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The Naked Page

Author Jamie Sobrato's Diary

12.01.2005

The Six-Inch Sirloin

Bethany will pay for saying I eat like a pig. Let's talk sirloin, shall we?

(Okay, but first I have to give credit where credit is due. Bethany has been my best friend since we were high school girls with bad hair and vaguely trashy fashion sense and is probably one of the few reasons I even survived high school. Plus she wrote epic 3000-page vampire novels at the age of 16 and inspired me to think, "Hey, maybe I don't need to wait until I'm 50 to become a writer. Maybe I could do it, like, now!" She will soon be appearing on major bestseller lists, I'm sure, based on her more recent, less-epic literary efforts.)

But let's get back to this sirloin thing, now that we all know who Bethany is. Funny as it would be to have an in depth Freudian discussion about why she might slip up and order a "six-inch sirloin" instead of a "six-OUNCE" one, while her well-endowed waiter is hovering penis-at-table-level next to her, the phrase six-inch sirloin actually makes me want to have a discussion of all the silly euphemisms writers use to describe body parts in fiction.

Throbbing staff of manhood, anyone? Rigid spear of pleasure? Tunnel of womanhood? Or maybe "her velvety flower?" Bleh. I actually get nauseous typing that flower one.

What's the worst sexual euphemism you've read or heard? Which ones are like nails on a chalkboard for you? Which ones do you actually, secretly, like (if you dare to admit it)?

I really prefer to call a cock a cock and a pussy a pussy (oh boy I'm going to get some good blog spam for that line) and all those sexual acts by what they are really called in everyday life, but that doesn't work for everyone. Some people are, surprise, surprise, offended by such talk! Imagine that. Heh.

Shakespeare, I believe, once called sex "making the beast with two backs." Wow, if that doesn't make it sound un-sexy, I don't know what does.

I try to keep it simple, because unless the scene is intentionally funny, I don't want anyone giggling through my sex scenes. I think I'm going to HAVE to throw in that rather brilliant six-inch-sirloin line in my next book though.

41 Comments:

At 4:53 PM, Anonymous melissa said...

You know, I read one a while back that almost made me hurl, and naturally I can't remember it now. But I'm fairly certain it involved a "dewy" flower.

I find it amusing that people get offended by the language in romance novel love scenes. I mean, really, nobody in their right mind would be in bed thinking, "Oh, God! I hope he puts his rod of manhood in my liquid core!"

So you see, next time anybody complains, you can tell them it's really an exercise in proper POV. :-)

 
At 5:00 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Rod of manhood in my liquid core... dewy flower...LOL, lovely Melissa! Those ARE pretty bad. I think I've seen that liquid core one before.

I do occasionally find myself straining to think of some alternate word for one thing or another just to avoid repetition.

And there are only so many times you can say "pussy" in a book for women. Some women really hate that word, so I usually only use it when the hero is thinking or talking.

 
At 5:12 PM, Anonymous melissa said...

Yeah that's not my favorite, and I find it really unfair to us writers that there are hardly any words out there for woman parts that don't sound like porn. You can make a fairly tame list for a man, but there just isn't much out there for women. Which is why we must resort to flowery euphemisms.

 
At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Bethany said...

Well I don't read that much romance (except yours of course) but I read something that had the phrase nether lips in it, the nether lips kept getting parted and stuff. That really freaks me out. Maybe that's a common term and I didn't know it?

I always tell my students, there are no such things as bad words, just innapropriate words and innaptropriate times to use certain words. They like this philosophy a great deal.

Whose clothes are you calling trashy and whose hair are you calling big? I'm going back to work tomorrow so don't expect all these great sirloin stories (maybe during planning period) now I MUST grade some papers. . . urgh

 
At 5:31 PM, Anonymous bethany said...

Oh wait you said bad hair, where did I get big? You were the one with big hair. Must grade papers must grade papers

 
At 5:55 PM, Anonymous melissa said...

NETHER LIPS??!?

OMG!

Okay, I really REALLY have to write now. Really. I'm banned from internet until I get some work done.

 
At 5:59 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Melissa, you took the words right out of my mouth, but I still have to say it: NETHER LIPS?!?!? That is the best worst euphemism. I know I've read it too.

Calling anything "nether lips" is just wrong. WRONG WRONG WRONG! And continually parting them is even more wrong.

 
At 7:50 PM, Anonymous bethany said...

I heard a reference to that beast with two backs thing on American Dad the other night, didn't remember it was Shakespeare, so much for my college education.

I'm going to have to find the nether lips book now, I'll be scouring sex scenes in every book I own.

 
At 8:54 PM, Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

"Beast with two backs" is from Othello, my favourite Shakespeare play (probably because every year in high school, the teacher was sick of teaching MacBeth, so chose Othello instead - I never did study MacBeth, and I have an English degree!)

I really don't like "tits." It reminds me of milking a cow. Give me boobs any day.

Cindy

 
At 9:21 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Bethany! How could you have forgotten that we learned about making the beast with two backs in Mr. Schuler's English class in high school!? LOL. That might be the only thing I learned in high school.

Then in college Shakespeare, I learned that EVERYTHING Shakespeare wrote was about sex. Or at least that's all I remember from the class. I have this whole journal of words in his plays that are actually words with "sex" as a double meaning. Like the word "nothing," for instance. So Much Ado About Nothing should be called Much Ado About Sex.

 
At 9:25 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Melissa, I agree there are few good words for girl parts. I'm not sure if I can think of any, actually.

A writer friend I know has a story about how a copy editor who worked on her book didn't know what a clit was. Pretty funny. That is such an inadequate word though, but what else do you call it? A rosy bud of pleasure? Gag.

I prefer just to verge on sounding like porn rather than verge on sounding like I think women parts are equivalent to flowers. I googled my name once and found someone talking on a blog in a positive way about how my books read like porn, and I was actually oddly flattered, LOL.

 
At 9:29 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Bethany, I'm sorry we may lose you to your, ahem, JOB and stuff. How dare you do something selfish like go teach kids or take care of your family. You've only been here for a day! You can't leave.

Anyway, I will admit I was the one with the trashy clothes, and your hair was better than mine except for that unfortunate assymetrical phase you went through. My hair was not big! It was just kind of...wide...for a while, or something. I NEVER had big bangs though. Never!

 
At 9:41 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

I can't write romance, if I feel too much pressure to write a sex scene I'll crack. I don't like the word "tits" either. It does sound like "teats," which might be the reason it sounds so wrong.

I think I'd rather read a sex scene that reads like porn than some hokey scene where the man says a whole bunch of flowery nonsense that no real man would utter.

 
At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Cindy Procter-King said...

Jamie,

You had a warped history professor. I took a whole year of fourth year Shakespeare and don't recall the sex theory at all.

Cindy

 
At 10:24 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

Cindy, it's true! My Shakespeare professor had devote her whole career to studying his work, and I did take copious notes on all the sex references. In fact, that might be the only thing I ever dutifully took notes on in college.

All the double entendre's built into his plays are, I suppose, one of those devices he probably used to appeal to both his high-brow and low-brow audiences. Everyone could appreciate the sex stuff.

I'll see if I can find my notes easily and try to list some more of the words that are referring to sex. Oh, off the top of my head, I do remember that death equals sex, I believe.

 
At 10:27 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

I think I probably use "tits" occasionally when writing in the male point of view, but I can't remember for sure. I don't mind it. I do really like the raw way guys talk about sex, so I do enjoy writing it from the male point of view.

I think the word "boobs" sounds silly, like something a kid would say. Or Cindy. It is a total Cindy word, LOL!

I guess I probably just call them breasts most of the time, but that sounds a little clinical and stilted to me. So yet again, it comes down to, no perfect words for girl parts!

 
At 10:40 AM, Anonymous Theresa said...

Have you heard the Black Eyed Pea's song "My Lumps?" Maybe I'll start calling my girl parts my "little lady lumps" the way they're called in the song.

 
At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Theresa said...

Or maybe I have the song wrong, maybe it's called "My Humps" Arrrrrrg, I'll go check Amazon and see. I do know she says "little lady lumps" in the song though.

 
At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Theresa said...

I was right the second time, the song is "My Humps"

 
At 10:46 AM, Anonymous Theresa said...

Hmmmmmmm. I tried to put in a link with the title so you could hear it, but it didn't work. Maybe this will work.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00096S3RC/qid=1133548955/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/102-0623246-3508933?v=glance&s=music

 
At 11:33 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

I know that song ALL TOO WELL! It won't leave my head. I really really hate it. You are right on both counts, she says "my humps" and "my lovely lady lumps" repeatedly, over and over, until I want to drive my car off a bridge.

Don't get me wrong, the sound of the song is cool, and I like the style, but the actually lyrics are unbearably grating to me.

Humps and lumps, to me, don't do the girl parts justice either.

 
At 1:02 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

I heard the song the other night and I couldn't get to sleep because the lyrics kept going around in my head; driving me nuts!

But I thought it was funny, and fitting with the topic of this thread.

 
At 1:14 PM, Anonymous melissa said...

There are references to both humps and lumps, and the song just plain reeks. I can't believe people actually get paid for stuff like that when they could be... writing about breasts. Among other things. :-)

 
At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

It's funny, women seem to universally not like the song, but my husband and his friend's think it's great. Personally, I think men like anything that refers to any part of a woman's body, regardless of the language.

 
At 1:35 PM, Anonymous bethany said...

Jamie,

You never had big bangs, that is a fact, and your larger hair was naturally curly and much better than most people's early nineties hair.

I think that any word that is used with conviction/passion is okay. It's the goofy funny words and the ones no one would really say that sound so stupid.

 
At 1:49 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

I think that any word that is used with conviction/passion is okay. It's the goofy funny words and the ones no one would really say that sound so stupid.



That's a good point. A good writer could probably make anything sound good as long as it's convincing; if it's not believable, then you didn't really buy into the characters in the first place.

 
At 8:23 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Bethany, I think you cut to the core of the issue with that idea about if you couldn't picture someone saying it in real life, don't use it. Nether lips definitely fails that test!

I agree any word works if it fits the person using it. So yeah, there are actually certain characters I could imagine thinking or talking about their private parts as flowers and such, but I would only use them in a comedy, LOL.

 
At 6:39 AM, Anonymous Sherry said...

For me, "jaded shaft" is the that makes me gag...oh wait, it also dates me back to the days when romance novels didn't have any good sex scenes in them.

 
At 7:46 AM, Blogger Jamie said...

I wonder what a "jaded shaft" even is? A penis that's world-weary from too much action? LOL

 
At 12:27 PM, Anonymous bethany said...

Maybe it's green? The jaded shaft

Is this the Sherry I know, because I want to clarify something that I said in the last post. It was a comment that even though Jamie is tall I know she still has to struggle to keep a perfect weight/ body. I was thinking about one time when we speculated that my father in law and Jamie's papaw were the same person minus the mopeds. But then I thought, OMG, being a woman Sherry will think that is about her because we are all (meaning women) body conscious and insane) and I proceeded to feel awful.

If this is a different Sherry then ignore the ramble, and lets talk about how Jamie's next book could be called the Jaded Shaft. What would the plot of this book be like?

 
At 2:00 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

Poor Jamie, getting all the flak for being the disciplined one of the bunch. As far as being body conscious and insane, I plead guilty.

"The Jaded Shaft" I can see it now. The bachelor who has come to regret his tomcat ways when he meets the perfect woman who won't have him because of his sordid past. Gee, you don't think that one's been done before do you?

This is why I don't do romance, I'm way to pedestrian in my romantic notions.

Ok, what if we do it from the "shafts" point of view? Do you think that would sell? Is it possible for a shaft to become jaded?

 
At 3:10 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

Jamie

This is off topic, but did you get my link to Angelyne's website? I'm going to try to get the link to work again, but if it doesn't work it's just angelyne.com. I don't know if you'll ever use her in a story, but she is kind of quintisential West Hollywood, so you should check her out.

 
At 3:11 PM, Anonymous Theresa said...

Cooooooool, I figured out how to get the link to work! I'm feeling pretty special right now.

 
At 3:40 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Wow, that Angelyne chick is wacked, Theresa. It must be hard to age when you set up that particular image for yourself, LOL.

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

You know, the jaded shaft thing sounds like some kind of archaological find. An ancient golden penis embellished with jade. Some kind of fertility charm for the wealthy.

So rather than taking the romance novel angle, I think I'd have to go all Indiana Jones on The Jaded Shaft. A male action adventure novel!

 
At 3:44 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Bethany, Sherry is probably my mom, yes, LOL. She does post here sometimes. Hi Mom! Gotta love these penis discussions.

 
At 3:46 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

And she has been reading romance since back in the day when the hero always raped the virgin heroine (but she learned to like it), bosoms heaved, silk dresses were ripped off, and the villains always wanted to have kinky sex with the heroine. Oh, wait, that just described my last book...

Kidding! I'm kidding!

 
At 3:48 PM, Anonymous bethany said...

Damn, I had the whole plot for the jaded shaft worked out in my head- it was to be a reality game show, and the first person who can return the jaded shaft to it's previous state of non-jaded manly-erectedness wins a million dollars.
The heroine would be a good girl fallen upon hard times (no pun intended). Who cannot bring herself to say penis so she uses terrible euphimisms.

But then there was the story from the shafts point of view, that is soooo much better. What if you didn't know it was a shaft until like page 47, it just told you where it was going and what it was doing in an oh so J.D. Salinger sort of voice. I would read that.

 
At 9:30 PM, Blogger Jamie said...

Please continue all discussions of the Jaded Shaft movie, reality show, work of literary fiction, and 3-D computer game to the front thread, aptly titled The Jaded Shaft.

 
At 10:09 PM, Anonymous J-me Elle said...

I sometimes have heard guys say things such as "I bet I can knock that damn little man out of that boat." "I think I'll lick her clit.

 
At 10:12 PM, Anonymous J-me Elle said...

Breastesses is a term that has become very common locally.

 

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