[I posted this some other places a few months ago, but realized I’ve never posted it here before.]
I like to write realistic sex scenes. I also like helping people improve their writing. Let me let you in on a secret. I rarely read erotica. I only read stuff that my other writer friends write, and most of them don’t read erotica either. Let’s face it, most of it is utter shit, and I want to develop this series to show you why it’s bad, and how to fix it. Let’s call today’s lesson: What To Call Your Junk.
What takes me out of a scene immediately? Throbbing members. Oh my god. Go up to someone you’re intimate with and say “throbbing member.” They laughed, didn’t they? You could barely say it with a straight face. So why, oh why, would you use that in writing your sex scene? “Reginald plunged his throbbing member into her.” Ugh.
Rule No. 1: Name your junk. Pick two solid euphemisms per part. I like to use cock and dick. That’s what the majority of people call them, that’s what I can say in bed comfortably without my partner falling out of bed laughing. It doesn’t break the moment in real life, and it won’t in your writing either. “Reginald plunged his cock into her.” See, that’s better.
When Reginald had a “throbbing member” you probably also pictured a whole bunch of other stuff too. Puffy poet shirts and *Fabio like hair blowing in the wind. Regular guys have cocks. You or someone you know likely has a cock. Absurd fairy tale penis-havers have throbbing members.
My go-to words for vagina are pussy and cunt. Yes, cunt is controversial, but I’m vulgar and I don’t give a fuck. That’s what I call it in real life. I tend to use cunt a little more judiciously, though, mostly for rougher sex scenes. There are so many terrible euphemisms for vagina. Slot, box, slit. You aren’t the goddamn mailman. Pick two that you can say, in bed, with a straight face, that’s my rule.
Why two? One gets monotonous: Reginald plunged his dick into her pussy. “Oh, Reg,” she moaned, “your dick is so big and hard.” As she said that, his dick became even harder. “Take my dick, take all of it,” he cried out.
Two is a little variety, but it keeps you in the story: Reginald plunged his dick into her pussy. “Oh, Reg,” she moaned, “your cock is so big and hard.” As she said that, he became even harder. “Take my cock, all of it,” he cried out.
So I used both terms there, and even took one reference right out. You know exactly what I mean when I said he became even harder. It ain’t his triceps we’re talking about, you know it, I know it, and Reginald’s partner sure knows it.
I hate reading a piece where the writer uses every bit of cheesy terminology they can think of, it’s distracting. It doesn’t make your piece more interesting, it places it squarely in that bad erotica category. Technically, I generally may use three terms for a longer piece, but I’ll only use it maybe once, and my third word is almost always penis or vagina. It’s just my preference, and that’s how I speak in real life.
That’s it for today’s topic. If this has been helpful to your writing in anyway, let me know.
*I couldn’t remember his fucking name, I had to Google it as “male model hit by bird.”