1. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Word choice when describing genitalia

    Discussion in 'Erotica' started by Tenderiser, Sep 2, 2015.

    There's a thread title I never thought I'd write.

    I have a problem in my sex scenes. There are no terms for female sex organs that I like and feel comfortable using - not for prudish reasons, just because I find them utterly ridiculous and cringey. If I talk about female genitalia with my friends or whatever (it happens) we use "vulva" and "vagina" but I'm very aware that to most people that sounds ridiculous and would make them think of a biology text book. They're definitely not sexy words for most readers.

    I just can't bring myself to be writing "pussy" or, even worse, any of those god-awful Mills and Boon type phrases. The last book I read kept talking about a "clinging love tunnel." *shudder*

    I'm okay with using "cock" for men, though I don't particularly like it. I don't even like the medically correct terms there. :D

    I have actually managed to write several sex scenes using vague terms like "between her legs" or only mentioning the clitoris, a word which I'm okay with and think readers are okay with, too. But for at least two of the scenes, which are important to the plot, I'm going into a lot of detail and I need a bit of variety. I don't want to end up with a 50 Shades situation where I have a sexually active, adult woman referring to her "down there."

    What words do you use?
     
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  2. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    I agree using pussy, vag, or cunt. Yeah I have read that last one in an old erotica book, and find it to be offensive. Think of the genitalia like a flower (or just call it as such) the labia are petals, and so on and so forth. Wow up until now I really hadn't considered just how much effort I really spent in depicting a vagina in such a way that it didn't come of as obtuse or clinical. Well I hope this helps a smidge, and best of luck to you on finding something you find fitting. :D
     
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  3. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Cunt is one of the ones I find least obnoxious but I wouldn't use it because so many people find it utterly taboo.

    Maybe it comes from that British thing of calling your friends cunts as a term of endearment :)
     
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  4. Bookster
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    Bookster Banned

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    Depends on who you're writing for, I think. Pornography, anything goes, though I use pussy, twat and quim more often than cunt. OTP (other than pornography) is more difficult, but vagina and vulva seem way too clinical to me if you need to mention them at all.
     
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  5. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Good point. This is a romance novel with a few sex scenes chucked in.
     
  6. sidtvicious
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    sidtvicious Contributing Member Contributor

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    If I absolutely have to use an explicit word I'll opt for something more archaic. Mound is a good example. It's non-offensive--still has some self explanatory roots "venus mound" etc.. Plus, it provides some evoking imagery.

    That being said, I kick myself if this actually happens. My rule for sex scenes is "less is more." (Keep in mind I don't write romance or erotica). I'll emphasize the person as opposed to a body part "He thrust inside of her." (no use of genital description).

    There's a really good book (one of the few overt writing books, I'll recommend) called The Joy of Writing Sex by Elizabeth Benedict. It's no how to guide, but I found it a good place start.
     
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  7. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    It is more vulgar, than taboo I would say IMHO. The negative connotation it has here in the states, as it is used as a 'curse word' if you will. That and I find it to be offensive in regards to women. Just sharing my thoughts, go with what you like. Not going to lose any respect from me with your decisions. It is hard to find a flattering way of describing sexual organs. Still have trouble trying to find a way to describe a penis in a fun way myself (though find I find myself failing in using cheesy metaphors). Just remember what the late George Carlin said about words: “There are no bad words. Bad thoughts. Bad intentions, and wooooords.” :p
     
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  8. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    Hmm, the words and tone really do matter. I have not even given it much thought, but I switch between terms quite a bit, for male and female. Depending on the nature and context, the male bits use their "affectionate" casual names. For females, the simple definition is just "her sex" used unless the anatomy is being viewed and described. For sex acts themselves, I retain the affectionate use for males and have used various descriptions for the female folds and the clitoris. I avoid "flower" metaphors - the MC (non-human) has a floral scent and unique taste. Though my tone is very different because I simply refuse to call "sweet sex" by any vulgarity at all. When an actual beastly act is done then more profane words fit.

    As a result, my personal thoughts on such things are anything but normal. I am cautious of even using the word "fuck" without the explicit intention of having one party act for their own (sexual and non-sexual) pleasure by deliberately intending to inflict extreme amounts of sexual trauma on another. Which runs counter to just about every "fuck" you will ever read.
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2015
  9. matwoolf
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    matwoolf Contributing Member Contributor

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    I use 'front bottom,' 'waterworks' and 'thingy' for my literature.

    At home I am re-training my room-mate, the wife of twenty years, away from pe-nis - a tiny royal vegetable, encourage terms 'thunder,' 'meat' and 'hammer.'
     
  10. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    If you're writing romance, you can work around the genitals and never mention either. If you write "he lowered his head between her legs and started lapping her up", you probably won't think he's licking her thigh, or if he was, at least that can be mentioned without sounding awkward. Nalo Hopkinson used the words "cunny", "jigger", "gully hole", and "cunt" in her book, The Salt Roads, but it's written in 1st person so those were the words her character would use, and the story took place in the 1800s :D. Helen Walsh used "cunt" in her book, Brass, and it took place in the early 2000s, I think. In a lot of non-erotica books the sex scenes aren't very detailed and mostly focus on the feelings of the characters. That also works; I think feelings have to always be there, be the description vague or detailed. If you can't find a good word for the va-jay-jay, I'm sure you can work around it without it appearing too work-a-roundish. :)
     
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  11. OurJud
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    [​IMG]








    Sorry.
     
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  12. KaTrian
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    KaTrian A foolish little beast. Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Which reminded me...

     
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  13. GuardianWynn
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    I don't really have an epic answer or anything. The few times I have written sex scenes I focused more of feelings and described other things like the woman gripping the sheets tightly.

    Though not sure if someone else has said this. Shouldn't your writing reflect the characters voice? It sounds like you personally don't like these terms. Does your character feel the same way?
     
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  14. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Well then lets just have a look at an in depth list of nick names for genitalia. :D Have fun I found this on Online Slang Dictionary after searching on Google. :p
    Your Welcome. :D

    Penis list:
    100% all-beef thermometerABDacornAlabama black snakeanacondaanal impalerbaby armbaby makerbald-headed yogurt slingerballball bagballsball sackbaloney ponyBBCBBDbig Dick and the twinsbig Italian salamibirdblue ballsbobby danglerbollockbollocksbologna ponybonebonerboom stickboysbratwurstbronerbudcackchapcherrychoadchodechopperchubchubbiechupchutcockcock rocketcoin pursecojonescornholercrown jewelscutDdanglerD&Bdeez nutzdickdick smallsdingding-a-lingding dongdingisdinkerdinkydipstickdisco stickdoderdoinkerdomepiecedongdorkD, theD traine-peenequipmentfamily jewelsgarbagegeargeneral, two colonelsget it upgiggleberrygiggle stickgonadgrapesgut wrenchhard-onheadhelmethockey cockyhoghoodedhotdoghungjimmyjohnsonJohn ThomasjoystickjunkkielbasaKiwiknackersknap sackknoblady bonerlove musclelove shaftlove sticklunchboxmain veinmanhoodman musclemaster of ceremoniesmeat and two vegmeat popsiclemeat thermometermembermiddle legmonsterMr. HappyMr. Winkynadsnardnardsnuggetsnutsnut sackol' one-eyeone-eyed monsterone-eyed snakeone-eyed trouser snakePpackagepackerpatzpeckerpeenpee peepeeperpeeterPeterPh.Dpicklepiecepink tractor beamplonkerplumpocket rocketpolaroidpolepop a chubpork swordprickpudpurple-headed soldierpurple headed solider manpurple-headed warriorputzrocksrodRussell the love musclesacksalamisausageschlongschlortschmeckelschwartzscongeshaftshlittleshlongshrinkageskin flutesteamin' semen roadwaystiffiestiffyswamp nutstallywackertallywhackertally whackertent polethingthird legthrobbertonsil ticklertooltripodtrouser meattrouser snaketube steaktwigtwig and berriestwigs and berriesunitwangwankerwankiewedding tackleweeweeniewee weeweinerwhangwhiskey dickwho who dillywienerwilliewillywinkywoodyam bagyogurt slingeryoo-hoozubra

    Vagina list:
    axe woundbadly wrapped kebabbald man in a boatbang holebat cavebeanbearded clambearded oysterbeavbeaverbeefcurtainbeef curtainbeef flapbirth cannonblue waffleboxbreadbujucamel's footcamel toecandychachcha chacherrychochacho-chochonchchootclitclown holeclungecockcock pocketcock socketcoocoochcoochiecookiecoosiecootercudercunnycuntcunt holecunt puntcuttycut up'c' wordfannyfat catfish tacoflangefront bottomfuck holefur burgerfur piegapgashgrowlerhair burgerhair piehairy axe woundham flapham wallethatchet woundhooded ladyhoo-hoohot pocketill na-naincisionjutekittykoochkooterkuderliplove cavelove tacolunchmeatmanginaman in the boatman in the boat, themeat curtainsmeat flapmeatwalletmeat walletmingemoose knucklemuffmuffinna-nanappy dugoutnedenninja footnookieopen woundpinkpink canoepink sausage walletpink tacopink velvet sausage walletpiss flapspookiepoonpoonanerpoonanipoontangpoon tang piepootangpoo tangpooterpootie tangprison pursepromised land, thepunanipunannipusspussyputangpu-tangquifquiffquimquivering mound of love puddingroast beefroast beef curtainsslitsmush mittensnatchsnizzsoggy boxsprained vaginatampon tunneltangtrimtunnel of lovetwattwitchetVvadgevagvaginevagoovajayjayva-jay-jayvajizzlevertical smilewhisker biscuitwhispering eyewizard sleevewoowoogitwuggetwuss
     
  15. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I thought about that. The male MC is the son of a vicar and grew up in a house full of women and girls (therefore highly respectful to women), so I can't see him chucking around slang terms for genitals. The female MC is sexually inexperienced, not an erotica reader or someone who talks about sex a lot. I can't imagine either of them having picked up favourite terms.

    Problem solved! Thanks!
     
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  16. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @Tenderiser Any time. :p
     
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  17. Inks
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    Inks Contributing Member

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    I am dying of laughter over here! Cannot finish... list... :supergrin:
     
  18. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I think there should be a short story contest where you have to work in at least five phrases from those lists. @GingerCoffee?
    :D
     
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  19. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    :superlaugh:As things got more heavy and their desire ascended. He thrust his giggleberry into her whisker biscuit. She dug her nails into his back.....

    Nah, I think I might die laughing if I ever laid eyes on narrative like this.
     
  20. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Well, that's a hilarous list, for sure. However, the OP's point is well taken.

    It's easy, if you're using slang or slightly derrogatory or cutesy tones, but if you're just trying to be ordinary, it's a bit of a problem. I personally detest cutesy euphemisms for sex or sexual organs and I'm not keen on the derrogatory ones either.
     
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  21. OurJud
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    OurJud Contributing Member Contributor

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    Brilliant! :superlaugh:

    Or...

    As Lucy revealed her moist axe wound to Geoff, he gasped in delight. 'Wow, honey baby. That is one sweet vertical smile you got there.'
    'Shut up!' she snapped, 'and get your bald-headed yogurt slinger out.'
     
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  22. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @jannert I think this article is more your speed. I was just trying to be helpful. It is from the romance author Sarah Anderson.

    http://www.heroesandheartbreakers.com/blogs/2012/08/author-sarah-anderson-on-names-for-the-vagina (might copy and paste it as I have not mastered the art of posting links yet.) :D

    Though I guess this too could be a bit more insightful to the OP as well. Besides who else to talk about the female bits, than a woman. :p
     
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  23. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    That is gold! I think it would be interesting to have a short story contest as Tenderiser came up with. If not, a thread in similar fashion.
     
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  24. Tenderiser
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    Tenderiser Not a man Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Thank you for that! I'm relieved to see I'm by no means the only writer who struggles with this. I will read my scenes very carefully in editing and see if they read okay with my current lack of any terms for specific parts besides the clitoris. Hopefully they will.
     
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  25. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Actually, while the article is interesting, she totally sidesteps the question! I don't write in a coy or prudish way at all, and try to be straightforward in my sex scenes, but I don't think I've ever actually named the beast myself. I seem to allude to where it is and what happens to it, not what it's called. I guess maybe because there really isn't a word for it that seems to work for me. The word vagina seems too clinical, and nothing else seems right, really. Damn.
     
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