I am deep into writing another historical romance (the other? The Fire, but surely you know that by now, ok, it’s actually historical erotic romance). But this isn't what my blog is about today. It's about penises.

Manroot. Cock. Dick. Manhood. Shaft. Wiener. Baloney Pony. Dinky. Bone Phone.

Although the list is not endless, it is vast. Let’s not get distracted. I'm here to discuss my latest favourite cage match.

Dick vs. Cock One of the reasons I love to write historical is a) I love the potential for opulence in historicals and b) I hate constantly having to find plausible variations for penis and vagina.

While musing, yesterday, synonyms for Sir Whatshisname’s schwinghammer I realized that women just don’t say the word “dick”. We might call someone a “dick” but we don’t generally refer to a tallywhacker as a “dick”. I took this survey to the streets.

Findings In a totally unscientific survey of random friends and family I found:
·    100% response rate from women that they don’t use “dick” to refer to a man’s Johnson.

·    100% response rate from men that they do use “dick” to refer to their winkies.

So my new question was formed: in Romance, I have never EVER seen the word “dick” used. I have seen cock. In Erotica, I did some surveying, as best I could and I found two authors who DID use “dick” (as well as “slit” which personally makes me cringe) and it made me wonder: were these authors actually men and didn’t know a woman’s secret world? Or did people beyond my reach use “dick” and I just missed it? And were these stories written for a male audience? Was I overanalyzing? Did I have too much time on my hands? I wondered, too, why words like “panties”, “slit”, and “gash” also make me cringe. I confess I’m still working on this and the topic will have to keep for another blog.

I ask for an obvious reason: I write historical but I also write romance, erotica, “erotic romance” (whatever), and I need to use cock constantly. In my last two erotica stories (published on the lovely Lady Cheeky’s site: In the Library and At the Office, I stick to cock exclusively.

Manroot, manhood, shaft, head, etc in the historical world give me some variety, however amusing, without a cringe-factor. Contemporary romance depresses me because it’s cock cock cock or, bizarrely “him” as in “she held him in her hand” or “she guided him into her passage” etc making one desperately want to open a debate of ontology vs physiology. In brief, I could choke on all the cock I write in a contemporary. I am not the type or writer to avoid writing out the sex scenes although many do, in all subgenres. Sometimes I think I know why: it’s the vocabulary.

I asked my friends which words they did use to refer to their partners’ doohickey. This is what I got back:
·    “Thing”
·    “Little Brian” (Joe, Steve.. you get the idea)
·    “Purple-veined Monster of Delight” (ok, that was mine)
·    “Cock” (said in undertones)
·    “Penis”

I asked them what they used when they talked dirty. Most of them cringed then replied:
·    “Cock”

Talking Dirty Know what else was universal? Discomfort with dirty talk. That actually didn’t surprise me. It’s called “talking dirty” for a reason. When we watch porn the dialogue can get pretty funny. I’ve seen more than my fair share and now watch it analytically more than anything.

I know several of my friends watch porn because either a) they enjoy it or b) they don’t want their partners to watch it alone. The dialogue, they tell me, is not realistic. And why should it be? It’s fantasy. Is the dialogue any more real in a so-called chick flick? Not really.

My friends tell me they simply don’t know what to say when their partners ask for dirty talk. They have little to draw on and feel almost stupid saying things like “fill me with your big dingus” or “my honey oven overflows with my desire” (ok, that’s me again). You get the idea. They feel stupid saying something which isn’t natural to them.

For some women, talking dirty is a very comfortable thing. I wonder if it has anything to do with our comfort level with just, in general, referring to our genitalia. Most of us have been raised on euphemisms. In fact, in our house (VERY Catholic) we didn’t refer to our parts at all. Not one bit. Ever. I never had “the talk” from my Mum. If it hadn’t been for Judy Blume I would have been in serious trouble. I actually had a doctor’s appointment once and gestured to my womanly bits with a downward glance and a serious of pointed head nods. No. Really. That was before therapy.

But it does mean that there are lot of us writers out there trying to decide which words to use when we write “scenes”.

Dick vs. Cock So I have come to the following conclusion, and I know there are many of you out there who will disagree: “dick” is a man’s word whereas “cock” is universal. Why “dick” doesn’t seem to be a woman’s word is beyond me except to say I prefer the word “cock” but overall, I will stick to historicals when I can so I can use my personal favourite:

Love lance

En garde!

The first six lines from my recently published novella The Coach House.

Unless there was some Tall Dark and Handsome silently breaking into women’s homes, making thoughtful and passionate love to them, then quickly disappearing, Carys had been having an erotic dream. And from a purely analytic perspective, Carys knew that some unidentified and sexually sophisticated man could not possibly have seduced her twice that night in her sleep as she lay next to her snoring but otherwise comatose fiancé. Nonetheless she rose from the bed to take a shower in the wee hours, scanning her nude body carefully in the full-length mirror behind the bathroom door but finding no love bites or any other incriminating evidence. Obviously she had been dreaming. She slipped carefully back into bed with heavily snoring Steve, whom she had not seen naked (not that either complained) in five years.

It certainly hadn’t been Steve.


So many wonderful writers participate in Six Sentence Sunday. Please find more of them here!

From my Neurotica Story: Going to the Swingers Party.

My friend Jill said it was time for a change. The problem is I have no idea what non-vanilla sex really is. I mean, I’m kind of open to new experiences intellectually but to actually go and do something about it is so beyond my cognition. I am sure it would be fun to get off my back for a change but then what? Do I really want some guy I hardly know looking at my gelatinous bum or seeing my face sag over him as I ride him, assuming my trick knee doesn't give out first? Kinda makes sense, really, to stay on your back because gravity is just so much gentler although it does drop my boobs under my armpits which is totally preventable as long as I remember to keep my arms to my sides to hold my cleavage together.

Welcome to Six Sentence Sunday. You can find links to nearly 200 writers who will be posting six sentences from their work here.  

The fantasy author (and future guest on this blog) Karen de Lange has tagged me to do the Next Best Thing Challenge. The idea is simple:

1) Answer the 10 questions below.

2) Spread the fun and tag 5 more people to participate.
(NOTE: I have only four just now as I found out my fifth is unable to participate, drat).

So, thank you Karen!

1. What is the title of your book / WIP?

Neurotica: Erotica for the Insecure

2. Where did the idea of this book come from?

Frankly, I was just having some fun one day after I had run out of ideas for a short story I was working on. I was thinking how so many of us are just so terribly self loathing and insecure, particularly when we are naked. The rest just flowed, as they say.

3. What genre would your book fall under?

Erotic comedy, if that exists. If not, it does now. Maybe instead of neurotica I should call it cumedy. Ok, pretend I didn't say that. Besides, people would think that was just a typo.

4. Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

There is nothing I would love to see more than a film of my neurotic stories. When I think of my stories, I always think of their being a British film. I love the films of Richard Curtis so much. I don't know if he appreciates that endorsement, but there you go. I don't have anyone in particular in mind, but I do know they would have to be comedians, British, and terribly good-looking without knowing it.

5. What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

I think the title says it all: erotica for the insecure.

6. Is your book published or represented?

Highly doubtful. Having said that though, don't you think it's about time someone published this genre? I mean, let's face it, most of us are neurotic to some degree. And most of us have sex, to some degree. Very few of us are comfortable in our skin. I think this insecurity is something virtually everyone can relate to at some point. Perhaps not exclusively, but we all have our moments.

7. How long did it take you to write it?
Still in-progress. I began several of these stories will I was massively pregnant back in 2010-11. Everything has been on hiatus for at least a year. I have a babysitter for approximately 4 hours a week so I would say that the last 10% will take as long as the first 90%. 

8. What other books in your genre would you compare it to?

I cannot think of any other books in this genre. I have read many delightfully neurotic comedies though. But none like this in particular. I'm not sure if there is a reason for that, meaning there is no market for it, or if I am about to go as large as 50 Shades. Let's hope for the latter. Babysitters are expensive, even if it's only for four hours a week.

9. Which authors inspired you to write this book?

Woody Allen, for one. Many people do not realize he is an author as well as a filmmaker. Erma Bombeck for another. Of course, neither wrote erotic stories. Woody Allen is terribly neurotic and Erma Bombeck, aside from being my idol, has a wonderful way of expressing the ordinary most extraordinarily. I like to think of his neuroses combined with Erma's lovely sense of humor. The erotica? Well I guess that's just my scribbling down my friends' anecdotes from their dating days.

10. Tell us anything else that might pique our interest in your book.

It's funny. What can I say but it's just funny and I hated to waste all those improv classes from Second City. The steam is steamy and appropriately inappropriate as necessary. I think many people can identify, however briefly, with the insecurity. I don't think any of these stories sustain themselves as a novel. But as little snippets, randomly, while you're sitting on the commuter train or waiting for an appointment etc., well, they're just the right size.

I have written these, lengthwise, for the smartphone generation.

If I should ever get the time, and anyone with small children will tell you this will never happen, I intend to make audio versions of these. See the point above, I hate to waste all those improv classes. Although I am massively introverted, I do enjoy doing standup. I also intend to learn Japanese and put my tax receipts in the appropriate envelope before year end. We will see which of these I manage to tackle.


I guess it's Japanese. My accountant will not be surprised.


And the four authors I’m tagging (I'm going for electic today):

Paula Tiberius

Gary Vanucci

Jessica Subject

Alexandria Szeman

From my upcoming Neurotica (erotica for the self-loathing) short story: At the Office

I’ve been wanting you for months now. At first I thought you were watching me to report to my manager how often I went to the bathroom but I can’t help it, I have this fear I’ll pee myself if I get preoccupied at work and don’t notice the signs so I make a mission to go every 45 minutes. I see how your eyes follow me and it finally occurred to me that I might actually be attractive to you--or maybe you really are just a snitch. I never read people right. I think I’ve got it figured out then next thing I know I’m in a five-year relationship with someone who’s been sleeping with my best friend in his spare time and somehow I missed it even though it was blindingly obviously to anyone else but me. In fact, my friends told me a few times about it but I was in total denial. Even so, I am willing to second-guess you’re watching me.

The one and only Gregory Twinklebear
It is a difficult thing to be a writer with severe bilateral carpal tunnel syndrome. You have to find new ways to write because you cannot help yourself, you need to write. Having voice recognition software does help, but I find what I miss is the actual physical process of writing. To put it frankly, I like to type.

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved the actual physical process of typing. I love the clacking of the keys. I love the idea that I'm playing a keyboard. When I was little, I dreamed of nothing more than having a typewriter to myself and piano. There's clearly something within my brain that makes me want to type, to play piano, or just in general press buttons. I don't know whether it's the cause-and-effect syndrome which captivates me. Or whether I'm just a little bit hyperactive I like to move a lot. Having the software does help me keep writing, but it prevents me from doing what I love the most which is wiggling my fingers around like a Charlie Brown character playing the piano.

At first it's a bit difficult learning how to speak into the microphone. But I'm fortunate that I am ancient and had a lot of practice with Dictaphones back in the 80s and 90s. But still, there is something very sad about not writing, literally, anymore. Anyone who knows me knows that I can talk blue streak for hours on end. But it's just not the same when it comes to writing. I want to write I don't want to dictate. But when the choice comes down to not writing at all or dictating, obviously dictating wins.

But it is like having a ghost to do my writing for me. My five-year-old son is enthralled by all this. He stands next to me and watches as the words magically appear on the screen. Sometimes accurately sometimes not. He is keen to give it a whirl too. Mostly to search YouTube for Scooby-Doo videos. He can read and write, but the idea of speaking to the computer is just too exciting for him to resist. He wants a space helmet too. I may have to glue-gun a collander to his mic.

Anyway, being a Frank Zappa fan I of course could not resist typing a few inappropriate words. Don't worry, my son was watching BBC Kids by this point. My favorite catch-all test phrase for voice recognition software—and I don't remember which tune this is from—is “titties and beer, titties and beer, titties and beer” which comes out today as: “duties and beer, kitties Anne deer, TDs and bear”. I was amused to find all the permutations of titties and beer which appeared earlier today, on the software’s first run.

But looking at the screen now watching my words magically appear I see that the software has learned what titties and beer sounds like now which is bizarrely gratifying. As an erotic romance writer, goodness knows I will be having to write the word titties or some variation thereof shortly. Having to constantly edit for naughty words in one of my books would be a most tedious task. I would say “heinous” but goodness knows what the software might think that word is.

This blog was dictated by my new software. I had only to add some punctuation (and fix titties and beer).

First I must thank a few of my tweeps (I feel strange writing that term but perhaps only because I am over 45) for having this idea pop into my head.

So thank you to ‏@xTHE_BUBSx @tiffw88 @callmemrwayne for cracking me up on Thursday during our excursus on excessius buttocks and junk-in-the-trunk, a discussion springing from my feeling my age as I reached for my bifocals to read my twitter feed.

My comment? That at 40 my bum fell two inches. I cannot swear to it, but if my back would allow me to pivot, turn, bend or creak just a little bit more I could see to tell you with great certainty that yes, my bum is a bit lower, a bit rounder, and bit heavier than the last time I saw it in its entirety some 20 years ago.

I was lean then. All of 118 pounds and boxing. About 5% body fat (actually, I have no clue on the actual percentage, I am making this up) and all muscle (largely true). Certainly no boobs. In fact, I never owned a "real" or "functional" bra until I was 39.

Then motherhood and forty struck. I regret neither. Narratively my life is more rich. When I was a lean mean boxing machine I had little to say or write. I was too busy overworking at a miserable job then hanging out in a gym. I regret the former, not the latter, by the way.

Nothing more exhilarating than hanging out in a real boxing gym and having a fantastic work out. People asked why I boxed and I replied honestly: I like to box. Pure and simple. Sure, the workout felt great. Nice to strike something with all your might. How often do you get to do that in your day-to-day? I can tell you: almost never.

Nothing is more exhilarating than doing the speedbag or padwork with your excellent coach (who shall remain nameless because I don't want to embarrass him).

Nothing. Until I had my critters and realized that having your four-year-old observe that Jabba is an omnivore is pretty fantastic. Then he connects that Jabba, a mollusk apparently, is likely a hermaphrodite and observes "he must be sitting on his testicles but I guess that's alright because he still has a vagina" and I realize that the trade of buns-for-babies worked in my favour.

My junk in the trunk. I never get to the gym much now. I just had my second critter (at 45) so my junk and my trunk have grown astonishingly. Occasionally now I feel self-conscious. Usually when I fold laundry and misrecognize my husband's jeans for my own. As he's 8 inches taller than I am, the mistake rankles just a bit.

But while some talk of standing on the shoulders of giants, I sit on the buns of a forty-something mother. A little taller than I used to be, but only when sitting down. As I told @xTHE_BUBSx, at least now that I have a much larger bum, I can see over the hood of my car.


ps Give my tweeps a follow. They are worth it.





I am working on the French translation of my novellas (yes, I actually am French, well, half-French while the rest is Sicilian and Irish) when I realized that I don't quite have the vocabulary for certain words.

We spoke some French at home, but never those words. I went to French Montessori in the early years, then died of boredom in an English-speaking convent school (no, really. This is not a persona thing).

Knowing there were gaps in my language skills, I studied French, in later years, at the Alliance Francaise. Lived in Quebec, worked in Switzerland, Belgium, and France. But still those words never really crossed my path.

So here I sit with two novellas of erotica on my desk and I realize I am not current on the lingua franca, so to speak, for pussy, clit, cock, balls, spank, ass, or breasts. The usual suspects. Does my intrepid protagonist shout "Je viens, je viens" when she comes? Does she call her pink parts her "chatte" or is there something more common? I confess I don't know.

Google Translate is always helpful. I sought them out this morning looking for my Naughty Word List as I call it. Here's what we have for pussy:


Vagin is pretty obvious. But in erotica women don't refer to their "vaginas" much. I can see how the French receives this: Oh oh oh Ronald, kiss my vagina. Yes, there. No, there, more to the left my masculine man. There. Yes yes I am arriving! Oh swiftly  now my stud, I am almost at my destination of bliss.

A little more literal and technical than one would want. Having said that, I think it could be fun and it reminds me of a chapter I wrote once while frustrated trying to find new ways to say "had sex". I'll post that another day.

So I think chatte might be it. I know that if I refer to my cats as my chat and pronounce the "t" giggles and sly looks ensue. But this opens up another question for debate:

How many women, really, refer to their vaginas as their pussies? Really? We see it in porn, read it in erotica. But do we really use it? I guess some do. The convent-part of my upbringing means I say "vagina" or just gesture with my eyes when referring to my pink parts. Ok, and I say pink parts. I guess that forbidden nature of it all is what drew me to romance and erotica writing in the first place.

Wouldn't Sister Viola be proud to know where I am today? Actually she might as I do my best to at least keep the grammar correct.

I think people shtup best when there are no dangling participles, don't you?