Also known as ‘when to use the word ‘cock”
One of the most interesting things that I’ve noticed in all of the erotica reading that I’ve done in preparation for bringing my own words to the Kindle screen is notice that almost all of the language reads the same.
When you write erotica, you’re often stuck for words. You don’t want to use the word ‘erection’ for fear of it sounding too medical, you avoid use of the word ‘cunt’ for it sounding too vulgar. You may waffle on the idea of using more of the hilarious euphemisms for sexual organs (never a good idea, don’t do it. Get the words ‘meat stick’ ‘fuck pole’ and ‘love cavern’ out of your head) and finally just give up and go for the word ‘cock’ or the more flowery ‘length’. This is especially difficult when writing a female character, as there are very, very few words that you can attribute to the female body that don’t sound vulgar (aforementioned ‘cunt’) or clinical (Vagina springs to mind).
I have no problem with this sort of language, hell, in the right contexts, I don’t have a problem with most language. The problem that I do have, however, is when a certain type of character has words attributed to them that would be out of character for that particular character.
Nothing will pull me out of a story faster than if a shy character suddenly refers to her lady bits as a cunt, while still being shy and demure. I could see her using ‘pussy’ when she begins opening up, her language becoming more loose as she gets more into the act, as the sex becomes more carnal, the language opens up to reflect this as well, when our shy demure little flower starts off referring to her ‘dewdropped petals’ and finally ends up grinding her snatch on his face while she rakes her fingers over his back, I find this believable. It feels more like a natural progression from not only the perspective of the reader, but from the headspace of the character themselves.
That also goes the other way. If you have an oversexed vampire, for example, he’s not going to hesitate to grab his cock and stuff it into a waiting pussy. Because this is where he’s comfortable. Unless he’s honestly trying to slow down and be more romantic, I’m not going to avoid this sort of language with him.
I feel that language is very important when you use it to refer to characters. Not only during the main plot of the story, but in how the refer to themselves/their partners, even through the third party narration.
Want some homework?
Write a short erotic story with a character you know well, but keep the language consistently flowery through the whole thing. Use words like ‘length’ and ‘depths’.
Now, write that story over again, but use harsher language. “Cock” and “Cunt” all around!
From here, try writing it a third time, and give your character a carnal progression from the first into the second.
Enjoy your writing!