Grabbing Word Choice by the Bits – Erotica or Erotic Romance?

Yes, erotica and erotic romance are booming literary fonts right now, but how many readers are aware of the challenge authors face in determining what to call what?

A lot of care goes into how a writer references “down under” (I just made myself giggle.).  But seriously, we each have word preferences for how we react to smut, indicating shades of modesty (implying, also, lack thereof), cultural recognition, and deep, sensual arousal. Words matter, yet it’s really challenging to find the right words to suit the style, characters, voice, and setting for a piece. No pun.

I mean, a bravely placed “twat” as opposed to gently penned “folds” can make or break a sex scene for a lot of readers.  Likewise a “throbbing cock” isn’t necessarily a “hard, fat prick.”

Figuren  Photo by Michael Möller, courtesy of Wikki Commons, Fierce DolanThere are no guidelines for regional referencing, though we all know what arouses our personal zones and what pushes taboo buttons. Sexiness aside, consider for a second, the literal, systematic writing of a sex scene:

If we repeat the same word throughout, it becomes mechanical, thus our writing skills (not to mention general literary cred) are judged. There are only so many times you can say “cock” or “cunt” and either remain arousing.

Using a different word each time or in some peppered pattern reads scattershot.

Likewise, readers of erotic romance are more likely to be enthralled with a”probing member” than lovers of erotica, who are ready to receive the direct “deep dicking.”

Many erotica readers tweak from a “tight snatch,” and are completely turned off by a “sweet sex,” terminology more suited to the romantic interlude.

So you see, aside from the ability to structure intense plot and paint personable characters, restrained and blatant word choice are art all their own.

The thing is, readers do notice the difference, and that’s what distinguishes their craving for either erotica or erotic romance. Some readers like both, though most that I interact with definitely favor one over the other.

Also, after talking with some amazing FB friends (thank you loves!), there is a general consensus that it’s easier to write about masculine bits than it is feminine, and that the terminology used to describe boy junk is most often sexier and free of character judgment, where that of the pussy persuasion usually originated from a sexist, misogynistic slur. I challenge you to find a widely known slang term for ‘vagina’ that wasn’t originally a sexist slur or a fluffy animal. The first person to comment with such an entity wins a free ebook of Gigolo Seduction (18 or older only, please).

Which camp do you fall into–erotica or erotic romance? Is a prick a knob? Can a tender twat still be a hungry little slit? What names for genitalia turn you on? How much does the context around them soothe the bit delivery?


4 thoughts on “Grabbing Word Choice by the Bits – Erotica or Erotic Romance?

    1. I like that, too, and I find it straddles erotica and erotic romance very smoothly.
      Thanks Margaret!

  1. I’m definitely an erotic romance reader — I still want my happily ever after ending that is missing in erotica.

    Your post shows the importance of words — as Mark Twain said, the right word and the almost right word are like lightning bug and lightning. (Paraphrased)


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