Bits and Pieces

Zip!The other day, Anah came across a charming image online, the one you see below of the ‘gentleman’ reading. We’re pretty sure it’s an erotic romance, given his condition. And aside from thinking, “Didn’t I date that guy?”, it got us thinking that there are only a narrow range of words for describing that particular body part—sexy words, anyway. That got us onto the question of: how can we spend so much time writing about things we have so few words for?

Let’s be honest, ‘penis’ is not exactly a charmer. If ‘cock’ is Sean Connery, hot as hell and a little dangerous, ‘penis’ is Gilbert Gottfried. ‘Dick’, well, maybe that’s more Scott Bakula. Handsome, rugged, and utilitarian—sexy enough in the right context. ‘Wang’ is definitely getting into Carrot Top territory. ‘Throbbing member’ is the Fabio of male genitalia: we’d get the giggles if we had to admit to liking it in public but we have fond memories of it from our early days reading scandalous romance novels.

Literary DickIt took us a while to get used to dick—which isn’t entirely untrue in any context but especially in terms of writing. It’s grown on us…there is really no good way to write this blog post, we’re so sorry. Only half the double entendres in here are intentional. Maybe not even that. But, as we were saying, dick has grown on us. (A: I am not entirely sure we’re going to survive this post. D: I am entirely sure we are not going to survive this post.)

Sometimes there’s something particularly enticing about a word that verges on crass. For feminine bodies, ‘breasts’ is a lovely word. Why can’t men have a word that appropriate? It’s round and soft and a bit naughty, rolls right off the tongue. When the heroine looks at herself and hitches up her girls and thinks “nice tits”, though, it’s a bit of a thrill.

With the proper words for feminine genitalia, though, we’re right back to the Gilbert Gottfried problem, sadly. There are far too many very crass words for those parts and for many of us the fun has been stolen from them because people use them as insults. Some of the words are lovely, though, like ‘pussy’, which really is the Honor Blackman of those terms. Naughty, hot, and graceful. Mind you, we write almost exclusively in the gay romance genre so we rarely have use for those words.

Have you got favourite words for body parts? Are there any that turn you off completely? Any you can’t type without getting the giggles? Anah still gets stuck on dick…not literally! Oh dear….

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Bits and Pieces — 9 Comments

  1. You guys cracked me up today! Gilbert Gottfried? Carrot Top? I’m going to have those visuals stuck in my head all day.

    I have to admit I have the same problems coming up with words for certain personal body parts as well. Everything either sounds clinical or crass. I’m interested in hearing what other writers come up with. Cheers!

    • I have a real fondness for a few of those words, but others… I really struggle with “penis” — it sounds like an instruction manual rather than a romance novel!

  2. HAHAHA I loved this post. And seriously, there is a distinct lack of words for either of them, really. I’m actually writing a post for my upcoming blog tour that has the worst euphemisms in the history of the world*.

    *strictly my opinion, but my opinion is right in this case.

  3. LOL. I struggle with this as well. Was just thinking about it as I wrote a scene a few days ago. I admit to not being fond of “pussy.” It’s slowly growing on me…like mold. I actually prefer “cunt.” I think we need to take ownership of that word and celebrate it. I’m fine with “cock” and “dick,” but “penis” doesn’t do it for me. “Erection” works. Yes, we need more words for the male and female parts that don’t border on purple prose!

    • Pussy and cunt are, to me, a lot like dick and cock — it’s very situational and dependent on the specific characters. One woman might have a cunt, but another would have a pussy. It just depends on what feels right for that person.

      But, like you, it’s taken me a while to warm up to pussy, and the same is true of dick.

      (Oh man, this post and its associated comments are really something else, aren’t they?)

  4. This post blew me away. Loved the picture. Laughed all the way thru it.

    Like everyone else I dislike the word penis. Sounds like a stuffy, old man to me. Not a hot, alpha cowboy/firefighter/cop/whatever. Know what I mean? I’m fine with cock or dick and even with erection. Don’t particularly like reading about “his throbbing member” either. What the hell is a member?

    As for our girly parts, I get stuck on that one. Guess we could always go with what my 3 yr old great granddaugahter calls hers ~~
    her “whoo hah”. Yep, that’s what we call it. Not too sure how it would play in books, but it does bring a smile to your face. Totally do not like “tits” no matter who says it or how it’s used. Just sounds disrespectful to me. Breasts, books, tas-tas, the girls, anything but tits.

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