How do you refer to sex organs when talking to your close friends? What about when you’re talking with your partner? Do you use the same words with your friends that you use to get your partner in the mood?


I’ve been struggling for several months trying to decide which words the characters in my novel will use. There are several options, but it has to be just right. I have to consider the period of time in which the story takes place, as well as the personalities of my characters. Words used in a historical romance, for instance, will probably be different than words used in a contemporary romance. Would my main character refer to her sex as a “love cave” or “honey pot”? Would she refer to her boyfriend’s penis as his “manhood”? His “member”? One of my critiquers pointed out to me that I need to decide exactly which words I’m going to use. She reminded me that my main character is no Victorian Miss.  She wouldn’t send a sexy text message to her guy that reads, “My quivering love mound has been aching for your throbbing member.” My characters just don’t talk like that. They’re in their twenties and they’re in the Navy for goodness sakes!  And let’s face it, when they’re actually in the bedroom, whispering erotic words to each other, the words, “vagina” and “penis” just aren’t sexy. I don’t use c**k, d***, p****, c**t, or even a**. I’m not judging anyone who uses such words in their ordinary language. It’s just not my style. They hurt my eyes as well as my ears. Since those words don’t come naturally to me, I didn’t plan on using them in my novel. But just because the sound of the word p**** makes me cringe does not mean my characters can’t use it. After all, they are younger and hipper than I am. I posted a question in a group forum on a writing website. Many responded that they use p**** when being intimate with their partners but found c**t to be too derogatory. Many of the men said they use c**k with their partners because it felt sexier to them. About a week ago – several months after beginning work on my novel – I realized why the thought of using those words in my novel was such a turn off for me. When my book is published, I’m pretty sure I’m going to go right to my mother’s house and say’ “Mommy, Mommy, look what I did!” I feel like it will be a huge disrespect to my mother if I present my novel to her with those words laced throughout.


When I told my mother what I’m writing and that there will be content that’s inappropriate for her to see she implied that she would read it and then spank me. But there isn’t just my characters to consider, I also have to consider my audience. I want my readers to devour my book, and when they get to the racy parts, I want them to be fanning themselves while they read (or whatever else they choose to do to themselves while they read). So after many months agonizing over which words to use, I’ve decided to let my characters speak in the way that is natural to them. If it’s feasible, I’ll consider having a few copies of a PG-13 version of my book available for my mother, they younger kids in my family and anyone else who may be offended by those naughty words.


About Sha Renée

Sha Renée is a native New Yorker who joined the US Navy right after high school. She now lives in New Jersey where she creates stories on the pages where duty, honor and passion unite. Sha loves meeting people and attends book-signing events and conferences whenever she can. She also enjoys networking with other writers and is a member of RomVets (military women and veterans who are writers), Liberty States Fiction Writers and Marketing for Romance Writers. She is also the creator and organizer of Emerging Authors of New Jersey. A true nature lover, Sha enjoys spending time outdoors, usually with a camera in her hands. She has a passion for motorcycles and sports cars and is a fan of auto racing, military air shows and The X Games – pretty much any high-speed activity involving wheels or wings. She hates cooking, loves music and believes every day should include a cup of hot coffee and a glass of chilled wine.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. eleganceinwords says:

    The content will drive the audience, I know that’s a no-brainer comment, but that’s what I would rely upon. Take care.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. eleganceinwords says:

    It is an interesting argument. When I first began writing erotica I was torn between writing what I thought people wanted to hear, and how I generally speak myself. I found that when I went with what I felt would suggest the specific ideas I meant, that using less profanity could be more enticing. Some people will like it and other’s not – you simply have to go with what you want. Good Luck!


    • Sha Rinay says:

      Thanks for your comment. Yes, it is a difficult part of writing. I feel like whichever way I choose to write, there will undoubtedly be some who don’t like it. But hopefully there will be many more who do.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.