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On writing (and talking) badly about sex.


Whenever one of their married friends went in for a bit of adultery, many folk of my parents' generation would come out with a phrase both knowing and damning: 'sex has raised its ugly head'. Teetering on the precipice of adolescence as I then was, hypothetical copulation was much on my mind, but the grown-ups would only have to say that unpleasant line about sex's head, and my budding erotic thoughts would flee for a fortnight at least: an unfortunate choice of words, I realised, can stun the libido at source.
As has been proven annually in the UK since 1993 by the Bad Sex in Fiction Awards (organised by The Literary Review). This year's shortlist included some off-putting descriptions of the vagina: 'a powerful ethnic muscle scented by bitter lemon' according to novelist Gary Steyngart, or: '...this ancient avenue...pulling at my prick like a lodestone' in the words of fellow writer Christopher Rush. But enough of muff: here is full sex as seen by Ali Smith in her new novel 'Boy Meets Girl': 'we hit heart, we hit home, we were the tail of a fish, the reek of a cat...'. The late Norman Mailer eventually won the 2007 prize, with a description of Adolf Hitler's brother's penis: 'as soft as a coil of excrement'.
A group of Catalan admirers of the Bad Sex Awards are currently looking for local candidates. Personally, I don't think they'll find anything to beat the following poem by singer Celdoni Fonoll: 'Jo m'escorro, tu t'escorres/quina escorreguda, déus!/m'has buidat la iogurtera/i m'has deixat KO, Neus'. Need an emergency ghastly image to delay orgasm at the crucial moment? Translate this, and - as the old saying used to go - Bob's your uncle, Fanny's your aunt.

- Textos i contingut: Matthew Tree - Disseny i programació: Nac -