Thursday, 29 May 2014

Erotica Terms That Make Me Squirm (and not in a good way)

This post has been brewing in my mind for a REALLY long time. The thing that has always stopped me writing it is, firstly, I know a lot of people who read my blog only read clean romances, so they will likely just skip over it, but also, the potential for abuse I might get for it - because people take erotica very seriously!

Those concerns still hold true - but I am tired of holding in this semi-rant.

Before anyone asks why I read it if it bugs me so much - it's not always erotica. Sometimes it's just a sex scene in a book. I don't choose to read erotica very often. Hardly ever, actually. But when I do, it's pretty samey and makes me do this:



This post isn't meant as an attack on anyone who HAS used the following phrases in a sex scene - clearly they work or people would have stopped using them ages ago. Also, I hate when writers write arsey posts about what they dislike, because it WILL offend someone. Everyone has their own style, and if it's working, awesome! Nobody's opinion is more important that anyone else's. Really, at the heart of this post, what I'm actually saying is, it's okay to change things up. It's okay not to follow the crowd and use the same phrases as everyone else.

Let's say someone makes you a lasagne for dinner. You love it. It's cheesy, and tasty, and delicious. You love everything about it; the smell, the taste, the feeling of satisfaction because you've just eaten the best meal ever. And then the same person makes it for you the next day. Oh yeah, still delicious. But imagine if you had to eat lasagne, made the exact same way, for a week. A month. Three months. A year. That taste you loved so much at the start becomes bland, tasteless, maybe even nauseating.

See my point?

So, I bring you my list of erotica terms that make me squirm.

"You're so wet."



*vomits*. The moment I see these words, my eyes glaze over and I assume I am about to read another sex scene that will be the same as the majority of other sex scenes already out there. Sometimes I'm wrong, but nine times out of ten, I'm not. It goes like this: Get naked. Kiss. Man puts hand between woman's legs until she writhes. Woman claws at man's back. Woman begs him for more. Man plunges into her. Fireworks go off. I have no business mocking this formula, in fact I'm not, I've used it myself. It's not so much the order of events that matters, but the words used to describe them. I genuinely cannot recall a single sex scene I've read recently that didn't have the  words "you're so wet" in it at least once, if not more. My annoyance of this is only topped by the words, "You're so wet for me, baby." (See below!)

Excessive use of "baby"

 

I mean, really. Unless you're Justin Bieber, nobody says the word "baby" that many times. I suspect some of this is an editing error. Sometimes, when writing, you don't realise you've used the same word so often. It's not necessary. You wouldn't use a person's name so excessively when talking to them. Imagine it,

"Hello, Kyra."
"Hello."
"How are you today, Kyra?"
"Very well, thanks? And yourself?"
"I'm great, Kyra. Any interesting plans for the day, Kyra?"

STOP SAYING MY NAME! IT'S CREEPY!

 "Do you like that, baby?" "What do you want, baby?" "Oh, yeah, baby." Enough already.

The "C" word.





"I'm coming." 



This is another one that baffles me. Why does this have to be announced? Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned moaning? "Come" is also not a particularly sexy word, but I suppose it would be even more cringey to say, "Well, goodness me, I appear to be having an orgasm." And if you can GET that many words out during sex, someone is doing something wrong.

 I am absolutely positive there are more - but these are the main ones for me. Perhaps there is a book somewhere that tells authors these are the key things that make erotica hot. And maybe it really does work. But there is nothing wrong with saying to yourself, "Hey, you know what? I'm going to do this a different way." Ultimately, that's what we all do when we write a book, isn't it? We strive to create  different to what's already out there. There are endless words in the world - I genuinely believe there are other phrases that are sexier than these now overused phrases.

So, talk to me. Are there any phrases in sex scenes that make you squirm? 














56 comments:

  1. My brain went blank on words. But there is a overdone scenario. When a woman is too nervous to have sex in public but suddenly when it starts she turns to porno level expertise. I mean what the hell? No one can pick up a gun once or twice and magically become James Bond. I rarely pick up erotica myself but when I do it is often the clichés and crass language that disappoint me/turn me off. Oh and 'C' word is a big no no to me too.
    This was a good thing to discuss Kyra. Erotica can do so much better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha, yes! When nervous people suddenly turn into porn stars, it's very weird!

      Thanks, Sheena!

      Delete
  2. Love this post! I don't like to use derogatory labels for body parts. And I hate when they use one over and over again, which makes it seem almost like a violation to my eyes. I try to rotate words out and find better ways to describe the act going on.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. YES! It is difficult to keep things interesting and not use dodgy, creepy words for body parts, and using the proper clinical terms isn't sexy. But there is a way to do it, it just requires a LOT more work!

      Delete
  3. Is it wrong I chuckled through most of this?
    People talking during sex is weird to me. I'm too busy to talk.
    It's not the scene, it's how one describes it - I get you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, chuckling is good! And LOL, that's right!

      Yes, that's what I was trying to say - as long as everything isn't always described the same way, it's all good!

      Delete
  4. Oh this made me laugh. Erotica writers need to stay away from cliches too, I guess. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup! And I'm glad it made you laugh!

      Delete
  5. I read this to my roomie and we nearly died laughing, especially your comments about 'I'm coming'.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hilarious! Yes, I think originality tends to be lacking in sex scenes, even in romance novels. I guess there's only so many ways you can say something. What about the use of the word "manhood" for a certain male part?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yuck! I hate "manhood" LOL!

      Yeah, it is difficult to be original in sex scenes. That's why I tend not to write them very often. :D

      Delete
  7. Great post! For me it is the names of body parts that make me giggle.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think a lot of points in this post can apply to many aspects of writing, not just erotica. Following the same formulas, and repeating the same words is jarring, and can have a negative effect on thew story.

    I think your lasagne analogy at the begging was spot on - variety is the key. Change up your language, character types and how the action comes about, and you'll have a stronger story. :)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Love this post! I have to go there.... I've only read three Erotica novels (Fifty Shades) so here is my pet peeve .... My inner goddess.... how many times can you say inner goddess in a book? Once is enough, but over and over and over again is repetitive and dreary... I'm sorry but my inner goddess is a lazy b*tch and a mute. Lol (excuse the derogatory language) Besides that I hate the "c" word and nicknames for private parts "Boys have a penis girls have a vagina..." Kindergarten cop... k I'm done ranting but I absolutely love this post do not delete it!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha, thanks Vanessa!

      You're right - the inner goddess thing was SO annoying!

      Delete
  10. "And if you can GET that many words out during sex, someone is doing something wrong."
    ROFL xD

    Love this post!
    (I hate the 'C' word, too. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Too funny! I've pretty much only written one sex scene, but there wasn't a whole lot of dialogue. Why do people need to talk so much?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't know - it's really odd! I think some talking is okay, but often it becomes way too much.

      Delete
  12. Hahahaha! And this is why I stick to clean romance! I'm not a big fan of any of this. But you made a hilarious post about it! :)

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh so, so funny and I couldn't agree more. Writing dialogue for a sex scene is hard (heheeh) because it's gotta be quick, and dirty, and sexy. Anne Rice writes some pretty good sex scenes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anne Rice is a genius! But yes, sex scenes are really challenging to write.

      Delete
  14. I hate the word "lave" when used in the context of oral sex. The word was obsolete thirty years ago, and even then it means "wash." Whenever I see it I'm totally thrown out of the story.

    ReplyDelete
  15. On the other hand, people should definitely talk during sex. But what should be said are things like, "Do you like this? How about this?" and "More like that please," and "Faster!" or "Slower!" or "Not so hard!" or "HARDER!" and things like that.

    Things like that make sex better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree, talking is okay, as long as it doesn't get too much. :D

      Delete
  16. LOL. It would be especially bad if a character said it all. "I'm coming, wet baby."

    ReplyDelete
  17. Great post. Suspect I'm guilty of some of the above... Ha!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hee hee, you're definitely not alone!

      Delete
  18. HAH! This is why I heart you. :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Ha! It's not just the overuse of certain words but the use of words that aren't normal for the character (or author) One I see a lot of that always makes me squirm is 'laves' as in 'he laves her mounds with his tongue' How unnatural and un-sexy is that?

    ReplyDelete
  20. I'm pretty sure I could never write a scene like this, so I give anyone props who can write a good one. But yeah, I can see how reading these things (or anything for that matter) over and over and over again would just get old.

    Great post Kyra!

    ReplyDelete
  21. "Baby" just sounds weird, like someone's hamming it up for the camera. And, seeing that we use it as a joke around here, it comes across as just a little silly.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Agreed. It feels forced to me, like they are trying to sound like they're starring in a porno!

      Delete
  22. This was hilarious! Love the rhino :-)

    ReplyDelete
  23. Oh my gosh Kyra, I'm dying over here!! This post made me crack up and nod my head up and down in agreement. I completely agree with you on all these over used terms. Although, I am probably the one person alive who could eat lasagna everyday and not get sick of it....but I digress. LOL

    The "C" word!! Gah. For some reason, no matter how old I get, the use of it always makes me cringe. It's just not appropriate. Ever.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Tee hee hee :D Baha, I am laughing so hard, and I shouldn't be, because, um, I'm at work...but this is hilarious!

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, With Joy)

    ReplyDelete
  25. I'm with you Kyra!! Oh that C word just makes my skin crawl. A good sex scene is so hard to write. It's easy to make them dirty, it's tough to make them sensuous. You want good sex (baby)? Read the weekend at the ocean scenes in the Thornbirds. (At least when I was 16 I was thrilled)
    I usually gloss over the sex scenes unless they are very impressive. There are only so many ways to skin a cat, or strip a couple.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true! Sex is one of the most challenging things to write.

      Delete
  26. Now I want to start reading erotica just so I can laugh with the use of those words :-)

    ReplyDelete
  27. Awesome post! I feel the same way about those bits. I also roll my eyes at common descriptions of a man's twig and berries. "Velvet over steel" makes me laugh so hard!

    ReplyDelete
  28. I must admit I don't read erotica. Your post made me giggle and blush ;)

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hilarious. You're dead right, Kyra. It's very hard to write erotic fiction. I try to avoid it, myself. We had erotic fiction as a topic at our writers' group once and only about three of us, blushing madly, had the nerve to read out what we'd written.
    Love the twig and berries. Maybe we should write erotic comic fiction.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hilarious. It's very hard (!) to write erotic fiction, so I avoid it, myself. We once had it (!) as a topic at our writing group and only three of us, blushing madly, had the guts to read out what we'd written. Love the twig and berries. Maybe we should write comic erotic fiction?

    ReplyDelete