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Bad Sex Award Winner Rowan Somerville For The Shape of Her

Good Books Can Have Bad Sex

The 18th annual Bad Sex Award, which honors "crude or outlandish sexual passages in modern literature," was bestowed upon author Rowan Somerville for his sophomore novel The Shape of Her.

While imagery like a woman twisting "onto her belly like a fish flipping itself," entranced and appalled judges, the line that really hooked them was "Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her."

Somerville accepted the accolade, awarded by the Literary Review, last night at a surprisingly nondebaucherous affair in London. "There is nothing more English than bad sex," he said, "so on behalf of the entire nation I would like to thank you."

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I feel like I'm writing an article for the Onion, but this is quite real. Literary titans like Norman Mailer and Tom Wolfe have won in the past, and John Updike was honored two months before his death with a Lifetime Achievement Award for being shortlisted four times. A lifetime achievement award for bad sex? I would die, too!

See what other novelists were nominated this year below.

What bad sex scenes have stuck with you?

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