Goodreads Feedback discussion

Suggestions & Questions > Site Trouble?

Comments Showing 1-50 of 68 (68 new)    post a comment »
« previous 1

message 1: by Vanessa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Vanessa I was reading the "Shameful Passions" thread and there seemed to be several comments about badly written sex. So I'm wondering what books you've read that have terrible sex scenes in them - and what was so bad about them.

For me, one of the worst I read was in a book by Clive Barker, "Cabal: The Nightbreed". It was completely unappealing - I just wasn't buying the fact that the gal was loving the sensation of her undead boyfriend's chilly willy. It was also embarassing to read - even though I was in the house alone, with no one to see me reading it. Overall, it made me think, "Clive Barker, have you ever had sex before?"

message 2: by Rob (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Rob McMonigal | 41 comments I wasn't able to add a new book manually, and when I tried to add a book that I found by ISBN, it gave me an error as well. Anyone else having trouble today?

message 3: by Femmy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Femmy | 118 comments Yes, I'm also having trouble with searching by ISBN. It says it cannot connect to remote site.

message 4: by Michael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Michael | 39 comments Clive Barker, being gay, would probably have some trouble writing heterosexual sex scenes.

message 5: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Jessica | 99 comments Great topic!

Isn't there an annual "worst sex scene" competition? I seem to recall reading various years' entries and being alternately amused and nauseated.

message 6: by Jammies (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Jammies I adore "The Stand." I think Stephen King had one good book in him and this was it. That said, the romantic scenes in this book (thankfully, King never describes more than his characters getting aroused) are just awful.

One character has "a slim saddle between her legs" and another can only manage to think to herself that her sweetie "makes you hot, so hot, has it ever been this hot?"

Bleargh. King needs to receive the Jammies treatment for bad dust jacket artists for most of his books and his love scenes.

message 7: by Michael (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Michael | 39 comments Sherri, my response was more a comment to your note of "Clive, have you ever had sex before?" than to Barker's ability to write sex scenes overall.

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

If Ian McEwan doesn't win for the premature ejaculation scene in On Chesil Beach this year, I don't know what will.

message 9: by Vanessa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Vanessa Sherri - I love chocolate chip cookies, thanks.

You certainly have nerves of steel, to be able to suffer through many volumes of bad sex. I was in critical condition from embarassment just reading Clive Barker's one bas sex scene - I think I would be dead, buried, reincarnated, and dead again from embarassment if I had to read several volumes of the same. And yet...something in your post awakens my self-destructive tendencies and methinks I must hunt down one of the installments of "Merry Gentry".

Michael - I might have to agree with you if I was convinced that gay men like stone-cold-dead-guy boners.

message 10: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Jessica | 99 comments Count me in as a non-delicate folk who wants to hear what gives Sherri the heebie-jeebies!!!

message 11: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 5 comments Okay Sherri...I'm home now... LOL!!!

I may come off as a prude here but I find most sex scenes (outside of erotica) completely pointless both in books and in movies. They tend to be gratuitous and badly written. Why (oh why!) I ask you does every man (especially middle-aged ones) HAVE to have sex with the young chippy?

Now...give me some porn and I'm a happy girl.

*leaving to go to the "erotica" thread*


message 12: by Jessica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Jessica | 99 comments Hey, is there an erotica group?

message 13: by Otis, Chief Goodreader (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Otis Chandler | 4184 comments Mod
Yes, we had a bunch of issues related to search this morning. Sorry about that!

message 14: by Conrad (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Conrad | 17 comments Way to spoil the book, Steve.

message 15: by Laura (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:56AM) (new)

Laura (laurahogan) | 228 comments I almost hate to point this out, but the whole point of that scene in "On Chesil Beach" was that it was a bad sex scene. It can't be bad if the author intends it to be that way.

message 16: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

Kate (kate-schmate) | 42 comments Oh Conrad. Like you couldn't see that coming a mile away.


message 17: by Conrad (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:57AM) (new)

Conrad | 17 comments Hey! Get a bunch of repressed Britons together in a room, and you never know what'll happen.

message 18: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 5 comments Oh dear lord. The infantilization of genitalia is just ridiculous. I'd much rather hear the C-word than "hoo-hoo".

message 19: by Vanessa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Vanessa I once knew a 33-yr-old woman who referred to it as her "Woofie", as well as a couple who named theirs "Victoria" and "Sebastian" e.g. "Can Sebastian pay a visit to Victoria?" - so that it was like a scene out of Brideshead Revisited every time one of them initiated sex. The mere image of it traumatized me deeply and I still wake up screaming in the middle of the night.

message 20: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 6 comments I always thought it was "hoo-ha". As in, today I had to go to the hoo-ha doctor.

message 21: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 6 comments Yoni is another fun one.

Vanessa, I'm so sorry about your scarring. If it helps, I once had a boyfriend who named my breasts Rod and Todd. I cannot believe I am telling everyone this.

message 22: by Norman (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Norman My brother's name is Rod; one of my best friend's name is Todd. Now that this image has been emblazoned on my mind, I hope to never see the two of them hanging out together!

message 23: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Xysea  (Xysea) | 15 comments My grandmother used to call 'it' a tweenie. Because it was 'tween your legs. Get it?

I don't understand that kind of repression. I tell my daughter exactly what its called, no matter how funny it sounds...After all, it's a weird word, isn't? Vagina...

There's an urban legend about a woman who allegedly named her twins Regina and Vagina...but I have no idea if there's any basis in truth...

If so, Dear God! Aiyiii!

message 24: by Kate (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Kate (katiebobus) | 6 comments Sarah and Norman, Rod and Todd as in the Flanders kids on The Simpsons. I know, right? Totally hot.

Xysea, I have heard of a woman from Mexico who had a baby here and named her Placenta because she heard the doctors saying it and thought it was the most beautiful word ever.

message 25: by Ann M (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Ann M | 17 comments Hm, and why both male? Did it make them seem less intimidating? One of my exs attempted "Pert" and "Ernie." He didn't last long, in any sense of the word.

message 26: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Xysea  (Xysea) | 15 comments lol Kate...

I have a raft of them, having been involved with medicine over the years.

There was one woman who tried to name her son 'Syphilis' but pronounced it 'Su-file-us' until a nurse persuaded her to choose something else. She had seen the name on a poster in the neo-natal clinic's waiting area and thought it would be a nice name for her child.


message 27: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:07PM) (new)

Christen | 3 comments I was rolling my eyes all the way through the sex scene in King's IT when like five twelve year old boys have to have sex with the one twelve year old girl because for some reason that will bring them close enough together as a group that they'll be able to find their way out of the sewer. The discussion on who gets to go first and of course the girl's thoughts on who was best were especially demeaning. Stephen King, you perverted old nasty! Shame on you!

message 28: by [deleted user] (last edited Aug 23, 2007 09:01AM) (new)

That let's all bang Beverly (if I remember her name correctly)scene out of IT was largely resonsible for me & Mr. King parting ways (well that & the general decline of his work over the years, remember editing? *sigh*).

Oh, and my Ex used to refer to 'him' as...
"Mr. Frisky"

message 29: by Alex (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Alex (alexinmadison) | 5 comments See, now, Mr Frisky is cute and funny - for one adult to name another adult's privates. I can get behind that (or in front of it, as it were). But giving baby names to genitalia in order to make adults more comfortable talking about them to children is just wrong. So now you've got a kid who, at 17, is still using hoo-hoo or twinkie or some other stupid euphemism. Ick.

message 30: by Vanessa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Vanessa I've always taught my kids the proper word for privates, but recently my 4-yr-old girl found out that our neighbors drive a Volvo and she has been calling it a "Vulva" ever since.

message 31: by Xysea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Xysea  (Xysea) | 15 comments Vanessa! lolol!

Does their 'Vulva' have a low mileage, I wonder...

Yes, I have a twisted mind. *sigh* I know.

message 32: by Christen (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Christen | 3 comments Xysea...obviously their Vulva gets around!

message 33: by Benjamin (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:08PM) (new)

Benjamin Crawford (CharlesBenjaminHaag) Worst sex scene...hmm...

I vote for any given sex scene in _The Fountainhead_. Not because of the writing itself, but the...what word am I looking for? Underlying psychosis.

message 34: by [deleted user] (new)

That Vulva is one of the best places to be an accident, they're built like tanks!

message 35: by Cassiel (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:33PM) (new)

Cassiel I couldn't resist warning anyone who might actually find this stinker in print.
By far the grossest and stupidist sex scene I've ever read: Somebody Fleming (claims to Ian Fleming's nephew *wow big recommendation there*) penned a attempt at a novel called White Blood.
The character (with his oft-referred to "big Russian balls")is in a brothel in Burma, where he cavorts with FOUR girls while being enema-ized with live baby eels by the madam. No, I am not kidding!
Book against the wall; book in dire need of composting.

message 36: by Esther (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:16PM) (new)

Esther (eshchory) I have just encountered one of the worst sex scenes ever in The Notebook. Just so trite and passionless.

I agree with Alex if it is not porn or erotica what is the point. A small amount of arousal and then dim the lights.... my imagination is more than able to provide the rest.

In Hebrew possible girls names include Oral and Anna-Li. Luckily due to globalization and widespread knowledge of English they aren't much used.
Mind you try explaining to a non-English speaker that Dick really is a man's name.

message 37: by Tara (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:25PM) (new)

Tara I think I agree with the comment about Lady Chatterly's Lover. Why was this book banned? There was no sex, not even "cold dead fish" sex. I just didn't get it.

I also agree with Alex that the sex scenes should be limited to porn and erotica. I think I've managed to block out just about every woefully bad sex scene I've ever read. Wait, one is coming to me (no pun intended, now I'm blushing). So, when Anne Rice describes Lestat's penis in Queen of the Damned. She didn't use any cute names, but it's the scene where the women are bathing Lestat for Akasha and he is talking about how he is just eternally erect. Really, do I need that? It really didn't help that I was still picturing Tom Cruise as Lestat from his performance in Interview (which was just not good casting). I don't need an image of Tom Cruise with blond hair and an eternal erection! Ugh! Yuck!

I have never been able to understand the use of insects to describe body parts. Like bee-stung lips or the various insect names for breasts: ant hills, mosquito bites, termite mounds, spider bites. Why the insects? Also, the use of fruit: melons, cantalopes, apples, lemons. I cringe at lines that say "He pressed his mouth to her bee-stung lips, flicking his tongue like a snake between the fruity juicyness of her being". That will always lead to a really bad sex scene. Also, any sex scene that is equated to consuming a banquet feast is also just a bad sex scene which usually results in me not eating for a couple days!

message 38: by Maria (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:30PM) (new)

Maria | 4 comments I agree with Alex that most sex scenes are completely unnecessary and distract from the plot, but what makes that particularly disappointing is that it doesn't have to be that way. There's this one explicit sex scene in American Gods (the gay sex scene, not the maneating girl parts one) that summarises and resolves the mental state of the particular character involved, and the story wouldn't be the same without it. Scenes like that are really rare, though.

Ooh, and there's one in A Spot of Bother, too, but it's only like a sentence and not explicit. But it's great.

message 39: by k (new)

k As a college party prank, we used to read passages from Fabio's books. He frequently talks about reaching her "pulsating core."

Also, //Fanny Hill//. Written by a man from a woman's perspective. She really enjoyed it when he "unsheathed his sword" and "impaled her on it." There were a lot of ivory towers and delicate flowers too.

message 40: by Skylar (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:43AM) (new)

Skylar Burris (skylarburris) | 17 comments I'll second the Fountainhead, not for bad writing, but for the issue of -- since when was rape positive?

Just about any sex scene in Water for Elephants.

And I'll second IT. I just about stopped reading Stephen King at that point. How perverted and unecessary and...ewwwwww....12 year olds! COME ON!

message 41: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl I'm going to go out on a limb here and say the "sex" scene in 'Running With Scissors', which is a horrid book anyway. (Don't get me started on the movie.) I suppose the assult of a teenage boy doesn't really count as a sex scene. Graphic, and probably not even true. I hate that book.

message 42: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (Glinda) That was one of the most pathetic scenes I have EVER read. I got the feeling King wrote the book just so he could indulge himself in that fantasy. I remember the girl suddenly having this "epiphany" that sex with all of them would "fix everything". I don't know how I managed to finish the book, honestly. I think I was drunk at the time.

message 43: by [deleted user] (new)

Somewhere, long ago, I read a funny article about embarrassingly bad descriptions of sex in literary fiction. I thought maybe Dale Peck had written it (the article), but a Google search was fruitless.

I *did* find references to a "Bad Sex in Fiction" award, presented by the Literary Review. Indeed, in 2007 Ian McEwan was regarded as a shoo-in. I think maybe the award was to be presented by Courtney Love...?

Incidentally, I also found, while innocently (?!) skimming past posts in this thread, the reference to "Rod and Todd." Kate! For shame! :)

message 44: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) | 405 comments Do you think the bad sex in fiction is due to writers/publishers thinking that a book marketed to an adult audience has to have sex in it?

I read a lot of science fiction and fantasy. I've noticed that in the last twenty years or so, it seems like every science fiction and fantasy book has at least one sex scene. Most of the time, those scenes are awkward, poorly written and have absolutely nothing to do with the story. Maybe writers would have an easier time writing good books if they did try to put sex scenes in where they don't belong.

message 45: by Fire-fish (new)

Fire-fish The longlisted passages for the Bad Sex in Fiction award

message 46: by Tracy (new)

Tracy yes, this scene is classic McEwan... cringingly realistic, you feel as if you are there (but shoudn't be)

message 47: by Allison (new)

Allison Those are some bad sex scenes...

message 48: by Sandi (new)

Sandi (Sandikal) | 405 comments Those are so bad, they're comical.

message 49: by Gail (new)

Gail Short List:

Tally ho, Demon Eel.

Really and truly drivel.

message 50: by Leah (new)

Leah (LeahSu) Um, ok. I bought (and read) Bill O'Reilly's book "Those Who Trespass". There are some sex scenes there that are so...I can't describe them.

They weren't necessarily overtly graphic, yet so poorly written.

I have no words.

Anyone else read it?!

« previous 1
back to top