These Are The 7 Most Cringeworthy Sex Scenes From Books In 2018

My favorite part of book awards season has finally arrived. Literary Review has released the 26th Annual Bad Sex in Fiction Award shortlist, and this year's nominees are a real doozy. The 26th Annual Bad Sex in Fiction Awards shortlist consists of seven nominees at the time of this writing, but Literary Review says that "nominations continue to come in" ahead of the announcement of the winner on Dec. 3. I've got the seven current nominees below, so you can revel in all the not-at-all-erotic glory.

The Bad Sex in Fiction Awards began in 1993, when Melvyn Bragg's A Time to Dance drew the attention of Literary Review editors with this passage:

"We came together, do you remember, always tenderly, at first standing, like a chivalric introduction to what was to be a voluptuous sensual battle? Just stood and kissed like children, simply, body to body, skin to skin, you slightly stirring against me, myself disregarding for those seconds the ram of sex aching below.
And then we would be on the bed and I touching you, hungry. Eyes closed, fingers inside you, reaching into the melting fluid rubbered silk — a relief map of mysteries — the eager clitoris, reeking of you, our tongues imitating the fingers, your hands gripping and stroking me but also careful not to excite too much. […] and so I would f*ck you gently and then more strongly and finally thrust in hard and suddenly let everything go. “Slam into me,” you used to say. “how you just slam into me!”


Ever since Bragg's book became the inaugural winner of this ignoble prize, Literary Review has "honored" the worst sex scene from literature with the Bad Sex in Fiction Award. According to the BBC, the award is "a semi-abstract statue representing sex in the 1950s," which the winning author can pick up at a banquet later in the year, if he — this year's nominees are all men — decides to show up.

Here are a few standouts from this year's nominees:

'Scoundrels: The Hunt for Hansclapp' by Major Victor Cornwall and Major Arthur St. John Trevelyan

“'Empty my tanks,' I’d begged breathlessly, as once more she began drawing me deep inside her pleasure cave. Her vaginal ratchet moved in concertina-like waves, slowly chugging my organ as a boa constrictor swallows its prey. Soon I was locked in, balls deep, ready to be ground down by the enamelled pepper mill within her."

'Katerina' by James Frey

"I’m hard and deep inside her f*cking her on the bathroom sink her tight little black dress still on her thong on the floor my pants at my knees our eyes locked, our hearts and souls and bodies locked.

Cum inside me.

Cum inside me.

Cum inside me.

Blinding breathless shaking overwhelming exploding white God I cum inside her my cock throbbing we’re both moaning eyes hearts souls bodies one.







I close my eyes let out my breath.


'Connect' by Julian Gough

"He drops the bra to the floor, looks up, into her eyes, it’s too much. He kisses her chin, her mouth, and their tongues touch, oh, too much, he slips his lips free with a soft suck. Moves up to kiss her strong nose, on one side, then the other, it’s hard and soft at once. He moves back down, till he is level with her breasts.

‘They’re small,’ she says, surprisingly shy, apologetic.

‘They’re perfect,’ he says.

He kisses them. Teases a nipple with his lips. It’s so soft; and then, suddenly, hard.


He sucks on the hard nipple.

He has never done this before, and yet; no, wait, of course, it is totally familiar.

The first thing he ever did.

He feels the huge change in meaning, in status; it is as though he had grown up in a single suck. Everything transformed. And yet nothing has changed at all; he sucks at a nipple as he lies on a bed, and it’s eighteen years later, and he sucks at a nipple as he lies on a bed, and his childhood falls away from him like a burned-out booster stage from a rocket. Its fuel used up. He is now in orbit around a different planet."

'Killing Commendatore' by Haruki Murakami

"My ejaculation was violent, and repeated. Again and again, semen poured from me, overflowing her vagina, turning the sheets sticky. There was nothing I could do to make it stop. If it continued, I worried, I would be completely emptied out. Yuzu slept deeply through it all without making a sound, her breathing even. Her sex, though, had contracted around mine, and would not let go. As if it had an unshakeable will of its own and was determined to wring every last drop from my body."

'Kismet' by Luke Tredget

"She shuffles her head closer to his cock, close enough to smell her own residue, and then takes it in her mouth, with the vague idea of cleaning it. Geoff mirrors this gesture by burying his head between her legs, and gradually she can feel his cock pumping up with blood, one pulse at a time, until it is long and hard and filling her wide-open mouth. They stay in this position for a long time, Anna sucking and slurping with the same lazy persistence you’d use on a gobstopper or a stick of rock. Eventually she loses her sense of the context — of what she is doing or who she is with or where they are — and becomes an empty vessel for what feels like disembodied consciousness. She looks at the window and wonders how the glass feels encased within its wooden frame, what the shaggy clouds feel like being blown across the sky, what the walls felt like being splattered and smeared with wet paint …"

'Grace's Day' by William Wall

"He’s almost weightless. When he enters me it hurts and my pain belongs to the subterranean world, primitive as the clay. His body is slacker than I expected, a small paunch begins at his waist and settles in a downward parabola to his groin. His pubic hair is red. His erect penis is a surprise although I had imagined what they would feel like, read about them, seen them represented on toilet walls and magazines. I didn’t see it before he entered me, but afterwards it is small and sticky and amusing. I want to touch it but I don’t dare. I don’t know the etiquette. He is twenty or more years older than me. This is sex."

'The Paper Lovers' by Gerard Woodward

"He was aware that she was making a mewling sound as he put his lips to her tightened nipple and sucked. Her mouth was at his ear, her tongue travelling along its grooves, voice filling it. His mouth tugged at her, extended her, she snapped back, there was a taste of something on his tongue. In his mind he pictured her neck, her long neck, her swan’s neck, her Alice in Wonderland neck coiling like a serpent, like a serpent, coiling down on him. She had found a way through his clothing and her fingers had lightly touched his cock, then slowly began to take a firmer hold. He wanted to cry like a baby. He felt helpless, as though his body had come undone and she was fastening it. He felt as though he was bleeding somewhere. Then he felt powerful, gigantic. He would have kicked a door down."

For more excerpts from the Bad Sex Award, head to Literary Review.