Wednesday, October 2, 2013
Posted by Liane Gentry Skye
So what the va-jay-jay is with all the euphemisms thrown about in erotic literature? It's not that we don't all use them. It's how they are used in writing that drives me batty, because very often they leave me laughing instead of turned on. Sometimes, a euphemism will even piss me off, making me wonder if the hero or heroine's psychosexual development stalled during middle school. Recently, after reading a passage that read more like a geometry lesson in bisecting angles than erotic lit, it dawned on me that when euphemisms don't work, the problem typically boils down to one of two things. Stiff (pardon the pun) purple prose that's trying too hard, or a lack of grasp on deep (ha, another pun!)point of view. The first, an easy fix with a hard edit. But POV euphemism glitches are more subtle.
POV? Seriously, Liane.
Yeppers.Stone cold. Think about it. Say we're in a dude's POV. I doubt during the heat of passion he's going to refer to his tool as a purple-headed womb ferret.But while slinging back brewsky's with his buds? Hell yeah. The point? His take on his apparatus is going to be completely colored by where he is and what he's doing. And trust me, in the heat of passion the most you might get out of a dude's POV is Aw, fuck man, that feels gooood.
For the girls, it's a bit more subtle. We're seldom raised to refer to our vagina as such during daily conversation. God forbid we utter the word clitoris outside of the doctor's office. Instead, we've been conditioned to give our vagina's cute little names. But even women are creatures of context. During the heat of passion have you ever given flowery names to your girl parts, or did you instead focus more on the sensations? Later, when rehashing the deed to a bestie? A euphemism might be appropriate because it's the only thing that saves the tale from TMI.
Certainly there are exceptions and authors who weave euphemisms seamlessly into their prose. But if your eye keeps stopping on what you believe is a wildly original euphemism, it might be time to consider it in terms of POV. A man's take on a girl's parts and vice versa will never look or sound the same. POV matters.