Saturday, May 11, 2013

Velvet Curtains, Love Muscle, And Other Embarrassments

E. A. Black writes dark fiction, dark fantasy, and horror. She writes erotic romance and erotica with the pseudonym Elizabeth Black. Visit her web sites at and http://eablack-writer.blogspot.comFriend her at Facebook:


[Image from Punch an Pie, by Chris Daily and Aeire]

I've edited many books as exchanges for my own edits or as a favor. One thing I've noticed is that sex scenes are sometimes dragged down by the same old descriptive words: cock, pussy, cunt, willie, shaft, slit. Blah de blah de blah.

Sometimes you have to shake up the words, but you don't want to go overboard and end up writing purple prose. It's too easy to let yourself fall into Bulwer-Lytton Awards territory, like the 2012 winner, runner up, and dishonorable mentions in the Romance category:


“I’ll never get over him,” she said to herself and the truth of that statement settled into her brain the way glitter settles on to a plastic landscape in a Christmas snow globe when she accepted the fact that she was trapped in bed between her half-ton boyfriend and the wall when he rolled over on to her nightgown and passed out, leaving her no way to climb out. — Karen Hamilton, Seabrook, TX


“Your eyes are like deep blue pools that I would like to drown in,” he had told Kimberly when she had asked him what he was thinking; but what he was actually thinking was that sometimes when he recharges his phone he forgets to put the little plug back in but he wasn’t going to tell her that. — Dan Leyde, Edmonds, WA

Dishonorable Mention:

Tucked in a dim corner of The Ample Bounty Bar & Grille, Alice welcomed the fervent touch of the mysterious stranger’s experienced hands because she had not been this close with a man in an achingly long time and, quivering breathlessly, began to think that this could be the beginning of something real, something forever, and not just a one-time encounter with a good Samaritan who was skilled at the Heimlich Maneuver. — Mark Wisnewski, Flanders, NJ

Chain-smoking as he stood in the amber glow of the street lamp, he gazed up at the brownstone wherein resided Bunny Morgan, and thought how like a bunny Bunny was, though he had read somewhere that rabbits were coprophages, which meant that they ate their own feces, which was really disgusting now that he thought about it, and nothing like Bunny, at least he hoped not, so on second thought Bunny wasn’t like a bunny after all, but she still was pretty hot. — Emma DeZordi, Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Quebec

Their love began as a tailor, quickly measuring the nooks and crannies of their personalities, but it soon became the seamstress of subterfuge, each of them aware of the others lingual haberdashery: Mindy trying to create a perfectly suited garment to display in public and Stan only concerned with the inseam. — D. M. Dunn, Bloomington, IN

So you want to use words other than The Usual Suspects? How about some of these substitutions (From The Glossary Of Sexual Slang):


asshole, bung hole, butt hole


boobs, headlights, knockers, tits


ass, behind, buns, butt, fanny, rear


button, clit


cock, dick, dong, joy stick, meat, organ, pecker, peter, poker,  prick, rod, tool, wang, weenie


come, cream, cum, jism, load, love juice


balls, family jewels, gonads, gones, nuts

vagina (or vulva)

bearded clam, bearded lady, beaver, box, cunt, honey pot, manhole,  muff, pussy, quim, snatch, toolbox, twat

Other substitutions:

vagina (or vulva)

fiery slit, cleft, folds, velvet curtains


joystick, hammer, love muscle

You get the idea. There are all kinds of creative words you could use when writing your sex scenes. Just make sure you don't cringe when you use them.

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