In fiction, anyway. This year, Ben Okri has been awarded the Literary Review Bad Sex in Fiction award for a passage in his tenth novel, The Age of Magic:
“When his hand brushed her nipple it tripped a switch and she came alight. He touched her belly and his hand seemed to burn through her. He lavished on her body indirect touches and bitter-sweet sensations flooded her brain. She became aware of places in her that could only have been concealed there by a god with a sense of humour.
Adrift on warm currents, no longer of this world, she became aware of him gliding into her. He loved her with gentleness and strength, stroking her neck, praising her face with his hands, till she was broken up and began a low rhythmic wail … The universe was in her and with each movement it unfolded to her. Somewhere in the night a stray rocket went off.”
Okri faced some, er, stiff competition for this year’s award:
The winner of this year’s Booker, Richard Flanagan, with The Narrow Road to the Deep North, was a contender with: “Hands found flesh; flesh, flesh. He felt the improbable weight of her eyelash with his own; he kissed the slight, rose-coloured trench that remained from her knicker elastic, running around her belly like the equator line circling the world.”
Haruki Murakami’s Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage resorted to naturalistic metaphors: “Shiro’s were small, but her nipples were as hard as tiny round pebbles. Their pubic hair was as wet as a rain forest. Their breath mingled with his, becoming one, like currents from far away, secretly overlapping at the dark bottom of the sea.”
Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Cunningham’s The Snow Queen weighed in with: “He hears himself gasp in wonder. He falls into an ecstatic burning harmedness, losing, lost, unmade. And is finished.”