I was reading Ed King, which is a modern day version of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex by David Guterson on the metro the other day when all of a sudden this happened:
“In the shower, Ed stood with his hands at the back of his head, like someone just arrested, while she abused him with a bar of soap. After a while he shut his eyes, and Diane, wielding her fingernails now and staring at his face, helped him out with two practiced hands, one squeezing the family jewels, the other vigorous with the soap-and-warm-water treatment. It didn’t take long for the beautiful and perfect Ed King to ejaculate for the fifth time in twelve hours, while looking like Roman public-bath statuary. Then they rinsed, dried, dressed, and went to an expensive restaurant for lunch.”
After a second and then a third review of the passage I found myself invaded with laughter. This was all to the consternation of my fellow passengers, but the fact that this came from an otherwise pedestrian novel meant that the ludicrous prose of this sex scene took me entirely by surprise. It made me laugh so much that I wrote it down on a piece of paper just to cheer myself up in my duller moments. This week saw my parents-in-law come to town, so I can almost recite the entire passage off by heart.
Every time I read the scene it just gets more bizarre, so I just though I would share my interpretation with you. The ‘arrested’ pose is troublesome, but not nearly so much as the nails that ‘Diane’ is ‘wielding’. From what I can work out she is ‘squeezing the family jewels’ with one set of nails while giving him a hand job with the other set of nails.
The nails strike me as odd, but the part that always has me stifling laughter at random intervals of the day is that the author deemed it so pertinent to inform the reader how many time the ‘beautiful and perfect Ed King’ had ejaculated that day; while ‘looking like a Roman public bath statuary’ nonetheless.
Again this seems like a strange detail which most would have omitted, yet the way I interpret the passage is that it is not only the fifth time that Ed King has Ejaculated, but it is in fact the fifth time that he has ejaculated in the style of a Roman public bath statuary.
And finally Guterson leaves us grappling with the idea that after Diane has shoved a bar of soap up Ed King’s presumably perfect and beautiful ass, and tossed him off with her nails until he has ejaculated over her in the style of a Roman public bath statuary, Ed then takes her off for a spot of lunch in an expensive restaurant. Guterson chooses to omit the type of restaurant because this detail is probably best left to our imagination.
After reading this scene I did a bit of research to see if anyone else had read or commented on it, and I was amazed to see that the Literary Review had actually given him an accolade called the bad sex in fiction award. I then spent the rest of the week reading some of the extracts from some of the past winners, and I can honestly say I don’t regret a single second of it. There is something that lends itself to comedy in its purest form when its harbinger has committed it by accident. In this time of giving I implore you all to treat yourselves to a bit bad sex fiction.