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.