The Bad Sex in Fiction Winner Is Here!

If you thought your litany of Tinder messages contained some weird innuendos, just wait. The winner of the 2016 Bad Sex In Fiction Award has been announced and wow... it got strange.

Hosted by the Literary Review, the annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award is presented to the writer of an otherwise acclaimed work for "the most egregious passage of sexual description in a work of fiction." Though the award has been criticized in the past for its seeming cruelty towards writers (Morrissey, the 2015 champion, had a particularly maudlin reaction), creators Rhoda Koenig and Auberon Waugh had a more noble goal when they founded it 23 years ago. "The purpose of the prize is to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction," reads the official award description. See? It's constructive criticism. Haven't you guys ever been in a writing workshop before?

Earlier this month, the 2016 Bad Sex shortlist was announced, featuring novels by Gayle Forman, Ethan Canin, Robert Seethaler, Tom Connolly, Janet Ellis and Erri De Luca. Jonathan Safran Foer was also reportedly named as an honorable mention for Here I Am, which contains a masturbation scene in which a man's dedication to finishing is compared to a climber determined to summit Mt. Everest despite a lack of oxygen and a lot of dead compatriots.

Yeah, anyway, moving on from that image, I present to you the winner of the 2016 Bad Sex in Fiction Award, Erri De Luca! All right! Go Erri!


De Luca won for his writing in The Day Before Happiness , a novel about the lifelong relationship between an orphan and the mind-reading man who raises him in post-World War II Italy. The book, which was translated into English by Michael Moore (no, not that Michael Moore), received a modest amount of acclaim, and De Luca, winner of the 2013 European Prize for Literature, is certainly no stranger to literary praise.

And yet. No one said, "Hey, Erri, this part about describing a couple's genitals as 'ballet dancers hovering en pointe'? Ick!"

Or, "Dude: 'My body was her gearstick'?! No. No. Delete."

OR, "What do you even mean by 'My prick was a plank stuck to her stomach'?! TF??"

Erri, man, you gotta get some better friends, I think. Or a better editor. Or a better translator. I don't know. Something.

Images: MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP/Getty Images; Giphy