Dirty Words


Soil? Soot? Mud?

No, not those dirt-y words.

I can’t even believe I’m writing this as I’m doing it. This post is rated M for Mature and N for Naughty.

I started to ponder this because I’m currently (finally) reading one of Karen Moning’s Highlander books. (I don’t know which number it is…but I know it’s not the first one. So it looks like I’m going to end up reading them out-of-order.) As much as I love Ms. Moning’s work, she uses the word “impaled” (for, you know) a lot in this book. And for me it’s just not a sexy word.

I’m not being prudish…there are other great words and phrases out there to describe sex, whether it your characters are making love or just plain ol’ fucking. Depending on what atmosphere you’re creating, a man can enter a woman, ease/slip/slide/slam into her, pump in and out of her, grind against her. (I’m sure you can think of other/better ones?) But impale just sounds painful.

And what should we call the tool with which he pleasures/takes/fills her/brings her to the brink? (She could also shatter/dissolve/unravel/come undone.) Although there are many rather obvious choices, sometimes the possibilities sound silly as you’re reading. On the other hand, for a smutty book penis sounds a bit medical. How about his cock/manhood/hardness/shaft? (I can’t believe I’m coming up with these without using the thesaurus on Microsoft Word. The smut is just pouring out of me tonight.)

Wet is of course often used to describe when the woman is ready for her man to impale her. But use its synonyms with caution because they can end up sounding icky rather than sexy: moist/damp/clammy (wait, no, don’t ever tell your man that you’re clammy for him.)

Romance writers: What do you think? What are the best words/phrases to use when writing about s-e-x?

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9 Responses to Dirty Words

  1. Gotta agree…impale needs cut. lol Don’t forget rock and pole.

    Great post….~P.

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  2. Thanks. That just what I need to be thinking about as I compose a blog for work about interacting with creative visual arts organisations for mutual gain. I’m screwed…

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  3. Heidi says:

    Great post, made me chuckle. And yes, ‘impale’ sounds more like word using for killing. I also never thought to use some of your other words, but now I just might 😉

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  4. well..impaled is one that just makes me thnk of stakes and vampire. I love your post. I had a guest blog by Incy Black in Decermber on some of the language used in sex scenes, especially the exploding body parts. Dare one say as someone who writes then, sex scenes are HARDest to write in terms of word choice, so great post. .

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