Category Archives: Sex scenes scare me
Is this the worst sex scene ever written? It should be, since I compiled it from the books nominated for this year’s Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction Award, along with two also-rans. I’ve colour-coded the sentences so you can see who wrote what, and have altered pronouns and tenses so that the whole thing makes a kind of horrible sense. Get the smelling salts ready…
She locked the cubicle door and pulled at his leather belt. “You’re beautiful,” she told him, going down on to her haunches and unzipping him. He watched her passport rise gradually out of the back pocket of her jeans in time with the rhythmic bobbing of her buttocks as she sucked him. He arched over her back and took hold of the passport before it landed on the pimpled floor. Despite the immediate circumstances, human nature obliged him to take a look at her passport photo. His heart immediately started hammering like mad, and a fiery heat welled up inside him. He wanted to ask something, something tremendously urgent, something incredibly important, something that was tingling on the tip of his tongue but already her other hand was on his other buttock. Once he’d trained his sphincter to stop reflexively impersonating a Chinese finger trap, it felt pretty good. She pushed on his hips, an order that thrust him in. He entered her. Not only his prick, but the whole of him entered her, into her guts. “Anne,” he said, stopping and looking down at her. She was pinned like wet washing with his peg. “Till now, I thought the sweetest sound I could ever hear was cows chewing grass. But this is better.” He swayed and they listened to the soft suck at the exact place they met. The act itself was fervent. Like a brisk tennis game or a summer track meet, something performed in daylight between competitors. The cheap mattress bounced. They breathed heavily, breached, adjusting to air. There was a fish smell too, as if the tide had just gone out. When she was sufficiently aroused, a hush finally settled and then with a sigh she rolled over gently onto her back and lay like a doe turning in leaves.
Men Like Air by Tom Connolly
The Butcher’s Hook by Janet Ellis (yes, the former Blue Peter presenter)
The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler
A Doubter’s Almanac by Ethan Canin
The Day Before Happiness by Erri De Luca
Here I Am by Jonathan Safran Foer
You can blame @EmmaSwainston for choosing this one. Your #SUNDAYPIX theme for 25th January is
A Thing From Your Kitchen That Looks Like It Might Be A Sex Toy
Don’t worry, we’ll snazzy that up in the hashtag, otherwise you’d have no room for the pic. Take photographs of something kitcheny that looks to you like it could be used in pervy shenanigans. Extra kudos will be given if said object has already been used as a sex toy. Post your pics to Twitter on Sunday (including the hashtag #SUNDAYPIXkitchensextoy in your tweet) and see how many people other people have kinky inclinations. As ever, photographs must be yours (or your family’s or your secret lover’s) – nowt just nicked off the internet. Yes, you can post an old pic you’ve previously taken, or even one from your family history. Follow the hashtag (click on it in any tweet or add a column to your app) on Sunday to see what others have made of the theme. You are encouraged, nay ordered, to comment on other Sundaypickers’ tweets and snigger.
On this day in 1663, Sam Pepys was a very naughty boy while his wife was away in the country. Follow me being Sam (but with a Wombat twist) every day on Twitter @SamPepys_1663 – here’s today’s tweets. Warning; this is a bit NSFW.
“What I tell you now must go no further than between me and Twitter. Most importantly, do not tell Lizzie. If you be reading at your employment, be warned that this is not suitable for work.
To Westminster Hall, where I expected some bands made me by Mrs. Lane, & while she went to the starchers for them I staid at Mrs. Howlett’s. Mrs. Howlett & her husband were abroad, and only their daughter was in the shop, and I took occasion to buy a pair of gloves to talk to her. I find her a pretty spoken girl, and will prove a mighty handsome wench. I could love her very well, perhaps, at a future date. By and by Mrs. Lane comes, and my bands not being done she and I went to the Crown in the Palace Yard, where we eat a chicken and drank. We were mighty merry, & I had my full liberty of towzing her & doing what I would but the last thing of all; you know, planting the pudding. I felt as much of her as I wanted and made her feel my thing also, and put the end of it to her breast and by & by to her very belly. #sexy
Thence walked home, all in a sweat with my tumbling of her and walking, and so a little supper and to bed.
I think I’m getting a cold. Mum’s the word, right? We don’t want this getting to Brampton, do we? Good lads. You know it makes sense.”
“When a man & a lady like each other they have a special cuddle. The man gives the lady a box of eggs & sprinkles seeds on them. So… then the lady does a special whistle and the man’s flute stands up, then the lady plays a special tune on the flute and the man sings a special high pitched song.
“Then the man does windypops and falls asleep and the lady does a special grumble and has a cup of tea and a hobnob.
Many writers will tell you that the hardest thing to write is a convincing sex scene. It isn’t easy to convey eroticism and arousal without straying into the risible. Take these examples, for instance:
“she took him by the wrist and moved the base of his hand into her pubic hair until his middle fingertip settled on the no-man’s-land between her ‘front parlor’ and ‘back door’” – David Guterson’s “Ed King”
“It’s okay, I whispered … I was immersed in the slush of her moist meat … Her body stiffened but I forced her legs apart and pushed my face into her groin” – Christos Tsiolkas “Dead Europe”
However, although I do have a sex scene yet to write for “Amnesia” (coming soonish to a Lulu shop near you), that’s not the passage* that I’m most nervous of attempting. Oh no, what fills me full of dread is that I need to write about my protagonist doing a lot of heavy research in a library. How the frilly wiggins do I make that interesting, and not send the reader to sleep? “I took down another book. To my horror, this time the cover was red. The red of a freshly-slit throat…”. Hmmm, maybe not.
Wait – maybe if he does his research while having sex in the library? As long it’s quiet sex that should be OK, shouldn’t it?
* unintentional punnage, sorry.