6 Of The Most Uncomfortable Sex Scenes You’ll Ever Read

If there is one thing that I learned from the couple that used to make out in front of my locker every day when I was in high school, it is that sex, at least on a strictly secondhand basis, is almost always embarrassing. Seeing as it is required by law for every school to have at least one couple that engages in foreplay in front of any locker that is not theirs, I am sure you know what I am talking about–like, sex is almost always great when it is something that is happening to you and is something you have consented to. It’s a little less great when you’re watching a movie with your parents and, all of a sudden, some intricately-choreographed sex scene starts going on without any warning, so you have to leave to get a drink of water or fake your own death until it is over. And it is the worst when it’s just, like, a bad sex scene.

If you cringed when you read that last sentence, you’re definitely not the only one. In fact, the high-minded intellectuals at The Literary Review (a literary trade magazine based out of the U.K.) feel the exact same way. Except, instead of totally avoiding the scenes, they give out awards for them, presumably so the rest of us know what to avoid when picking out gifts for our parents. Every year, they do the Lord’s work and round up the worst sex scenes from works of literary fiction published that year. This year’s crop was just released, and it is, uh, bad. Worse than the worst dirty fanfic you’ve ever read-type bad. Now, these are all established, published authors who, in most cases, are used to the public eye–Morrissey won last year for his novel List Of The Lost–so if your conscience is bothering you, you don’t have to feel too bad about poking fun at them. So, if you can stomach it, check out some of the most uncomfortable sex scenes you are likely to ever read. Well, until next year, that is:

The Butcher's Hook by Janet Ellis

She looked at me, her eyes wide open, and brought her bloody lips to mine, pushed her mouth inside mine until I could feel it in my throat. My prick was a plank stuck to her stomach. She eased the pressure of the kiss, broke off. With a swerve of her hips, she turned me over and I was on top of her. She unwound her arms from my shoulders and guided my hands to her breasts. Opened her legs, pulled up her dress and, holding my hips over her, pushed my prick against her opening. I was her plaything, which she moved around. Our sexes were ready, poised in expectation, barely touching each other: ballet dancers hovering en pointe. We stayed like that. Anna looked down at them. She pushed on my hips, an order that thrust me in. I entered her. Not only my prick, but the whole of me entered her, into her guts, into her darkness, eyes wide open, seeing nothing. My whole body had gone inside her. I went in with her thrusts and stayed still. While I got used to the quiet and the pulsing of my blood in my ears and nose, she pushed me out a little, then in again. She did it again and again, holding me with force and moving me to the rhythm of the surf. She wiggled her breasts beneath my hands and intensified the pushing. I went in up to my groin and came out almost entirely. My body was her gearstick.


Source:The Butcher's Hook

The Day Before Happiness by Erri De Luca

I slide my hands down his back, all along his spine, rutted with bone like mud ridges in a dry field, to the audacious swell below. His finger is inside me, his thumb circling, and I spill like grain from a bucket. He is panting, still running his race. I laugh at the incongruous size of him, sticking to his stomach and escaping from the springing hair below. All the while, we stifle our noise and whisper like a church congregation during the sermon. He pinches my lips when I yelp, I shove my fingers in his mouth when he opens it to howl. ‘Anne,’ he says, stopping and looking down at me. I am pinned like wet washing with his peg. ‘Till now, I thought the sweetest sound I could ever hear was cows chewing grass. But this is better.’ He sways and we listen to the soft suck at the exact place we meet. Then I move and put all thoughts of livestock out of his head.

Let this be a reminder to you to NEVER rely on synonyms to help you get your point across.

Source:The Day Before Happiness

A Doubter's Almanac by Ethan Canin

As she talked Andret would make gentle, two-fingered tugs all the way around the hem of her dress to expose the lacy parts of her undersuit, like a child pulling candles from the rim of a birthday cake. Then he would begin kissing the frills. This she found beguiling. During sex she would quiet, moving suddenly on top of him like a lion over its prey. Her eyes stayed wide, Andret liked to keep his own closed; but whenever he opened them, there she would be, staring down at him, her black pupils gyroscopically inert. Again: leonine. He couldn’t help thinking that her gaze, even as she bent over him and strained her shoulders like a collared beast, was in fact an indictment.

This I do not find to be, uh, beguiling.

Source: The Doubter's Almanac

Leave Me by Gayle Foreman

Once they were in that room, Jason had slammed the door and devoured her with his mouth, his hands, which were everywhere. As if he were ravenous. And she remembered standing in front of him, her dress a puddle on the floor, and how she’d started to shake, her knees knocking together, like she was a virgin, like this was the first time. Because had she allowed herself to hope, this was what she would’ve hoped for. And now here it was. And that was terrifying. Jason had taken her hand and placed it over his bare chest, to his heart, which was pounding wildly, in tandem with hers. She’d thought he was just excited, turned on. It had not occurred to her that he might be terrified, too.

This one is...a lot.

Source:Leave Me

Men Like Air by Tom Connolly

The walkway to the terminal was all carpet, no oxygen. Dilly bundled Finn into the first restroom on offer, locked the cubicle door and pulled at his leather belt. ‘You’re beautiful,’ she told him, going down on to her haunches and unzipping him. He watched her passport rise gradually out of the back pocket of her jeans in time with the rhythmic bobbing of her buttocks as she sucked him. He arched over her back and took hold of the passport before it landed on the pimpled floor. Despite the immediate circumstances, human nature obliged him to take a look at her passport photo.

This one is particularly jarring without context (passports? "Pimpled" floors?!), but I suspect, somehow, that context would not actually make it any less jarring.

Source:Men Like Air

The Tobacconist by Robert Seethaler

She looked him in the eyes, and, very slowly, brought her face up close to his, and when he felt her breath on his mouth and saw the delicate trembling of her puckered top lip, a shudder of joy passed through him with such force that he would almost certainly have fallen backwards into the cigar rack if Anezka hadn’t caught him at the last moment and pressed him firmly against her body. He closed his eyes and heard himself make a gurgling sound. And as his trousers slipped down his legs all the burdens of his life to date seemed to fall away from him; he tipped back his head and faced up into the darkness beneath the ceiling, and for one blessed moment he felt as if he could understand the things of this world in all their immeasurable beauty. How strange they are, he thought, life and all of these things. Then he felt Anezka slide down before him to the floor, felt her hands grab his naked buttocks and draw him to her. ‘Come, sonny boy!’ he heard her whisper, and with a smile he let go. 

Do NOT bring "sonny boy" into this!

Source:The Tobacconnist

What do you think of these sex scenes? Which one was your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

You can reach the author, Sara Hendricks, on Twitter and Instagram.

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