Monday, March 7, 2016

J is for Johnson

Ana muses about pet names for male body parts.

 My hero is a capable, virile western guy in 1890 who lives a solitary and nomadic life due to a broken heart. His mare is his 'best and only friend.' He has a pet name for his male appendage, chosen from a host of names used by the rough and tumble roustabouts he worked with after he ran away from home at age seventeen.
Parents teach young children names for body parts and functions. Listening to my hubby's retired Marine Corps buddies tell stories of military service, men often expand their repertoire of names for
body parts. They also have names for female body parts. Listen to any boot camp drill instructor or George Carlin riffs. The list is jaw-dropping.
(I've met women who name their pets and cars. I've never met a woman who named her breasts. Maybe I've led too sheltered a life.)
With only this anecdotal evidence to back me up, I stand in solidarity with my hero. He calls his male member his johnson.
Is this less graphic than other possible terms? Is it off-putting? In the 1890s speeches and letters were very proper and formal. But people were not much different than we are today, and their private vocabulary was based on their upbringing, experiences and imagination.
Since I am writing sex scenes, his choice of a name makes writing his story fun. It's his body and he can call it what he wants.


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. I think we all struggle with writing sex scenes and how to refer to body parts so that the scenes flow and the reader isn't brought up short by our terminology.

  3. I agree with what Jen has said. The problem is that what may be acceptable to one reader may make another reader cringe.

  4. There's just such a fine line between romantic and explicit. And you don't want to sound dumb or take the reader out of the scene with something too anatomical. It's definitely tricky.