The Bad Sex in Fiction Award 2020 has been cancelled with organisers saying people have been “subjected to too many bad things this year” already.
Set up by the Literary Review, the annual prize is given out to the book with the most excruciating erotic passages. However, judges have announced this year's prize has been ditched and will return in 2021.
They said: “With lockdown regulations giving rise to all manner of novel sexual practices, the judges anticipate a rash of entries next year. Authors are reminded that cybersex and other forms of home entertainment fall within the purview of this award.
“Scenes set in fields, parks or back yards, or indoors with the windows open and fewer than six people present will not be exempt from scrutiny either.”
Organisers warned the cancellation “should not be taken as a licence to write bad sex”.
The award was set up in 1993 by literary critic Rhoda Koenig and Literary Review editor Auberon Waugh with the aim of “drawing attention to the poorly written, redundant, or downright cringeworthy passages of sexual description in modern fiction”.
Last year's prize was jointly awarded to Didier Decoin for The Office of Gardens and Ponds (MacLehose Press) and John Harvey's Pax (Holland House).
The latter included the lines: “She was burning hot and the heat was in him. He looked down on her perfect black slenderness. Her eyes were ravenous. Like his own they were fire and desire. More than torrid, more than tropical: they two were riding the equator. They embraced as if with violent holding they could weld the two of them one.”