Sunday, November 28, 2010

Anatomical, anyone?

My vocabulary list of sexual body parts is limited. I rejoiced when 'penis' became an acceptable. I've studied the entire fine-print poster of George Carlin's dirty words, but many of his phrases feel foreign to me, like they'd need to be explained. This could be due to my generational upbringing and marrying when I was nineteen. I must not have had a broad enough range of experiences.
I dislike repetitive use of the word 'cock' in modern erotica. For some reason, I feel that word belongs as an euphemism in historical romance, i.e., "And his cock crowed."
Half of my WIP is set in 1490's Brittany. I researched the Breton words for penis and vagina, and used them in love scenes when in my past-life hero's POV. This expanded my vocabulary and, I hope, added some historical realism.
All in all, I want to craft love scenes where sexual tension is built up through dialogue and intimate foreplay. When coupling finally occurs, I hope my reader is so engaged, she can 'feel' the thrusts and moans without needing a tutorial in the act of sex. I'm more interested in how the H/H relationship intensifies after each coupling.


  1. Great post, Ana. I look forward to finding out some Breton words!
    Must admit I hate the 'coarseness' of erotica, which is why I totally agree with your last paragraph. A love scene doesn't have to be graphically described, especially when it's an expression of love, and not just a sex act.

  2. I agree, Paula and Ana. Yes, it will be interesting to see what the Bretons have to say! The Welsh use our four letter words, I wonder if the Bretons do too! LOL, that would be a turn up for the book. Interesting post, Ana.

  3. I agree. While I like "fully depicted love scenes" (as my publisher calls them), I do prefer that the language used to describe the act (and the body parts involved!) be kept more romantic and sensual. Sometimes the "correct" words can pull me right out of the moment.

  4. Romantic and sensual is right, Debra. Correct words (or the coarser variety) can be a total turn-off IMO.