Vaginal Vernacular – How to Write Porn

(Originally published at Fighting Monkey Press)

You read that right, we’re talking about writing and vaginas here on my blog today. Remember, Fighting Monkey Press is for the 18 and over crowd. Ifthat’snot you, bugger off, you shouldn’t be reading this.

Now before you get offended please say the most offensive word you can think of. Giggle, get offended, feel dirty and… now get over it. They’re just words. Words express feelings, context, as well as literal items. Words have tremendous power and one of the most powerful things about them is the ability to make people react. Positively or negatively, well chosen words elicit a reaction from the reader and as authors that’s our job.

erotica01a
erotica01a

One of the conversations I am always amused by and which comes up more often than you might expect is about what terms people prefer for their genitalia. The preferences vary greatly and it seems nothing is off limits. As authors though, the words we chose must be done based on the connotation of the word, not just your own personal opinions. I write erotica, horror, romance, lit fic, fantasy and even some sci-fi. Genre affects word choice too. 

For the female anatomy there is a shocking lack of appropriate words. Men get all kinds of things, technical, crude, scientific and funny. Jokes about the male anatomy abound, using both the 12 year-old humor of the classic “that’s what she said” to more graphic situations. For women, jokes are almost always offensive in nature and the word choice is exceptionally limited.

Us girls get the short end of the linguistic stick. What words do we have? Pussy, cunt, vulva, cooch, vagina, lady-parts, and a slew of euphemisms which often have little to nothing to do with the actual body part. For me, I prefer the word cunt. It is interesting because I find it to be the word women are most offended by and I don’t quite understand it. I’ve been told it’s crude or that it’s vulgar. Well, yeah! Cunt is a hard word, with sharp sounds and a strong ending. It’s not a soft or whiney word. Cunt matches it’s male counterpart Cock with equal power and strong consonants. If that’s crude, bring it on. I’d rather be crude and strong than a pussy.

Speaking of which, pussy is actually my least favorite word. Maybe it’s the combination of the “s” sound next to a “y” but it sounds all moist and icky to me. Like something’s infected. Personally, I wouldn’t want to be anywhere near that oozing word. It sounds weak and the “y” sound conjures up images of passivity and compliance.

The cultural uses of these words is important as well. Cunt is used to designate someone as a bitch, a ball busting arrogant powerwall. So you know, like the standards we use to judge a man. Pussy however is for the weakling being strung up by his underwear on the flagpole in high school. While I in no way endorse such behavior, if someone’s going to label me, I’d rather be a cunt than a pussy.

I see a number of other terms used regularly, usually in fiction or romance. Erotica tends to either use cunt, pussy, or some bit of poetic reference. I have no problem with being delicate and terms like cooch or “nexus of pleasure” are great when used correctly. Even pussy has it’s time and place, but only if you want me to think that what you’re doing is kind of gross.

There are two rules I beg of you not to break when writing sex scenes:

  • Number One – clinical is not erotic. Do not refer to his penis sliding against her vaginal walls. Come on, what is this? A Virginia State mandated sonogram? Try mixing it up with euphemisms and vocabulary. How about “His cock stroked along her inner walls”. I didn’t change much, but suddenly it’s a lot hotter. Clinical is bad. No one want to think about their last pap smear when reading porn.
  • Number Two – keep it possible. When a woman walks into a room naked do not say “He could see her vagina”. No he can’t. He’d have to be way up in her business to see that. What he sees is her vulva and there are a lot of great words to choose from, but vagina is not one of them. Also, for those of you who don’t know this, you cannot feel anything inside your womb unless you’re pregnant. If I read one more amateur hack sex scene where she “feels him release his seed within her womb” I’m going to scream. NO YOU DIDN’T! You can’t feel that! Talk about her cervix if you want to but for the love of Pete, TRY to stay based in the biologically possible.

So next time you’re faced with a romantic scene, don’t hold back, your editor can always reign you back in. Choose the right words for the personality of the characters and the situation. Try playing with descriptions and even allow yourself to be a little poetic. I mean, what is more poetic than sex?

And for God’s sake, never ever ever use the phrase “Hot streaming ribbons of cum.”

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