). There is a reason for it. You may also have noticed that the library carries more books by Charles Dickens than books by you. There is a reason for that, too."
posted by hippugeek at 9:30 PM on December 4, 2002

Yep, it is the Ethan Hawke -- who is married to the Uma Thurman. As they'd say on Fark: Sad.
posted by josh at 9:46 PM on December 4, 2002

It's always heartening to see authors free enough of ego to rummage up a parody like this and enter it in a ... oh.
posted by dhartung at 9:54 PM on December 4, 2002

I can't believe I read the whole thing.
posted by hama7 at 11:22 PM on December 4, 2002

four panels -- beautiful.
posted by aenemated at 2:58 AM on December 5, 2002

I'm a little concerned for the fella with the pin-striped balls. He should get that checked out.
posted by boomchicka at 4:27 AM on December 5, 2002

I kind of liked a couple, though admittedly I've never read a single 'literary' novel published after 1997. Still, some of these passages are vivid and imaginative. Even the "flamingos" bit which you guys deride successfully evoked for me that sense of the animal taking over, like a physical lust for something in a partner, of which one becomes conscious during sex. "Bobbed in the crap gloaming" is a great dark-sounding sentence too. The challenge facing writers of sex scenes is to turn a clinical description of people coupling into a meaningful and interesting piece of prose - and to describe it in a way that's uncliched and fits with the rest of the story. Some of these passages may do just that in the proper context. And others really are awful (the winner) or unbelievably pretentious - and the "Chairman Mao" one just has to be tongue-in-cheek. four panels' example-by-contrast ignores the context - I can't see the Fitzgerald passage you've quoted, being narrated by some sleazy guy who has sex and drugs as the only things in his life - but the Hawke passage on the other hand could well be (at least with a bit of editing). Does sex always have to be accompanied by the Holy Ineffable Fitzgerald Choir?
posted by Bletch at 4:59 AM on December 5, 2002

Yep, it is the Ethan Hawke -- who is married to the Uma Thurman. As they'd say on Fark: Sad.

Any man who can write this badly and still marry Uma Thurman has my respect. Yowza.
posted by oissubke at 4:59 AM on December 5, 2002

As a long-time fan of truly terrible writing, I have to thank you for that link. Some of those were just horrific.

'Oh, you must let me stroke your balls, they are so beautiful - like . . . like a dog turd. A dog turd nestling under your . . . ' Your what?

Tears. Can't stop laughing.
posted by Fabulon7 at 6:19 AM on December 5, 2002

Two of the books cited are on my wife's christmas wish list.

Should I be concerned? Or pleased?
posted by ook at 7:03 AM on December 5, 2002

The best description of sex I've ever read is, in fact, an extremely clinical one: In Slaughterhouse Five, Vonnegut writes: "After he emptied his seminal vesicles into her ..." And that's it. Classic.
posted by risenc at 7:21 AM on December 5, 2002

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