Friday, February 23, 2007

A Cock by Any Other Name [adult language]

When I was first starting out writing erotica I hesitated to use words for it. But with time, after asking advice and reading other erotic romance books it seemed to me that this genre (especially m/m) generally opts for the word 'cock'. It looks a little aggressive to begin with but pretty soon you get used to it and focus more on what the cock is doing than its preferred mode of address.

However, a thread over at the absolutewrite.com forums suggested that (with some regional variation) most men actually opt for dick. Is this true? Because it really is a rather silly word and I would have some trouble using it in a sex scene without making the whole thing sound a bit ridiculous. Cock, fine. Penis, occasionally--even sometimes shaft, rod, staff etc etc..... But to me 'dick' is right up there with winky or pee-pee as a word for the phallus no grown man should utter during an intimate moment.

On the whole, in romance I am not too heavy on the nouns but sometimes you really do need to specify Tab A and Slot B (or C-F) and it seems to me that the term used needs to be both tolerably authentic for the view-point character, and relatively benign to the reader. So it has me wondering, what is your noun of choice?

5 comments:

Alessia Brio said...

For contemporary erotica, cock is IT. Dick is just too dorky.

Anonymous said...

In contemporary ER, when it's from the man's POV, dick seems just fine. Most men I've been with have used that word at least as much as cock. But it would never work in a historical, or even a fantasy (except UF).

Some of the other names, though. There's nothing sexy about being told to "suck my John Thomas, baby." How about, "I want my Roger in you." Hahaha. In light of those, there's nothing funny about dick. It does make me feel a little sorry for all those Richards (and Rogers, and Willies and let's not forget Randys) out there.

But there can be overkill. As perfect a word as cock seems to be, there is a need for other names. My faves are member, shaft, even organ. Rod and tool, bleh.

Anne Douglas said...

A bit of both, but usually only dick if the owner of the said dick is musing internally, or if they are talking in casual conversation, say with his mates. I don't mind using penis - but it's a bit of a medical scene stopper isn't it.

I can't say his pulsing column of manly flesh does things for my girly bits. Cock is short sweet and just dirty enough to make you feel likie a bad girl :)

HAHA my word verification is znkokpau

Emily Veinglory said...

The word verifications always tempt me to try and take that letter combo and try and make it a real word--preferably a rude one--just by using it online as if it already is one....

Nancy said...

I much prefer 'cock' to 'dick' in erotica. 'Cock' just seems more powerful/shocking to me, whereas 'dick' seems weak, unsexy... borderline insulting, in certain contexts.