Naming Body Parts in Erotica
(WARNING! MAY CONTAIN SEXUAL CONTENT!)
Everyone knows that throbbing swords just won’t do, unless you’re writing a fluffy historical romance, and face it, if you’re putting ‘erotica’ in the description, it really shouldn’t be fluffy. Unless your writing about a fluffer, in which case, well, there you go. (If you don’t know, look it up.) So when the word cock just won’t do, or you’ve already used it a dozen times in one paragraph,what do you use?
One of the advantages of having a partner who also dabbles in writing is that there’s often a good deal of silliness involved in our coffee-fueled weekend brunch conversations. Unfortunate suggestions from this weekend included rumpus rod, waving wand (of mystical proportions), bitchin’ bat (perfect for sports-related stories), little imp, shagging stake, dashing dart, plunging poptart (unfrosted, of course.), thumping thruster, tickle-dick, driller, dasher… Oh, the list goes on and on and gets sillier and sillier the longer it gets.
So seriously, what do you do? Especially if you have a menage or multiples? His cock is going to get confused with the other one’s cock, and your reader won’t have a clue what’s in whom! I’ve seen awkward, and obviously last-minute, edits to stories where suddenly one player has a cock and the other has, randomly, a dick, but that looks contrived, and, as I mentioned, awkward. Once it’s erect, of course, it’s easy to tuck ‘erection’ or ‘hard-on’ in there without making it look like an obvious last-minute change.
And when you really must get creative, try to avoid the alliteration games. Plunging pops have no business near anyone’s tart. Ever.
When in doubt, consider your characters. A Viking warrior deserves better than a ‘stick’, but he just might have a rod or staff. If your setting is historical, avoid using more modern words like bat (especially if you preface it with ‘bitchin”), but if you’re writing science fiction, try to take it a step further and use terms that will fit in the universe you’re writing in. As one of my Meteor Detective agency character blurts out in an adrenaline packed moment, “Those aren’t his legs! They’re his … his… THINGEES!” (In her defense, she was under the influence of a hallucinogenic aphrodisiac at the time.) The point is, don’t jar your reader out of the world you’ve taken them to by using something that feels contrived or doesn’t fit your setting. If you read through and think it feels a little awkward to have his rainbow laser-rod in her happy hot-pocket, no matter how awkward it seems to you, the person who wrote it, it’s going to feel even more awkward to your reader.
I just uploaded my short piece “BlackStone Woman” to Amazon, and tossed a copy to my friend who likes to read under the covers with a flashlight. “But, Liz…” the text turns up on my phone, “This is het! EW!”
Ew is not the reaction you want readers to have, especially when the tale is supposed to be sexy and (just a little!) sappy and sweet. I was kind of hurt, honestly. Ew?
Bracing myself for creative injury, I messaged back. “Ew? What do you mean ‘ew’?
Well, it turns out that not only is the story plain old male/female missionary position sex (give or take the wings), but the reader was also enamored with the idea of one of the characters actually hooking up with someone else. Plain old het sex, AND I had to go mess up the dreams of my readers? Oh, the inhumanity! Well, okay, that second part will happen to any author. Readers make plans that we can’t follow. That’s what fanfiction is for. It takes on the side-scenarios so I can pack up and move on from the ‘but he should have done x’ complaint. I trust my characters know what they’re doing and why they’re doing it.
But why not het sex? I did a quick tally of the FeyWarden stories that I’ve cleaned up enough to present thus far. There are two M/F/M, one M/M (or Elf/Kobold with man-parts at any rate) and one M/F.
I know that some authors have one thing. That’s their thing and what they’re known for. Lacey Thorne, for example, writes one chick and a gaggle of men. One chick, many guys. All steamy and all tasty. Z. Allora writes M/M, and often angsty M/M with happy endings. (I’m not sure about the Zombie thing that’s coming up, though…) The rule for ‘standard romantic erotica’ has always been one man, one woman. And there are other authors who declare that the only real romance is one man with two women.
Part of my decision to self-publish had to do with what I write. Was even the hardest hard-core erotica publisher going to pick up a book full of alien encounters that run the gamut from het sex with a robot to a mad melange of blue alien babes? There are tentacles, for crying out loud! And I don’t even like tentacles. (I love Schluvenph, though, and I can’t wait for you all to get to meet him.)
Here’s the thing, though. I write what inspires me. I write what falls out of my brain and my fingers at the end of the day. Sometimes, that’s going to be plain old heterosexual male/female humptinumpty, and sometimes it’s going to be man-on-man blowfest, and once in a while it might be ladies night at the cunnilingus corral. A virgin might be seduced. A man might be kidnapped by dark creatures that take advantage. It might be one woman, all alone with an oak tree and a handful of acorns. I don’t shy away from BDSM scenes or scary things. Now, I won’t even mention the tentacles here, but hey, I have aliens! Aliens with extra manparts and prehensile tongues, aliens with giant breasts and belly-button vaggies. Naked aliens and furry aliens. And don’t forget the robots! Oh the wonderful things that robots can do… *sigh*
Sure, I could limit it. I could ensure that my readers get exactly what it is they want to read. I could probably even poll here or on Facebook and say, “Hey, look, should So-And-So get with You-Know-Who?” and cater to specific audiences.
But I’m a bisexual woman living in the Bay Area. I love choices and being free to make them. And I want my readers to have as many choices as I can give them without limiting my own imagination.
In the future, I’ll try to be very clear about labels. “This is M/M”, “This is M/F” This is “M/Tentacles/F”. And if you need to ‘Ew’, that’s okay, too. Everyone has ‘ew’s, and even reviews with ‘ews’ are better than no reviews at all. As to getting ‘so-and-so’ with ‘you-know-who’, well, I’m afraid that’s just something they’re going to have to work out all on their own. Variety is spice.
“Alien on Spaceship” By pixbox77, published on 04 May 2013
Stock Image – image ID: 100164469
“Robots in Bright Colors” By Victor Habbick, published on 16 March 2012
Stock Image – image ID: 10076712
Two projects in editing, and the short story of the week only partially written, and it seems my brain is in shutdown. That’s it. Nothing left. Just a big black dark space. Black Hole. Just like the one on the left there.
I tried cruising pictures that might inspire me, poked at some old writing to see if there was anything there worth flying with, and now I’m writing a blog post to avoid writing. I even stared at pictures of Tom Mison, including that one, down there. *points*
Yum. Tom Mison. Help me, Ichabod Crane! Break this curse and let me write again! What? Stop staring at you and go write something? Don’t you think I’ve TRIED that? Go back to saving the world from the apocalypse or something.
Maybe I need sleep. Maybe I need food. Maybe I need sleep and then food? Who knows. I don’t. I know all the ‘writer’s block’ tricks. Free association writing? Not working. Wasted fifteen minutes producing words about bananas. Go for a walk? Did that. Ankle hurts now. Soak in the tub? Starlit hot tub soak! Check. Still nothing.
I think this is where Hemingway reaches for his bottle of whiskey and Poe reaches for his opium. Maybe I need opium. Hell, I don’t even know where to get opium, and wouldn’t know what to do with it if I had it.
Someone on another site suggested going shopping. Not actually buying anything, but window-shopping, people observing, just cruising the mall or the main-street shops to ‘gather ideas’. I am at my kitchen table in my raggedy t-shirt and sweat-shorts, but hey, shopping sounds good, and if there’s one thing the internet is good for, it’s shopping!
I think I’ve just become a fan of Piko, the subtly asexually incredible Japanese musician. Dang, he is pretty. I don’t understand a word he’s singing, but he could sing it all day long, and whether in his upper range or lower, it wouldn’t matter.
Color me stunned though at the number of weird and just plain ignorant comments on his YouTube account. What? If you don’t like the music, fine, say so, but there’s no need to be nasty about it. A guy can’t be pretty with a surprising musical range without being a castrato (and as far as I know that practice died out in the late 1800’s?) And so what if he’s gay or not? Does it matter? Is it even any of our business?
What is our business is not the personal life of the artist but how the art makes us feel. And all I know is that when I watch Piko sing “Sakura Ne”, I see something beautiful. I see someone who is not afraid to move into their art, body and soul, a talented singer who emotes so well that even if you don’t know his language, you feel his music.
Anyway, I’m off to write, with new music in my ears!
“Inside the days that are always being engraved
The memories that I want to keep…”
What is Celestial Erotic? It’s a voyage through imagined worlds and realms and dimensions where anything can happen, and, if I have time and opportunity to write it, almost anything does. While currently Celestial Erotic is focused on my writing, in the future, I can see it providing support for other authors of science fiction and fantasy based erotica, as well as fanfiction based in the worlds we create.
And who am I? I’m Lizette Lynne, Bay Area writer with a *yawn!* boring day job who must spice up her life when the sun goes down with erotic fantastical tales that take place in secret fairy-worlds, onboard spaceships, in strange places with strange beings that stretch from plain old humans to exotic aliens with special abilities, to powerful fairy kings.
I’ve been writing since I was very young. I started writing erotica in high school due to the rampages of teen hormones with no outlet, making up what I didn’t know. (And, darn it if that wasn’t a bit disappointing when I discovered the real thing!) My school friends would pass around my stories in secret. We’d read them aloud to each other at slumber parties, giggling and blushing and hiding them under pillows or down our sleeping bags when parents stuck their heads in to tell us “for the last time to go to sleep!”
Now that we’re all adults, and there are no parents to check in on us, I thought maybe it was time to start sharing my storytelling again. I hope you enjoy!