Welcome to Monday, and the new blog posting schedule. In personal news I finished the third draft of the paranormal romance today. An end to revisions are in sight and the revision process is getting less and less scary as I learn to trust it. So Yay! :)
On to today's blog topic:
Writing romance and reading it, I come across a lot of horrifying sexual euphemisms. I'm thrilled to find that a lot of current romance novels are getting less embarrassed about sex and are more willing to write about it honestly. But there are still those that make me cringe.
I've spent a lot of time trying to determine why people insist on writing sex with euphemisms. If you have a hard time saying "cock" or "pussy" or don't want your novel to be that graphic, fine. Say: "He thrust into her." or "He slid into her." There. Simple and not squicky. Cause when I read sex unless it's a case of a joke between lovers, I really shouldn't be laughing through it. The euphemisms kill it for me.
If sex is written out, why is it being written out? I understand that romance is not erotica. Erotica is meant to physically turn the reader on. And I write a little of that too. Still, if you choose to write sex, rather than just alluding to it, isn't arousal a natural response? Doesn't it reflect a culture that is still deeply ashamed of sex no matter how much they "act out" when arousal is separated from it? It's okay for it to happen as long as you don't like it too much? Let's keep that puritanical guilt rolling merrily along.
When a writer writes a sad scene, the highest reader response is crying. When a writer writes something funny, the highest reader response is laughter. When a scene is intense or scary, a bit of pulse racing is in order. So why then should so many writers shy away from writing sex that creates arousal, when they aren't afraid for the reader to feel everything else?
If you don't want to write the sex, fine. Let it happen off screen. And maybe the sex scene is meant to be romantic or convey something more emotional. Maybe it isn't meant to arouse. Fine again. But euphemisms still make no sense.
To me, flowery euphemisms for sexual acts are a way to shy away from the material. It says to the public: "I'm not really that comfortable writing this." So don't. Please for the love of God don't write it and kill it with euphemistic phrasing.
Perhaps also it's a case of various publishers/lines wanting different things, but I don't think I would ever write for a line that required me to write sex with silly names and phrases for anatomy. Because to me it's not a sign of sexual maturity, nor it is a sign of emotional honesty. When I write, that's the most honest thing you'll ever get from me.
I'm not going to hide from it to write about a throbbing pulsing member of love.