Adults Only.

18+ Minors Click Here

Words for Down There

One of the goofier things about Fifty Shades of Gray is the euphemisms.  She uses “down there.”

Down. There.

There’s an anal sex scene that manages to never reference an ass or an anus.

Hence, The Generator:

Leaving my panties sunny side up on the floor was the least of my worries as his timed slimer slid deeper into my other vagina.

Heh. Classy.

Julian Mandel, Nu allongé dans le boudoir, 1930’s

Julian Mandel, Nu allongé dans le boudoir, 1930’s.  I bet if it were called “quivering love mounds” it would still sound pretty fancy in French.

Yesterday, Richard Thomas at LitReactor said that there were really only six acceptable terms.

For men, keep it simple. I think I’ve only ever used the words penis, dick and cock. Anything else just seems strange, and to be honest, makes me laugh. So no throbbing manhood or spear of salvation—or whatever flowery or weird phrase you’re trying to incorporate into your writing. It just doesn’t work.

For women, likewise, keep it simple. Breast or breasts are probably the most common words used, but I’ve also seen tits work in the right setting. “Honey, I love your tits. Them titties are the reason I keep working so hard.” To me, tits can often sound harsh coming from a male POV, but coming from a woman’s POV it can work. “He ran his tongue over my flushed tits and gently bit down on my nipple.” Something like that might work.

That only leaves the complicated and mystical female nether regions. See, sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? I try to avoid naming this famed portal of pleasure because, again, from a male POV it can sound aggressive. But the obvious choices are vagina, pussy and cunt.

I have never read any of his sex scenes, but I do wonder how you write sex that includes Dick and Tits, but no Mystical Female Nether Regions.

I actually enjoy an occasional flowery euphemism. They stick with you. Sometimes they stick for the wrong reasons, but hey! You can’t win them all.

Really, there are two reasons to go with creative nether-regional phrasing:  you don’t wish to offend the delicate sensibilities of the type of woman who dutifully brings her coupons to the Winn-Dixie every Saturday, or you just start to go a little nuts with how often your brain coughs up the same word over and over in your mind. Take “dick.” You start to sound like a dick stopwatch in your own mind. Dick, dick, dick, dick, dick. You live in a mental race where it’s always dick o’clock.  (See what I mean about a decent euphemism?)  So, you’re all, well, I’ll alternate. Dick-cock, dick-cock, dick-cock.

I’ll stop.

Anyway. What are your favorite terrible euphemisms?

This entry was posted in Featured and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.


  1. Jenny Lyn
    Twitter: jennylynwrites
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I can’t think of a single terrible euphemism at the moment, other than hole, but that’s not really a euphemism at all, is it? I kinda hate it tho. Too blunt and general, an empty word. The flowery stuff usually doesn’t bother me much either, if it fits within the context of the story or time period. “Cunny” makes me laugh. I’ll use shaft on occasion or erection. It does start to get old when you read the word cock over and over again in the course of one sex scene. I don’t have a problem with tits, but titties sounds juvenile. I personally don’t use the word cunt in my writing, but it’s a personal thing. I don’t mind it when others use it.

    Have you read The Siren? Tiffany rarely uses pussy or cunt, if I recall correctly. I tried that with the artichoke story just to see how it would go, and I think it worked fine. It still turned out hot, IMO.

    Keeping sex writing fresh is harder than some might think.

    • Joan
      Posted September 6, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

      I just finished The Siren last week.

      Anything involving any sort of “rod” sort of cracks me up. “Cunny” makes me think of like… England in the 1800′s. Upstairs, Downstairs. That sort of thing. I am not sure I can imagine it without a terrible, fake Cockney accent.

      • Jenny Lyn
        Twitter: jennylynwrites
        Posted September 6, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Permalink

        Curious to know how you liked The Siren.

        • Joan
          Posted September 6, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

          I liked it! I am sort of scared of Soren! I am so beyond surprised Harlequin let the underage thing in there at all!

          I am using exclamation marks!

          It kind of reminded me of Anne Rice. I am interested to see where she goes with it, so I’m looking forward to the next one.

          I so wish her book had gone viral instead of 50 Shades. I saw both of them at Wal-Mart the other day.

          • Jenny Lyn
            Twitter: jennylynwrites
            Posted September 7, 2012 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

            I know! Wal-mart of all places. Target too. She deserves the accolades so much more than 50. Gross. Tiff says it’s an 8-book (I think) series, with more than one story arc. Should be interesting. Soren freaked me out too, but truly nothing in the book bothered me. I loved Griffin and Wesley. And Kingsley. So yeah, I’m hooked.

  2. Rich
    Posted September 9, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

    I reviewed the opening to my (unpublished) book and I got these words:

    naked forms
    left nipple
    firm post
    muscles down there
    gathered flesh
    his flesh inside her
    warm dampness
    intimate contact
    raised ridges
    naked torso

    So, I guess I’m in the terrible euphemisms class.

    • Joan
      Posted September 11, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Permalink


    • Jenny Lyn
      Twitter: jennylynwrites
      Posted September 11, 2012 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

      I thought those quite normal myself, Rich. Terrible to me = flowery or something that induces eye-rolling, like calling a dick a “raging beast of passion”. Or something to that effect.

      • Rich
        Posted September 12, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        I’ll have to “pump it up” then. Ha! Thanks!

    • Joan
      Posted September 11, 2012 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      “pounding the sauce in the mortar?”

      • Rich
        Posted September 12, 2012 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

        You make it sound like a Sybian machine. Or, was that a recommendation how to spice up the intro?…

  3. Heather
    Posted October 16, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Really, you have a problem with “down there” but failed to mention “inner goddess?” then again, perhaps her inner goddess was more of the feeling she had when he did the things he did to her, but it was used often enough that I now associate it with her body parts.

    “Sex” is one that just doesn’t seem quite right to me. It doesn’t necessarily bother me, but sex is a verb, not a noun.

    • Joan
      Posted October 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      I have heard the theory that her “inner goddess” is, in fact, just a euphemism for her vagina. I figured it was more like… her conscious? Or… something.

      Good grief, that book is a mess.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes