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10 March 2010 @ 03:11 am
Ai me ...  
I've always had Chinese friends, and also English, these days generally Anglo, friends who live in China. That said, the one thing I can say in Mandarin is 'Aiya!' Follow around any Chinese grandmother while she is watching her teenaged grandchildren and you'll hear this expression. It's one of those fabulously adaptable phrases, but, as I learned it, is often used to convey deep frustration. 

(I tried to get aiyo down, which is, I believe, 'Ouch!', but I have never met a Chinese grandmother willing to admit to pain, and my friends have always been so busy laughing at my abysmal attempts that they have been useless to teach me anything. Bastards.)

This is all preamble to explain why I have been exercising my one piece of Mandarin this evening. I have been working on a fic that is Giving Me Issues. When I say fic, it's really one scene. Which I will probably cut. But I have been trying to write sex. I am not good at this. The good news is that the Literary Review has its annual Bad Sex Award, the historic highlights list of which is full of sex scenes that are FAR worse than mine!

The worst of all was last year's winner from Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones:
Her vulva was opposite my face. The small lips protruded slightly from the pale, domed flesh. This sex was watching at me, spying on me, like a Gorgon's head, like a motionless Cyclops whose single eye never blinks. Little by little this silent gaze penetrated me to the marrow. My breath sped up and I stretched out my hand to hide it: I no longer saw it, but it still saw me and stripped me bare (whereas I was already naked). If only I could still get hard, I thought, I could use my prick like a stake hardened in the fire, and blind this Polyphemus who made me Nobody. But my cock remained inert, I seemed turned to stone. I stretched out my arm and buried my middle finger into this boundless eye. The hips moved slightly, but that was all. Far from piercing it, I had on the contrary opened it wide, freeing the gaze of the eye still hiding behind it. Then I had an idea: I took out my finger and, dragging myself forward on my forearms, I pushed my forehead against this vulva, pressing my scar against the hole. Now I was the one looking inside, searching the depths of this body with my radiant third eye, as her own single eye irradiated me and we blinded each other mutually: without moving, I came in an immense splash of white light, as she cried out: 'What are you doing, what are you doing?' and I laughed out loud, sperm still gushing in huge spurts from my penis, jubilant, I bit deep into her vulva to swallow it whole, and my eyes finally opened, cleared, and saw everything.

I will probably still end up deleting the one I am working on, but I would like it to be known that it is nowhere near that bad!

Also, I would like to share this video of my new favourite North American. Madam, I salute your neck strength! And the Book Club tonight had a whole show on great film adaptations of great books and did not once mention To Kill A Mockingbird! Madness!

Finally, HAPPY BIRTHDAY marinelle24 , may your day be wonderful and lacking in both bad sex and very naughty cats!
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Loyaulte Me Lieshocolate on March 9th, 2010 04:14 pm (UTC)
That.

WTF???

*cannot unread it*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 9th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
I did warn you!

But it is award-winningly bad ;-)
Loyaulte Me Lieshocolate on March 9th, 2010 04:22 pm (UTC)
Maybe I am doing sex wrong??
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 9th, 2010 04:25 pm (UTC)
I think that as long as it is nothing like that written above (or indeed by Martin Amis, anywhere), you're probably doing it right.
Potteresque Irepotteresque_ire on March 9th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
Aiya is more like a frustrated / in-disdain OMG—as in "OMG look at this. It's ruined!" kind of OMG :))))

That passage is made of so many levels of awesome... :DDD
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 9th, 2010 04:24 pm (UTC)
Yes! That is how I use it, if not how I can explain it ;-)

'Oh look at the twaddle you just wrote! Aiya!'

You know, being a satirist is deadly for writing sex: 'And as he collapsed against her he breathed out her name in joy at the liquification of his bones. And also his boner.'

Next fic: MORE POLITICS!
Potteresque Irepotteresque_ire on March 9th, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC)
I think my trouble with reading literature is ... I totally associate the over the top bad ones. It takes no less creativity to write something like this and I admire the author for that! :D

Usually I say Ewwwwwww when I stare at my bad writing...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 9th, 2010 04:30 pm (UTC)
treacle_tartlet reminded me earlier of the great sex scene in The Name of the Rose, which is literary and very florid writing and yet wholly in character, believable, sane and even somewhat sexy. It can be done!
Potteresque Irepotteresque_ire on March 9th, 2010 04:34 pm (UTC)
I think so too! This is why I'm not an English literature person; I'm not so much for "properness" than for creativity. And florid writing always has a place inside my Pie!Crust, because they tend to have more descriptions, more things for me to build the scene in my head, which can work wonders or amuse me to no end :D
Hollyhollyxu on March 9th, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
*covers eyes and gingerly picks way through post*

Mah eyes, blamebrampton!

Hehe, as for the aiya-aiyo, I actually heard more of the latter, mainly because I fell a lot as a child. :P (Tell you what, I'll try and find a youtube or something for you...)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 9th, 2010 04:28 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry about your eyes! I did cut it, for love of my flist!

YouTube aiyo would be lovely, thank you!
Hollyhollyxu on March 10th, 2010 12:43 am (UTC)
My google-fu completely fails.

Otoh, I do know that the Korean equivalent of 'aiya' is 'aigoo'. *offers as pittance*
(Deleted comment)
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 9th, 2010 04:51 pm (UTC)
*Cannot reply, have died of giggling*
Asta: pic eliza bennet readingastarael02 on March 9th, 2010 05:18 pm (UTC)
I read that bad sex extract...

...Oh. My. God. O.o
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 9th, 2010 05:24 pm (UTC)
I cut these things out of respect for your mental health ...

(Go and read some of the others at the link, a few are just hilarious. The Ranulph Fiennes one is EXACTLY the sort of thing I would write. I like to think that author had comedic intent, too.)

(Edited because I cannot type at this hour)

Edited at 2010-03-09 05:25 pm (UTC)
Camdenabusing_sarcasm on March 9th, 2010 05:28 pm (UTC)
That is the most awful and confusing sex scene I've ever had the misfortune to see!

It narrowly edges out the scene in Beat the Reaper where the main character boosts a girl onto his shoulders because they're in a TANK FULL OF SHARKS and he performs oral sex on her while the sharks swim around, finishing off the body of her brother who was ripped apart moments before. And she cries the whole time. IN A SHARK TANK. Aiyo, indeed...

So as long as you don't include a dismembered brother, sharks, or the word "vulva," you should be doing juuuuuust fine. :)
(Deleted comment)
inamacinamac on March 9th, 2010 05:44 pm (UTC)
Memorably bad because it's trying to be pretentious. I recall an interview with the Bad Sex judges on one of the arts programmes in which someone pointed out that the secret to writing sex scenes is to write them in the same way as the rest of the novel - they cited Alan Hollinghurst as a master at doing this - so the reader doesn't get thrown by a change of style as the author atempts (and fails) in the manner of a showjumper tackling the puissance.

Though if that's Jonathan Littell's usual writing style then it's not just bad sex he's going to get awards for.
Libbylibby_drew on March 9th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC)
Now that I've read it, I'd like to erase it from my mind, please.

Please?
lotus_lizzylotus_lizzy on March 9th, 2010 06:37 pm (UTC)
Don't delete!!! Just take a day or two to regroup. Sometimes a day of thinking can change your outlook on it! I look forward to reading whatever you post, so try again!
spark_of_chaosspark_of_chaos on March 9th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
Sweet baby Jesus, Brammers, I will not be able to read sex scenes for MONTHS. Gorgona. Unblinking one-eyed cyclops. Third eye. Wut??? What sort of person comes up with that!
ladyjanevaladyjaneva on March 9th, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC)
That sex scene is sooo bad - is it really a sex scene? I doubt it. Doesn't read like one. Doesn't feel like one. Has very weird vocabulary.

Seriously, I'm asking myself what kind of drugs were involved...

I think my favourites are the ones from 2000 and 2005 (yes, of course I had to click on that link ;-))

Whatever you write can't turn out all bad!
down the hills and round the bendsnorton_gale on March 9th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
OUCH! (re the bad sex passage) Where was the editor hiding? Also, sounds like something that would never happen in real life. I wouldn't want this guy anywhere near my female parts.

Oh, but I like your sex scenes! Subtlety is a good thing. And if you really think you need help, ask the master (or mistress, I should say) of sex writing - calanthe_fics
Catscatsintheattic on March 9th, 2010 09:40 pm (UTC)
I skipped the sex scene and went straight to the cat video, which was made of smile and catishness! :-)

To Kill A Mockingbird should be mentioned on every list of good books and good movie adaptions. *nodnodnod*
trichinopoly ash: nick: hilarious!aldehyde on March 9th, 2010 11:43 pm (UTC)
heh, i say aiyya a lot thanks to my high school and uni friends - almost all of whom are asians born and brought up in canada. they say it instead of damn/crap/shit, or in an ironic way, and i really enjoy the expression.

the bengali version, in case you're interested, would be ish! or dhur! or uff! :D

oh gods. i have never wanted to read "vulva" in a passage about sex, and definitely not THAT many times *reaches for the brain bleach*
Dedicated Escape Artist: Clowns!jadzialove on March 10th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)
I really really hate when the sex is spying on me....

Is it wrong that I was relieved when I read, I will probably still end up deleting the one I am working onand cheered a little bit in my head?

blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 10th, 2010 06:11 am (UTC)
HEE! Oh man ... I am trying, but yeah ...

In happier news, I just sent your parcel! It was a bit overweight, so I took out the Jodi Picoult novel and gave it to the woman behind the counter. Probably for the best, I was hoping to amuse P, not horrify her with truly dreadful writing.

Edited at 2010-03-10 06:23 am (UTC)
Dedicated Escape Artist: Coffee Timejadzialove on March 13th, 2010 02:38 am (UTC)
Yay! Stuff from the other side of the world!! Someday, I promise, you'll have some North Carolina stuff coming your way.
Geoviki: OMG - WTFgeoviki on March 10th, 2010 05:53 am (UTC)
Jesus wept! Forehead sex?!! "What are you doing" indeed! Where's this guy's editor, anyway? Can't they tell the difference between erotic and plain ol' rot?
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 10th, 2010 06:14 am (UTC)
I have a theory about literary fiction and its editors: many literary novels are high-minded bilge, the editors check for typos, assume incomprehensibility and absurdity is intentional, and leave it at that.
Vaysh Swiftstormvaysh on March 11th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
*nods*
My take on editors of literary fiction, to the dot.
It's that Bucket woman!curia_regis on March 10th, 2010 09:03 am (UTC)
Aiya, indeed. Radiant third eye? Is he a vampire? A sparkly vampire?
grey_hunter on March 10th, 2010 10:46 am (UTC)
This sounds disturbingly like a Harry/Ginny first time fanfic written by a die-hard Snarry fan (because Snape had obviously given Harry some hardcore mind-altering potions beforehand).

This bad sex scenes thing went around the f-list last year or before, and what I noticed was that it didn't differentiate between intended-to-be-good-bad sex scenes and intended-to-be-bad-bad sex scenes. Although, it is hard to decide which one the above quoted was supposed to be. It is even horrible at being horrible.
Meredyth: Merlin WTFmeredyth_13 on March 10th, 2010 11:29 am (UTC)
O.M.F.G. ...

*goes off to wash brain*
&helena;uminohikari on March 10th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
Haha, I've always used aiyo as more of a frustration type thing? So if my computer dies for the nth time in a row, I'd say aiyo, but if it's unexpected, I'd say aiya..
prone to mischief: brain!bleachtreacle_tartlet on March 11th, 2010 01:16 pm (UTC)
Oh, I see! You'll put it behind a cut for these guys, but you send it to poor unsuspecting me in a chat window WHERE I CANNOT ESCAPE IT!

*scrubs brain with wire brush and Dettol*
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 11th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
Yes, but I will have to listen to you talk about poo when the baby is born, a preemptive strike seemed only fair!
prone to mischieftreacle_tartlet on March 11th, 2010 01:23 pm (UTC)
I will not talk to you about poo! Unless it's in the context of 'must interrupt this fascinating chat to clean up unfortunate poo explosion'...
blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 11th, 2010 01:29 pm (UTC)
EEEEK! Forehead sex!
Vaysh Swiftstormvaysh on March 11th, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
Of course, your slight mention of this in today's post brought me here. Well. What can I say? It's always a bad idea to subjectify body parts (including pussies)? Yes, it is true.

If you would like some input on your sex scene, I'd be happy to give it a read-through, Brammers. I'd love for you to write sex. :)

blamebramptonblamebrampton on March 11th, 2010 01:57 pm (UTC)
I think that more people should NOT write sex, it's for the best!

As to me managing it, still finishing the story of doom, which was going to be v short, but I fail at short. I may well send it your way, though the options of making it really quite tame or indeed thoroughly gen remain open!
Vaysh Swiftstormvaysh on March 11th, 2010 02:02 pm (UTC)
Writing sex is a challenge, and one can never learn enough about it, is my take on it. :)

Do send, whenever!
Bubba: Chartreuseabsynthedrinker on March 11th, 2010 04:59 pm (UTC)
That must be some kind of joke, no? Wow is that bad. I've never, throughout the whole of my life mentioned my prick and fire in the same sentence. It's just not done dear.

Peace,
Bubba
Hueyphoenixacid on March 12th, 2010 02:25 pm (UTC)
... does your post comes with brain bleach? I'm in DESPERATE need for one and it's all your fault!!!

*can unread EET*

Aiya!
Robyn: distraughttimeasmymeasure on March 17th, 2010 10:38 pm (UTC)
It's official.
I do awesome sex scenes. Really.


There is not enough brain bleach in the world.