Monday, December 6, 2010

Rowan Somerville's Dark and Stormy Sex Scene

Hubba, Hubba Old Boy
The Literary Review awarded its annual Bad Sex in Fiction award to Rowan Somerville for his novel The Shape of Her. "There's nothing more English than bad sex, so on behalf of a nation, I thank you," said Somerville at the award ceremony. In their minds, the following passage exemplifies why they chose his work:
The wet friction of her, tight around him, the sight of her open, stretched around him, the cleft of her body, it tore a climax out of him with a final lunge. Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.

Personally, I don't see what the fuss is about. I myself had a torrid affair with a Venezuelan lepidopterist named Yoselin Isabella Zapata in the spring of '57. I was a young buck at the State Department working shoulder to shoulder with John Foster Dulles keeping the world safe for Democracy. She was an upstart lepidopterist at the Smithsonian where she was rewriting the book on praying mantis reproduction. I remember it like it was yesterday. By day, we would stroll, hand in hand, beneath the fecund cherry blossoms feigning interest in the other's work. At night, I would scale the trellis of her boarding house (not a metaphor) and make love until dawn - her supple Venezuelan body, made strong and lean by countless hours of bending to pick up bugs, a far more worthy bedfellow than any third world generalismo. I explored her Maricabo Lowlands (a metaphor) until she clawed at my Gran Sabana (yup) like a feral carpenter ant. I doubted any man had experienced such protean contortions, and my only hope of prolonging the experience was to think about diplomatic pouches and encrypted telexes. She called me her "tough-skinned insect" and I called her my "military junta." These were halcion nights, but like the lifecyle of the mayfly, our love was not destined to last. And frankly, I got sick of her complaining about my too blunt pin. True story.

1 comment:

  1. Call me a simpleton if you must... but I still don't know what a lepidopterist is.