How to take the Smolder Out of Smut: the Top 10 Words and Phrases NOT to Use When Writing Lemons by Kassiah
AN: After being totally shocked at being asked to write for Smut University, I was prepared with a different topic when my amazing friend, Erin (les16), suggested this one. As soon as she said it, all I could think was “yes . . . yes! Why didn’t I think of that?” I did a quick Twitter poll and found that this is actually a topic that needs to be addressed. So, thanks to her for the idea. Thanks also to HeatherDawn for this awesome graphic, to Caren for being a famazing gif-tracker, and to MrsAC for looking over this for me–possibly repeatedly.
Get it out of your system. Write a lemon using as many of the words and phrases on this list as you can. Anytime you feel tempted to call his dick a “quivering member coated in the creme of her arousal,” you can come back to your homework, realize it’s ridiculous, and stay strong in your writing.
Article: So many of us are guilty in using less-than steamy words and phrases at some point or another when writing smut. You know the readers have read a thousand lemons and in an effort to make yours “unique”, you start . . . describing things. Sometimes, I honestly wonder where the hell some of these words even come from. I mean, really–why in the name of rob would you want to describe Edward’s cock as “dripping”?
Smut University students, after having been under the excellent tutelage of some of the hottest writers/professors, I feel that you have honed your skills and will make excellent use of the tips and tricks you’ve learned. So, let’s close out your Smut U semester with the Top 10 Words and Phrases that you shouldn’tuse in order to keep your lemons libidinous.
This isn’t a real trigger for most people, but it does conjure up some quite unpleasant associations, including images of half-eaten apples (ew) or an Earth science lesson.
Mac said it best:
- It sounds like an apple core…or the core of a battery. Ramming a love rod into a dripping core (and they always seem to be dripping — don’t these women frequent the gynecologist for good vaginal health?) is not sexy in the slightest. Rather, it sounds like a hostile invasion involving…well, fruit. Who wants that?
9. Creamy/Cream (or Creme) of Arousal
“The cream/creme of her arousal coated his hard shaft.”
Um. No. Please no.
Unless you’re using “cream” in this case (or for dessert), it’s best to avoid it:
Follow ltlerthqak’s advice:
- This seems to be a big one in Harry Potter fics. I mean really–if you’re COATING someone with something creamy, you should really go see a doctor like STAT If you’re mature enough to have the sex, you’re mature enough to take proper care of the equipment.Gah, now I need to go take a shower or something. Yuck.
8. Hole (includes puckered hole, gaping hole ::gag::)
Do I really need to explain this?
7. Penis, Vagina, Labia
Sure, it’s the technical terms. But technical terms aren’t sexy. Unless your character would think about things in such absolute scientific terms or unless you’re portraying naughty Dr. C, it’s best to avoid them.
6. Tongues battling for dominance
Tongues do not battle for dominance. Do they?!? Hopefully, they do this:
5. Shaft (including Member, Rod, and Length)
Awhile back, Katinki posted an article with things to consider when writing a male-POV in which she requested: “PLEASE do not have your male call his cock something stupid.” Guys don’t think like that, and really, neither do girls.
Unless you’re talking about this stone-cold mofo, find a different word. To quote the fabulous Jenny,
- Just call it what it is! Penis, dick, cock, whatever. Erection always makes think of a building. Also, member annoys me too. Member of what? A club, parliament? Erect member – ewww
4. Dripping (Exploding, Gushing, Weeping) Cores/Vaginas/Entrances/Pussies
Oh, rob. Don’t even get me started on this. Whether it’s a leaky faucet, a geyser, or a zit (omg ew), the thought of this does not get me hot. At all. If something’s that wet, you should swim in it. Or get it checked out by a doctor. Immediately.
You might know that I am slightly obsessed with an Edward that drinks Orange Juice. If it’s not that kind of juice, I don’t want to read about it. I’m pretty sure no one else does, either.
2. Cunt (same goes for Twat)
Unless you’re referring to someone, like Skanktoria, being a “flaming cunt,” don’t use this word.
Overwhelmingly the number one word on my twitter poll, “moist” seems to squick everyone out. Everyone hates it:
Just take that out of your vocabulary. Moistness in fic has ruined cake for all of us.
Bonus of Ick.
Though these words didn’t make the top ten, they should be avoided if possible:
- Bundle of Nerves
- Cum instead of Come
- anything that’s “Misted with Honey”
I tried to come up with something clever to say to end your semester with a “bang”, but I think the uber-talented solareclipses summed it up perfectly in herlesson:
- A good rule of thumb beyond knowing your characters and story really well? Go light on the adjectives and be aware of the nouns you’re using to describe those girl and boy bits.
There may be instances in which it is acceptable and necessary to use some of these terms (but never “moist” lol). Just know your characters and their bodies–don’t try to add a bunch of superfluous text to take the place of what’s going on. I have faith in you and know you’ll do us proud!
Vive le smut!