It’s a Friday, I didn’t have that much to do and didn’t feel like working, so I was being a bad worker bee earlier and doing a bit of blog hopping. I was reading AztecLady’s review of a book wherein she says how much she dislikes the c***t word in a romance. And it got me thinking - not about work but about something else.
I know this word and the male c***k version bothers a lot of readers. I admit it can pull me out of a story too sometimes. If I see these while reading along in a historical, it just jars. But along the same path, if I’m reading along in a harder edged Paranormal or Romantic Suspense and I come along the euphemistic love channel or pot ‘o honey and//or manhood, root of pleasure or any of those descriptions that make us roll our eyes or chuckle in horror, that’s almost worse.
While there is a number of less the purple prose type words we can call the male lurve tool, there just aren’t as many for female’s pleasure chest. Think about it – how many words are there really.
While Sex and the City and The Vagina Monologue have made it possible to stand and proudly declare “I have a Vagina and I’m Proud of it!” First off, it’s too long a word with too many syllables; the word doesn’t really work to well in a romance and it’s a bit too clinical and Grade 7 health class sounding. I just can’t imagine an alpha hero whispering heatedly into the heroines ears “I want to put my penis in your vagina – now!” Whereas if it’s a more earthy kind of book it just seems to work better if the same alpha hero whispers gutturally “I need to fill your c***t with my c#*#k – Now!”
See – one works much better than the other. And keep in mind that not so very long ago I was a reader of kisses only books and my sisters thought I was the prude of the family.
But for many readers if that one doesn’t work, what else could one use?
Pussy. I don’t know about others but that one doesn’t work for me well at all. I remember a particular Laura Kinsale book where the hero is trying to get the heroine to issue a certain phrase. Finally she does – ‘will you please pet my pussy’? That pulled me so out of the story I remember it years later – My Sweet Folly. So that word is out for me. I can’t help but think cat.
What other ones do we have?
Beaver: I’m Canadian – that’s just wrong
Box: Ah, no!
Loins: I just noticed an email in my junk folder with an offer to set her loins on fire. But that is a bit vague I think. In addition, it’s not a mutually exclusive term – it’s a more gender neutral kind of term.
Hoohaw: I think that might be a local term we women just use amongst ourselves – can’t really see a surly damaged alpha hero using that expression.
I’m sure there are many other terms and or expression but I can’t really think of any that readers all over the world will recognize for what they are.
So – if you are one of those who are bothered by this term in a contemporary or RS, what term/word do you think would make a good substitute?