Serious literary prizes like the Booker and the National Book Awards are all very well, but we’ll be honest and say that the award we really look forward to every year is the Literary Review‘s Bad Sex in Fiction award. This year’s winner was announced this week — it’s David Guterson, for his novel Ed King, which described the titular character having sex with, um, his mother as follows: “It didn’t take long for the beautiful and perfect Ed King to ejaculate for the fifth time in twelve hours, while looking like Roman public-bath statuary. Then they rinsed, dried, dressed, and went to an expensive restaurant for lunch.” Right. But anyway, the whole sorry business got us thinking that there really should be an equivalent for film — after all, Hollywood has been responsible for some of the most hilariously awful depictions of sex you’ll ever see. Like the ones after the jump, for instance. (This is all hugely NSFW, by the way.)
Eyes Wide Shut
For whatever reason, it was the ’90s that gave rise to some of cinema’s most dreadful sex scenes — perhaps because of the unexpected success of Basic Instinct, which meant Paul Verhoeven was still allowed to make films, and the subsequent glut of “erotic thrillers” that were neither erotic nor thrilling. It wasn’t just Verhoeven’s fault, though — even the Greatest Director of All Time™ got in on the act (as it were). The Kubrickians probably won’t take this well, but if conclusive proof was ever needed that Xenu and group sex don’t mix, then look no further than the orgy scene from Eyes Wide Shut, which aims for “erotic” and “edgy” and ends up with something that looks like the participants are components of some weird flesh machine operated by deviants in Kabuki masks.