Welcome to Jurassic book porn: an introduction to dinosaur erotica

taken by trex

Let’s not beat around the prehistoric bush. Dinosaur erotica exists, and it’s time you knew about it.

Now, there’s a real chance the two types of people reading this article will fall into extremely binary categories: those who have read dinosaur erotica, and those who are now a matter of seconds away from finding out everything you could possibly want to know about a literary sub-genre as extraordinary as it is obscure.

First things first: the basics

Simply put, dinosaur erotica sits within the larger genre of monster erotica (for that, think the vampiric eroticism of E.L. James’ Twilight-inspired fan fiction) – and is made up of books where humans have sex with, yes, dinosaurs.

Generally speaking, plots from the books focus on female warrior maidens in rabbit-skin bikinis and grunting cavemen being seduced by (or, indeed, seducing) a big male dinosaur.

Some of the book titles from within the genre give you a flavour of what to expect. They include Taken by the T-Rex, Space Raptor Butt Invasion, Ravished by Triceratops and Pterodactyl turned me gay. Okay okay, we know that pterodactyls aren’t actually dinosaurs; but this is a fact that doesn’t seem to concern the authors of the books.

Check out some of the craziest dino-porn books (with excerpts and pictures) here

In fact, it sometimes seems like the authors of these books aren’t even bothered by what specific species of dinosaur is performing x or y sex act on which human. The simple fact that there is a large scaly monster doinking your clichéd vision of a smokin’ hot gal or guy seems to suffice more often than not.

Indeed, in the timeless title A billionaire dinosaur turned me gay, by Hunter Fox (not his real name), nothing seems to matter beyond the fact that there is a billionaire dinosaur that is gay for humans (in this sense, perhaps Fox should be given recognition for writing a six word story that even Hemingway wouldn’t know what to do with). At just 15 pages long, readers receive little description of the prehistoric terror lizard apart from the fact that it is a vaguely “greenish-purple” colour and has claws and a penis. But who needs these details? All Fox seems to think readers require to get off to their dino-porn is a main character who’s father hates dinosaurs in positions of power (we can’t imagine what he’d think of Donald Trump or Theresa May), but who nonetheless succumbs to the striking, Christian Grey-esque allure of this financially savvy dinosaur. Observe:

“I grabbed the dinosaur’s cock with my hands and began rubbing it in circles while I sucked on its shaft.”

Ignore the fact that this line seems so awkward as to be describing something that may not be physically possible, let alone sexy or erotic – and instead concentrate on the fact that the main character is having sex with a dinosaur, and you may start to understand the appeal of this style of erotic fiction.

So, just how sexy is the dinosaur sex?

Of course, we know that the question you want answered as quickly as possible is whether or not the books are going to get you off or not. This isn’t just us being exceptionally gifted psychics – it’s just basic human psychology at work: after all, when a person opens a new tab on the internet, the first question anybody asks themselves is “can I masturbate to this?” And while we’re not ones to say what anybody should or shouldn’t pleasure themselves to, we will try to give an honest appraisal of whether or not the sex in dinosaur erotica is actually erotic or sexy.

Now, when it comes to writing about sex, we have some history in this area – trawling through the archives to compile the ultimate compendium of bad sex in fiction. Simply put, the sex described by the authors of these literary novels compared to that contained within the world of dinosaur erotica just does not compare.

We therefore thought the best thing to do in this situation was to compile some of our favourite quotes here below (and here, too). Make of these what you will:

“This grunting, grinding, growling lizard” – Taken by the T-Rex

“She caught the girth of its fat cock in her hands and drew it towards her body, increasing the area of nerve endings which were being stimulated. The T-Rex seemed to appreciate the gesture […] it seemed as if time stood still. There was nothing in the entire world apart from this grunting, grinding, growling lizard and Drin, wrapped around its cock. She managed to bring her legs up, locking her ankles around its wet dick as well, the entire length of her body becoming a cunt for this animal to fuck.


Unbelievably, Drin started to feel herself building up toward another intense climax. As she came, she clutched tightly onto the big lizard’s dick, her arms and legs tightening on the throbbing, red hot member. The Tyrannosaurus Rex yelled loudly as pints of white fluid shot from the tip of its fat cock. Once, twice, and then a third time the big lizard rammed its shaft against her naked body.”

“The great, scaly beast” – In the velociraptor’s nest

“A reptilian tongue, stiff and hot, dashed out to lick at the tender, naked flesh so suddenly exposed. Azog gasped at the touch, then gradually relaxed as her body warmed to the intoxicating sensation of the beast’s flesh against her own. She wasn’t sure if her arousal was because of her earlier thwarted climax in the cool stream, or if she was just desperate for one last pleasant sensation before being torn limb from limb by the great, scaly beast. Either way, Azog relished the rasp of its tongue, hot and rough, on her sensitive skin.”

“The raptor quickly slashed away the rest of her hide, watching with wide black eyes as the leather fell at her feet. It seemed to take its time, sniffing at her young hot body. Azog quivered with fear and desire. The cave was hot, and now sweat began to gather at her throat and glisten across her supple skin. She could feel every bead of sweat as it caressed her naked body, feel the raptor’s gaze upon her human flesh. Azog suddenly understood what she would have to do to survive. She offered her body, naked and yielding, sweaty and raw, moist hot and wet, as a sacrifice to the beast. Perhaps if she pleased it, she would be allowed to live. If not, she would leave this world as she entered it, naked and screaming.”

My billionaire triceratops craves gay ass

“Oliver’s* scales feel rough but pleasant against my face, a reminder of his beastly dominance as he takes my hands and pushes them back above my head.


I rub my fingers across Oliver’s toned abs, even more impressive than the last time I saw them on our family vacation to Greece.

“You’ve been working out,” I manage to say through the flurry of kisses.

“Dancing,” he responds. “It’s good for a dinosaur’s bod.”

From this angle I can see his incredible body, toned and muscular due to a rigid dance routine that could only be accomplished by the most disciplined of prehistoric creatures.


Finally, I’m just too horny to take it any longer. I pull Oliver out of my mouth and the (sic) desperately command, “fuck me right now, I need you in my asshole with that triceratops dick!”

Oliver shakes his head in mock disappointment. “What are we going to do with you? Such a nasty little human twink, you need a real dinosaur to show you how to fuck.


He feels incredible inside of me, now a seasoned gay lover who knows exactly where to thrust within a man. I can feel a prostate orgasm slowly creeping its way across my body, puling (sic) inside of me with more and more power until it finally explodes across me in a sensual wave.”

*FYI: Oliver is the protagonist’s pet triceratops, who makes it big in the city and becomes a burlesque dancer.

What do others think?

Whatever you make of the above examples, dinosaur erotica is undoubtedly an explosive phenomenon. Some of the best-selling authors behind the books (usually self-published) have earned so much from their craft that they have been able to quit their day jobs. With titles usually costing a couple of dollars on Amazon, online readers have not been shy to share their views on the works they have purchased.

We’ve compiled our favourite reader-reviews of dinosaur erotica for your viewing pleasure here.

Amazon reviewer Bang2Write, for example, says of Taken by the T-Rex:

“This is a fantastic story that really helped both myself and my partner to reignite some spice into the bedroom.

My partner has always loved dinosaurs from a young age and I myself love the idea of dressing up in different outfits and role-playing scenarios that could be considered odd.

Taken by the T-Rex has allowed us to fuel both of our less conventional, sexual desires whilst also giving us an interesting and gripping story to read. I could not a rate this e-book highly enough.”

Meanwhile, Guardian book reviewer, Damien Walter, has taken an alternative view on the qualities (or lack thereof) of Billionaire dinosaur forced by gay by Hunter Fox, writing:

“Perhaps the writing can be forgiven if there is an underlying meaning to it all. Indeed, it seems like there might be an important message about race and economic inequality hidden in this story about financially-savvy dinosaurs taking over the world. We learn early on that the main character, John, has a father who is a bigot and can’t tolerate dinosaurs in positions of power. However, if we follow the real-world analogue too far, it gets very questionable very quickly. The billionaire dinosaur is just as bigoted (“how do you think we as a species have risen so quickly to the top?” he asks rhetorically, apparently referring to all dinosaurs as a species), and John later comes to agree with his intolerant father. Awkward.

So I’ll be clear: A Billionaire Dinosaur Forced Me Gay has no intrinsic redeeming qualities. It is horribly written, morally questionable, and even the sex in it seems like an afterthought.”

Basic instinct

In summary, therefore, dinosaur erotica may not be the place to come for the highest calibre of writing (although it might just help you breathe some life into your relationship). Yet the popularity of the sub-genre – marginal and confined to the fringes though it may be – speaks to something that these books have to offer.

But what exactly is that?

Clarissa Smith, Media and Cultural studies professor at Sunderland University, suggests this type of erotic fiction speaks on some level to our basic human instinct. She says:

“There are a number of pleasures potentially on offer here – the fact that this is really fantasy. Even if there is evidence that dinosaurs existed, we don’t know masses about them, and they have mythological qualities. The idea of having sex with one is outside the realms of possibility. It’s a bit like ‘magic’, where all rules become suspended, and for that reason it may well allow … for kinds of imaginative risk-taking impossible in more standard couplings.”

If nothing else, then, the very existence of dinosaur erotica speaks to the incredible extent of the human imagination. And if this hasn’t convinced you to consider reading Ravished by the triceratops, then quite frankly we don’t know what will.


Dinosaur erotica: excerpts and pictures

If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you are as fascinated as we are by the quite frankly insane world of dinosaur erotica.

We’ve already compiled a detailed introduction to the sub-genre that will help get you up to speed with the scaly, sexy goings on of this monster erotica sub-genre.

Now, we’re going one step further and giving you some of our favourite excerpts and book titles (with pictures, of course). Enjoy!

  1. My billionaire triceratops craves gay ass

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Synopsis: Jeremy was never quite sure about his feelings for Oliver, his gay pet dinosaur, until Oliver scores big and leaves home to pursue his dreams of being a dancer.

Years later, the two of them reconnect for dinner in New York City, and realize that there may have been more to their relationship besides prehistoric pet and master. Now a wealthy socialite, Oliver the triceratops is willing to take another chance on Jeremy, and soon the two find themselves locked in a passionate evening of gay human-dino love.

Juiciest Jurassic quote:

“The dim, romantic lighting is enough to make anyone look sexy, but Oliver has clearly aged beautifully. He was always a good-looking dinosaur, but the specks of grey that now dot his scales have added an air of self-assured beastliness. Oliver’s also dressed way been (sic) than he ever did when he was my pet, the cutthroat world of male burlesque doing a complete one-eighty on his previously tired fashion sense.”

  1. Taken by the T-rex

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Synopsis: Drin is her tribe’s chief huntress; she lives for the thrill of the hunt. Men and sex hold no allure for her, as Drin has never found a partner to satisfy her. When a T-Rex descends upon her village, destroying it, Drin demands that the tribe’s hunters go in search of the beast and slaughter it. Opting for safety instead of revenge, the tribe moves to a new location, hoping that the big beast won’t follow them.

It does.

Drin taunts the beast, giving her tribes mates time to flee. As she runs, leading it through a gauntlet of traps, the thrill of the hunt soars through her blood, leaving her wet with desire. When the angry T-Rex corners the huntress in a box canyon, it seems more interested in her wet womanhood than in her flesh.

Tightest Triassic quote:

“She caught the girth of its fat cock in her hands and drew it towards her body, increasing the area of nerve endings which were being stimulated. The T-Rex seemed to appreciate the gesture […] it seemed as if time stood still. There was nothing in the entire world apart from this grunting, grinding, growling lizard and Drin, wrapped around its cock. She managed to bring her legs up, locking her ankles around its wet dick as well, the entire length of her body becoming a cunt for this animal to fuck.”

  1. Ravished by the Triceratops

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Synopsis: Beliria’s pride has gotten her into trouble again.

Before she can complete her rites of womanhood and take her place in the tribe, she must provide a kill for her tribe. Beliria chooses to hunt the most dangerous herbivore on the plains, the Tri-Horn. No single hunter has ever successfully taken a Triceratops, but Beliria is determined to be the first. Naked, with no food, water, or provisions beyond her weapons, Beliria sets out. Tracking the Tri-Horn, she lays a cunning ambush, but it isn’t cunning enough.

Her attack caused the big bull Triceratops to lose his mate. Now he intends to replace her- with Beliria!

Horrified and aroused by the horned giant, Beliria must find a way to control the situation, or she may find that this Tri-Horn is really too much for her to handle.

Perfect pre-historic quote:

“It may have been the best sex I’d ever had, but I didn’t want to do it again.”

  1. Taken by the Pterodactyl

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Synopsis: Dianne is a shepherd, watching over flock of sheep. She is sworn to protect them against any predators– no matter the size. But when a flock of pterodactyls attack, Dianne has no choice but to use herself as bait to draw their attention away from her precious flock. One pterodactyl swoops in and picks her up, taking her to his nest. She fully expects to be eaten by the massive beast, but when it starts to peck her clothes away, leaving her naked, she begins to understand that the pterodactyl might have carnal pleasures in mind. Dianne finds herself excited by the prospect and acquiesces. But can Dianne accommodate such a massive creature?

Craziest Cretaceous quote:

“Don’t be so stupid,” she scolded herself. “What, are you going to live up a tree your whole life, getting fucked by a dinosaur?”

“She let out a heavy sigh; the idea was appealing, it just wasn’t practical.”

  1. In the Velociraptor’s nest

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Synopsis: Azog is an underappreciated cavewoman in her tribe. The cavemen treat her like a piece a meat. They disrespect her at every turn and never listen to anything she says. Azog cannot change this unless she proves herself as a hunter. When she goes out in search of fresh meat, she discovers a clutch of baby velociraptors and decides to kill them and triumphantly bring them back to her tribe. That is, until their father shows up and blocks Azog’s way out of the cave. Azog must use all of her womanly wiles to get out of the cave, which includes doing things she had never dreamed of.

Ravishing raptor quote:

“The raptor quickly slashed away the rest of her hide, watching with wide black eyes as the leather fell at her feet. It seemed to take its time, sniffing at her young hot body. Azog quivered with fear and desire. The cave was hot, and now sweat began to gather at her throat and glisten across her supple skin. She could feel every bead of sweat as it caressed her naked body, feel the raptor’s gaze upon her human flesh. Azog suddenly understood what she would have to do to survive. She offered her body, naked and yielding, sweaty and raw, moist hot and wet, as a sacrifice to the beast. Perhaps if she pleased it, she would be allowed to live. If not, she would leave this world as she entered it, naked and screaming.”

  1. Billionaire dinosaur forced me gay

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Synopsis: The year is 2014 and dinosaurs have gained control of the world economy due to exceptionally accurate stock predictions. After graduating from NYU with a business degree, John is hired to be the assistant for one of the largest trading firms on Wall Street. His boss, the CEO of the company is highly regarded as the best businessman of the century. Only difference is that he is a dinosaur!

Juiciest Jurassic quote:

“My father had never liked the dinosaurs ever since they began taking control of the world economy. When I was growing up he tried to condition me to hate them, too. I never did though. I thought that they had just as many rights as we did. They shouldn’t be punished because they had extremely accurate stock predictions in the eighties, becoming the single leading force of Wall Street presently. I was more grateful that Mr. Anderson (a dinosaur) was going to take a chance on me and let me be his assistant.

‘Yes Dad, he’s the dinosaur billionaire. He’s also my boss now so please don’t lecture me on them again.’”

  1. Space raptor butt invasion

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Synopsis: Space can be a lonely place, especially when you’re stationed by yourself on the distant planet Zorbus. In fact, Lance isn’t quite sure that can last the whole year before his shuttle pod arrives, but when a mysterious visitor appears at Lance’s terraforming station, he quickly realizes that he might not be so alone after all.

Soon enough, Lance becomes close with this mysterious new astronaut, a velociraptor. Together, they form an unlikely duo, which quickly begins to cross the boundaries of friendship into something much, much more sensual.

It’s not gay if it’s a man and a dinosaur, is it?

Craziest Cretaceous quote:

“I kiss Orion deeply, one last time. “Are you sure you don’t want to come in with me?” I ask.

“I don’t think it’s going to help your case,” the raptor replies. “I mean, some people just don’t understand that love is real. You’ve gotta put yourself in there (sic) position. They’re so used to everything working a certain way, women kissing men, men kissing men… not men kissing dinosaurs.”

  1. Mating with the Raptor

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Synopsis: Marga was the Protectress, the city’s leader, charged with defending it against dinosaur attacks. It is her sworn duty to protect her city at all costs, even when a pack of velociraptors attack her and her men at a small, undermanned outpost outside of the city.

The battle is a vicious one, and after a daring maneuver to save a fellow soldier, she finds herself trapped by the pack leader, a powerful male. The creature captures the Protectress and takes her to his cave. Will this raptor make the Protectress his next meal? Or does the beast have different plans for the beautiful warrioress?

Ravishing raptor quote:

“Marga looked down, and noticed the heavy green pouch hanging between the raptor’s legs… Her mouth gaped when she saw a pink mass emerge from it. Suddenly, the raptor began to move his hips towards her, punching the air with his swollen member that glistened in the light of the cave. In that instant, Marga understood, though the reality was hard to grasp… The thought disgusted and terrified her.”

  1. Dino park after dark

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Synopsis: Dino Park houses the New Dinosaurs- beasts created by scientists from residual DNA. The park is open to the public, who come to see the big carnivores and the classic, well-known herbivores. Smaller, gentler dinosaurs perform for the public.

Maria trains the marine reptiles- she’s been working with the same plesiosaur for more than three years. He’s friendly, well trained, and greedy. One night, Maria stays late to feed her plesiosaurus and disaster strikes- she tumbles into his pool.

The plesiosaur isn’t just greedy, he’s hungry. The only one of his kind, he’s been lonely and amorous for years. But now Maria, the human he’s imprinted on, is in his element and he’s got a lot of pent-up frustration to work out.

Tightest Trirassic quote:

“Maria thought that perhaps the creature was going to lift her from the water and save her, she felt a bump from behind. Holding the platform with both hands, she kicked and kicked until her pants, along with her panties, slipped down her legs and joined her shoes at the bottom of the murky water. Suddenly, she felt something thick and large between her legs – a dinosaur. She couldn’t understand what she was feeling. She had no idea what it was and she didn’t have the strength to hold herself above the water while she looked. The large stiff object slid between her thighs and prodded at her vagina. Whatever it was, was thick and hard and although it had a knot on the end. A thickly rounded bell shape that pushed inside her. It was big. Bigger than any man.”

  1. Spinosaurus wet dreams


Synopsis: Sheila has been having strangely erotic dreams about a Spinosaurus. She can’t seem to go to sleep without dreaming about it and then waking up completely aroused. How is this going to affect her work performance and how is she going to handle her growing sexual desires when her boss happens to be a Spinosaurus himself?

Craziest Cretaceous quote:

“The mud would help cover up her scent. It was nice and cool as she smeared it on, helping to ease the heat of the humid morning, and felt strangely sensual as she rubbed it all over her firm, young breasts, down her toned belly, and even between her legs. Sheila made a note that she would have to experiment with this some more at a another time when her life wasn’t in danger.”


Like what you see? Check out what others are saying about dinosaur erotica in our compilation of real-life book reviews

Head on over to our ‘sex in fiction’ page for all your erotic literary resources 








Dinosaur erotica: what the reviews say

We’ve delved deep into the frankly bonkers world of dinosaur erotica as part of our ‘sex in fiction’ series. Now, not only can you find out all you need to know about this literary phenomenon through our in-depth introductory guide, but you can also get an insightful glimpse into this monster erotica sub-genre of literary erotica through our helpful collection of excerpts from some of the most famous dino-erotica book titles (with pictures, of course).

billionaire triceratops

But while dinosaur erotica can make millions of dollars for its authors, what do the people actually buying the books think of them? To find out – and to help you if you’re considering purchasing a couple of these books yourself – we’ve compiled some of our favourite reviews from the readers of dino-erotica themselves. Check them out below!

“Dinosaurian magic” – Richard W Girdwood 

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“After reading Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park I was left feeling scientifically fulfilled but emotionally distraught. Now I know why.

I have to recommend this most heartily. I was transfixed by the subtle arrangement of words into a tale of lust, so much so I struggled to read for more than say, 2-3 minutes at a time, often having to take short breaks between reads to recompose, arrange short expeditions to find edible berries, spear neighbour’s dogs and clean up the Kindle.

Needless to say those 2-3 minutes were spent deep in the mindset of a caveperson, wondering what dinosaurian magic might come next. After reading this literary wet dream I wouldn’t mind a Velociraptor opening my door handle at night!

I would love to see her branch into other forms of prehistoric erotica, such as ammonites and giant sloths, or fantasy creatures. Cthulhu with his many tentacles comes to mind. Bravo!”

Something about the description of this mid-sized dromaesaurid was getting me hot and bothered” – VelociFAPtor

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“I was at a stagnant place in my love life when I purchased this book. I hadn’t been able to get aroused by the usual erotic novels that women like me take a common liking towards, so I was just taking a shot in the dark with this book. I’ve always been a fan of Dinosaurs but never knew how much I truly loved them until I got to page 3 of this masterpiece. I began to feel wet immediately, something about the description of this mid-sized dromaeosaurid was getting me hot and bothered again. I was hooked as if they claws of the reptilians in this book had reached out and touched me with arousal themselves. Trust me ladies, weather you’re a hardcore dinosaur fan or just mildly amused by the film “Jurassic Park”, this is not a book you want to pass up. “In the Velociraptor’s Nest” will give you that pleasant sensation you’ve been looking for and you’ll find yourself relished for the rasp of a raptors tongue. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.”

“Shouldn’t have been hot but it was” – Author K Webster

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“Wow! This story shouldn’t have been hot but it was! Marie was such a naughty girl with the dinosaur! Will they have mutant babies???? Jim is a perv but I liked his character and wish he got his chance with her too. I will read more by this author.”

“Tale of aerodynamic arousal will warm your heart, and groin” – John H 

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From start to finish, this piece is reminiscent of a controversial episode of animated classic, “The Flintstones”, in which a similar thing happens involving Wilma and the garbage disposal. While they resolved to replace the disposal (prompting the comment “I guess I’m getting disposed now!” and a humorous wap-wahhh sound), in this book they go a different direction: a very arousing one.

Easily the highest point of this book (no spoilers) is when they’re up in the air, though while the shepherd is on the ground is by far the low point. It has its up and downs, but this tale of aerodynamic arousal will warm your heart, and groin.

I will admit, though: you’ll never look at your local museum the same again. I walked by the dinosaur exhibit, and whispered “Pterodactyl? More like tear-me-dactyl…” and licked my lips while walking away. The lip-licking was due to being out of chapstick, but you get my point.

“A lot of unanswered questions” – LCisMe

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“This story was short and lacked character development. WHY was Dianne taken by the pterodactyl? Why did the pterodactyl keep her? And how will she survive in his nest? This story left me with a lot of questions, and I don’t think the author is planning a sequel.”

“The Wuthering Heights of Billionaire Gay Dinosaur Fiction” – Liam Pierce 

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“I strongly recommend replacing the word “his” with “his billionaire dinosaur” at every opportunity. It puts you that much more in the moment.”

“Having sex with a dinosaur would be a lot of fun” – Daniel Michael Cowan

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“Not only does Dr. Tingle paint a vivid picture of the future colonization of faraway moons and planets, he also really drives home the message that having sex with a dinosaur would be a lot of fun.”

“Makes a great retirement gift” – 

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“I thought this was going to be just like every other book of gay dinosaur erotica, but I was so wrong! If you ever read 50 Shades of Grey thinknig, “If only the mysterious billionaire was a homosexual dinosaur…” this is the book for you. You’ll bite your nails as you wonder whether the two characters will get together, you’ll cry as they talk about past pains, and you’ll shiver with delight as author Chuck Tingle turns up the heat.

Now that Kindle allows you to give books as gifts, this becomes the perfect gift for your favorite new graduate, your best friend’s birthday, or a pair of newlyweds who could use some steamy reading in their honeymoon suite. It even makes a great retirement gift, saying, “Yes, you’re old now – but dinosaurs are ancient and they’re still getting it on.””

Bad Sex in Fiction: extracts from the 2016 shortlist

It’s that time of year again – the literary period that brings one of the greatest gifts of all to so many people around the world. That’s right, it’s time for the annual Bad Sex in Fiction award, the shortlist of which has just been announced.

If you’re a fan of spasming muscles, shooting blobs of “lo-cal genetics”, sighs, moans, groans and general limb-flying raunchy madness, then you’re in for a treat.

While Ian McEwan almost made it onto this year’s shortlist, all eyes are on the judges at The Literary Review, which founded the award, to see who will be crowned this year’s winner – and whose name will be added to our long-running connoisseur’s compendium.

We’ve listed the full set of shortlisted authors below, along with their literary extracts. Enjoy!


Ethan Canin – A Doubter’s Almanac

“The act itself was fervent. Like a brisk tennis game or a summer track meet, something performed in daylight between competitors. The cheap mattress bounced. She liked to do it more than once, and he was usually able to comply. Bourbon was his gasoline. Between sessions, he poured it at the counter while she lay panting on the sheets. Sweat burnished her body. The lean neck. The surprisingly full breasts. He would down another glass and return.”

Robert Seethaler – The Tobacconist

“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.”

Tom Connolly – Men Like Air

“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.”

Janet Ellis – The Butcher’s Hook

“When his hand goes to my breasts, my feet are envious. 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.”

Gayle Forman – Leave Me

“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.”

Erri De Luca – The Day Before Happiness

“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.”



So, what do you think? Which of these writers deserves to join Morrissey and co on the full list of winners since 1993?

Sex in fiction: What we shouldn’t write when we write about sex


Your sex scene doesn’t have to include every position featured in the Kamasutra. Photography by Roberta Cortese.

Frenzied penises, bulbous salutations, bulging trousers, howling, groans, sighs, minty-flavoured tongues, awkward positions and spasming muscles: these all things you would expect to find in some of the winning entries of the Literary Review’s Bad Sex in Fiction Award.

Since its debut in 1993, the #BadSex award has been a somewhat light-hearted – with quasi elements of seriousness – spectacle. First created to highlight those authors who have “produced an outstandingly bad scene of sexual description in an otherwise good novel”, the award nonetheless also stresses an important purpose: “to draw attention to poorly written, perfunctory, or redundant passages of sexual description in modern fiction, and to discourage them”.

The awards have increasingly grown in status and are an ever more eagerly anticipated literary event. We’ve previously compiled extracts of all the winning entries (which can be found here), and reviewing these certainly helps us identify those “outstandingly bad” sex scenes the folk at the Literary Review seek to discourage. Consider, for instance, last year’s winning entry from 2015 – from Morrissey’s The List of the Lost:

“At this, Eliza and Ezra rolled together into the one giggling snowball of full-figured copulation, screaming and shouting as they playfully bit and pulled at each other in a dangerous and clamorous rollercoaster coil of sexually violent rotation with Eliza’s breasts barrel-rolled across Ezra’s howling mouth and the pained frenzy of his bulbous salutation extenuating his excitement as it whacked and smacked its way into every muscle of Eliza’s body except for the otherwise central zone.”

While this account of full figured copulation may not get the pulse racing in the way the author initially hoped, and may even (gasp! Shock! Surprise! Never!) cause some readers to snicker and giggle in amusement; is simply highlighting perceived examples of “bad sex” enough to stamp out cases of these scenes in fiction? It seems more thorough analysis is needed in order to help identify just what it is about these scenes, such as Morrissey’s, which should be avoided by writers – and what authors can do to avoid adding their name to the growing list of Bad Sex in Fiction award winners.

It is, of course, well known that one of the toughest tasks facing writers is to write well and honestly about human sexual relations. It is, after all, technically difficult to convey passion in a way that does not end up sounding either absurd, cringe worthy, or strangely perfunctory and clinical.

Perhaps a problem here is that, in writing about a subject that is still – for whatever reason – vaguely taboo, authors sometimes have a tendency to forget one of the first rules of writing: to “show”, rather than “tell”.

Indeed, it may be more important for writers to focus on the emotional aspect of any sexual encounter between characters, more so than the physical aspect. The physical side of things may be important, but the emotional side may be even more so – especially if there’s a connection between sex and identity.

Often, it seems as though writers have a tendency to forget this rule, and instead begin to overthink their sex scenes. This can see awkward similes begin to invade the text, as with 2001’s Bad Sex award winner Christopher Hart’s Rescue Me, in which sex is likened to a Ranulph Fiennes Antarctic expedition:

“Her hand is moving away from my knee and heading north. Heading unnervingly and with a steely will towards the pole. And, like Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Pamela will not easily be discouraged. I try twitching, and then shaking my leg, but to no avail. At last, disastrously, I try squeezing her hand painfully between my bony thighs, but this only serves to inflame her ardour the more. Ever northward moves her hand, while she smiles languorously at my right ear. And when she reaches the north pole, I think in wonder and terror….she will surely want to pitch her tent.”

Such similes are again on show in 2005’s winning entry – Winkler, by Giles Coren – in which a character ejaculates “in thick stripes on her chest. Like Zorro.”

And this tendency to overthink things can also make it seem as though writers are sometimes reaching for a thesaurus, when they would be better off reaching for a simpler alternative to better convey their intended meaning. As such we have Tom Wolfe’s character in I am Charlotte Simmons exploring a character’s “otorhinolayngological caverns” (if you have no idea about what otorhinolaryngological means, then join the club! But a quick google search will tell you it relates to a medical practice involving the ear, nose, and throat – so we’ll leave you to decipher just what Wolfe was trying to get at in his description of sex, there).

One of the clearest results of writing in such a way is that any frisson that should be conveyed during the scene is lost: so instead of sincerity, the writing distances both themselves and the reader from the scene being described.

Part of this may come down to a lack of confidence – which may seem strange considering some of the authors who have won the award are literary titans who have won some of the biggest prizes in literature. Yet, as erotic romance writer Lily Harlem has said, “A lot of writers aren’t confident enough to write about what’s actually happening. They talk about other things like stars exploding above them, rather than talking about how it actually feels and the emotions. You need to get into the heads of characters for realistic emotion, and dialogue as well is importance – people very rarely have sex in silence.”

It is perhaps this lack of confidence which can also see many writers begin to rely heavily on cliché and euphemisms. Again, this might seem strange considering the calibre of the Bad Sex in Fiction Award recipients. Yet writing about a character’s throbbing “manhood” or “bulging trousers”, accompanied by “screams of passion” or “gasps and sighs” will do to the writing what clichés and euphemisms do to any other scene – which is to make the writing feel awkward, tired, limited and unoriginal.

These are important points to make, because the Bad Sex in Fiction Award is not about bad sex; but rather, about bad prose. In an article for the Financial Times, Jonathan Beckman, senior editor of the Literary Reviewexplains:

“’Bad’ refers to the quality of the writing rather than the nature of intercourse. Unsuccessful, unpleasurable or abortive sex does not qualify per se; nor does kinky, brutal or unwanted sex, however unpalatable that may be.”

So, if you find yourself in the midst of writing a sex scene, and you start thinking it could be improved by using as many adjectives, similes and metaphors as possible to describe “eager manhoods” and women crying out “making a noise somewhere between a beached seal and a police siren” (thank you to 1997’s winner Nicholas Royle’s The Matter of the Heart for that one), just take a moment to step back from your writing and think about the way you’re approaching your description of sex.

Sometimes, changing your approach to the way you’re describing the scene at hand may pay dividends. However, perhaps the most important question to ask – beyond whether you should copy a writer of Phillip Kerr’s calibre and opt to use a word like “gnomon” to describe the male sex organ (quick answer to that question: you shouldn’t) – is whether the sex scene you are writing is absolutely necessary.

This is because good and effective sex scenes should be integral to the story you’re trying to tell. They must advance the narrative and/or character development in a meaningful way, and if they fail to do so, they will look out of place. It’s important to remember that one of the reasons the Bad Sex in Fiction Award was originally founded was in response to a seeming trend among publishers who would insist an author or writer include at least one sex scene in their story – regardless to its relevance to the plot or story – simply reasoning that “sex sells”.

Such logic is a poor excuse for the inclusion of any written action if it is irrelevant to the plot of a novel. As Kurt Vonnegut said: “every sentence must do one of two things – reveal character or advance the action”. Therefore, if your sex scene fails to do either of these, the best way forward may be to hit the ‘delete’ button, roll up your sleeves, and start afresh – perhaps leaving the scene out entirely. This is not to discourage authors from writing about sex; it is about encouraging them to write well.


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