I’ve got a romance manuscript and in my manuscripts targetiing adults I include characters having sex. One of the most difficult things in writing a sex scene is finding the balance between describing the anatomy and act of sex without making it pornographic. How many euphemism can you really write about an erect male organ or to describe the joy of an orgasm?
To delve into some of the possibilities, I opted to do a bit of research on the Internet. Now I’m not looking for porn – nothing wrong with it but not the purpose of this research. I was concerned about getting to sites that were … to put it politely … gross.
I found a couple of sex dictionaries which were educational I guess. I never knew there were so many terms for a penis. Perhaps we are just a tad too obsessed with them? Don’t get me wrong – I like the anatomy of a man quite a bit but really some of these terms were a bit much. The one that sticks in my head that I don’t think men would like is penie… I just keep hearing teenie wittle penie… and yes that is in a cutsy baby type tone. I’m pretty sure if that were said to an aroused man it would have the same effect as cold water.
My foray into these dictionaries was amusing and a bit sad. Do we really not have better phrases than “his burgeoning male member”? Thrusting is another term that is frequently used… how many appropriate synanims are there for thrust? Push, shove, propel, drive, force, propel, plunge are on the list and some of these just sound painful not romantic.
If we can’t describe the act of sex (hopefully wonderful and fulfilling sex) then do we just describe the emotions behind the act? What if a character doesn’t have emotions and it is just sex to them?
I did find one site which does discuss and list many euphemisms. I have to say that after the other sites, I bookmarked that site and stopped. For anyone who is looking for a good euphemistic resource here is the site http://home.epix.net/~jlferri/sexrom.html
For myself, when I work on these scenes, I am usually pretty raunchy the first time through. Some of my best work is done when I edit it. Until I figure out a better way – I’ll just keep fumbling in the dark… 🙂