Category Archives: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

Discussion on acceptable words used for genitalia, sex and sex acts with the erotic romance genre.

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

As an author of erotic fiction, you will soon discover that the words you use most, those that describe genitalia, sex and sex acts begin to seem redundant. Unfortunately, you will also soon discover that there are very few “good” word choices. There are lots of “bad” choices and an almost unlimited number of “ugly” word choices. Reaching for your thesaurus or even on line thesauri rarely helps. Scanning your favorite novels helps a little, but you still find yourself disappointed in the number of available words you can actually use. For that reason, I wanted to start this discussion with the hopes that we, as a writing community, can find the maximum number of “good” words we can use, determine when they should be used and hopefully, avoid the “bad” and “ugly” all together.


Euphemisms: You can always reach for these. However, they have their place and can easily be overused, becoming boring for the reader.¬† More importantly, when describing a sex scene, editors don’t want euphemism. They want absolutely clear sex. That being said, they can be used in between sex so that your “go to” words are reserved for more explicit scenes.

When off the cuff as innuendo: “You never get tired of my cushion though, do you?” or, “Someone better be filling my well soon…”

When you want to hint: “You’ll get your dessert soon. I expect you to eat it slowly.”

The character trying to sound naive: “He touched…. You know… Down there.”


Vagina: One of the truly great words. Not only do more than 50% of the people on the planet have one, there is no possible misunderstanding regarding what you are talking about. However, although it is descriptive, it can be very clinical sounding and difficult to make it “sound” sexy. I have tried to use it sparingly to break up to frequent use of the word “pussy”.

There is no substitute for vagina in a clinical setting. That is the only word a doctor will use. “I’m afraid your vagina wasn’t meant to do that.” or “I have to insert this in your vagina in order to see what is really going on.”

The naive again, she doesn’t have any other words for it: “You mean in my… Vagina?”

I love it for expletives: “You want to put that inside my vagina? Are you out of your mind?”

Of course it can be sexy too: His lips lingered on her clit before moving on to the world’s most succulent¬† vagina.


Pussy: Hands down, the single best word in erotic romance for the female genitalia. It’s hard and works well in sex scenes but it can also be soft and easy to make it sound sexy. As a man, I can tell you, it’s sexy as hell when a woman uses it.

Her: “You want my sweet pussy don’t you?”

Him: “I am going to take that tight little pussy apart.”

Sexy: “Her succulent pussy was the portrait of pleasure.”

Derogatory: “He’s a little pussy.” or “I wouldn’t touch your pussy if you paid me.”

You get the picture.