The concept is simple: good literature, really, really bad sex. Now in its 17th year, fiction’s most notorious honor was dreamed up by Auberon Waugh (Evelyn’s son) “with the aim of gently dissuading authors and publishers from including unconvincing, perfunctory, embarrassing, or redundant passages of a sexual nature in otherwise sound literary novels.”
And so I checked it out. And yeah, I suppose the sex is indeed unconvincing and perfunctory:
"He had let Pegeen appoint herself ringmaster and would not participate until summoned. He would watch without interfering. First Pegeen stepped into the contraption, adjusted and secured the leather straps, and affixed the dildo so that it jutted straight out. Then she crouched above Tracy, brushing Tracy's lips and nipples with her mouth and fondling her breasts, and then she slid down a ways and gently penetrated Tracy with the dildo. Pegeen did not have to force her open. She did not have to say a word – he imagined that if either one of them did begin to speak, it would be in a language unrecognizable to him. The green cock plunged in and out of the abundant naked body sprawled beneath it, slow at first, then faster and harder, then harder still, and all of Tracy's curves and hollows moved in unison with it. This was not soft porn."
That's from Philip Roth's "The Humbling".
"'Baby.' She took my head in both hands and guided it downward, between her fragrant thighs. 'Yoni puja – pray, pray at my portal.'
"She was holding my head, murmuring 'Pray,' and I did so, beseeching her with my mouth and tongue, my licking a primitive form of language in a simple prayer. It had always worked before, a language she had taught me herself, the warm muffled tongue."
And that's from "A Dead Hand: A Crime in Calcutta" by Paul Theroux
But there's one thing I noticed while looking through these bad sex passages: all of them are straight. Where is the bad gay sex? Are the reviewers just not looking? Are authors not writing gay sex scenes at all? Or just really, really literary one-on-one homo action?
Well, in the book I began during NaNoWriMo, Gulliver Travels, there is a fair amount of gay sex. I hope that some of this is bad, and that I make the shortlist next year.