The first time I wrote a word my mum would have washed my mouth out for using, I cringed. My mum was a cockney, and didn’t mind calling a spade a bloody shovel but she rarely said anything stronger than blimey and the odd bugger.
In her generation you had nicknames for everything. Very purple prose. And I guess that for a good many years it rubbed off on me.
After all even though you know, we have a clit, and a vagina is called cunt, pussy, muff, and a bloke’s testicles can be balls, bollocks or stones and his penis a cock, dick, prick, amongst other things, using them is a bit like saying fuck for the first time. The first time is the hardest, it does get easier, but even so...you wait to be called out on it, be it in print or speak.
Of course, as long as you are using specific words for a purpose, no one will. After all if it’s in an erotic romance, they’d be more likely to shout at you for saying, manhood, or male dangly bits or daffodil (evidently) and lady parts.
Not that there is anything wrong with those in their proper place—well except daffodil—but in the middle of an erotic romance, generally isn’t it.
I consider myself lucky, as I have discovered I can write from sweet to hot and anything in between and enjoy it. With I hope correct word usage. Not everything at the same time of course. I don’t know how other authors get in the mood, but I can’t swap from sweet to hot within a minute. I need to be in the correct frame of mind. (and we won’t go into TMI here wink)
Are there some things that ‘ick me out’? Of course there are, and that includes all the things not allowed on here. However much, I wouldn’t write those, as long as it’s legal, each to their own.
Yes when I write, I can and do push myself out of my comfort zone and make myself face my fears and what ifs. Try to put myself in my characters place and feel their emotions. After all how else can I express them?
It’s not that easy believe me. Especially if I’m writing hot, hot romance. Ow do you describe the way the pulse between your pussy and ass throbs after you come? How goose bumps run up and down your spine and your nipples seem to be connected to your clit? Well sort of like that I guess.
When it’s Regency romance, that brings about a new set of problems. You see it might be erotic, erotica or just damned hot, but if it’s Regency, you have to use words appropriate to the era. So I tell you my dictionary of slang is well used. After all, did you know ‘pussy’ wasn’t in general use until 1880, but cunt has been used since around 1230. You might not like honey pot or quim and think them twee, but they were acknowledged names for female genitals, in Regency times. In fact since 1709 and 1735 respectively.
Male genitals are a bit easier, as cock has been around since about 1450 and prick from the late 1500’s. One of my favourite names (I do have a strange sense of humour) is pego. Yes it is a real slang word for a penis from the late seventeenth century. Yes I have used it, yes I have been slagged off for it, and yes it does make me smile.
Even so, if the situation warrants it, pego it is.
It’s not just a case of using a period suitable word. With Regency I need to make sure it is class appropriate as well. After all a member of the ton, wouldn’t necessarily use the same words as his servants. They vary from generation to generation and in different parts of the country as well. A bit like dialects, I guess.
I owe it to myself, my characters, but most of all to my readers to get as much correct as I possibly can. I know there are always the grey areas, the ‘well do we really know x or y happened didn’t happen’, and some things are open to interpretation.
But others aren’t, And I do my best to see that I adhere to that.
By the way, did you know a darning mushroom made a good dildo?
And on that note I’ll leave you with a the fabulous postcard created for The Earl and the Courtesan, and an excerpt...
“I have all a man could wish for.” He grinned and unpinned the rest of her hair so it fell in rippling curls down her back. “Except for a willing woman, of course.”
Theresa gasped and put her hand to one long strand that stuck to her cheek. “My hair, Jamie, it takes an age to arrange.” And a couple of dozen hairpins that now rested in his pocket.
He patted said pocket. “Pinning hair is one of the many accomplishments of a rake, I assure you.”
She shook her head in amusement. “Is there anything you can’t do?”
“Who knows? With luck we will find out soon.” He winked. “There’s no such thing as rake school, so perhaps I’ve bypassed something important. But let’s hope not, eh?”
Drat him. His gravelly tones made her channel muscles contract and her body send urgent messages to her brain. Of the ‘I need him now’ sort. Theresa smiled limpidly and sank into a deep and, she hoped, breast-revealing curtsy. “Then this visit should encompass all those things.” She slipped her footwear off and wriggled her toes. “Should it not?”
Jamie took three steps toward her until they were almost touching. Slowly he put one finger to her chin and tilted her head so their eyes met.
“Say that again,” he requested. His voice was hoarse, and sounded rusty. “Slowly.”
“Shall I put it like this instead?” she asked with a smile. A sultry, come hither, take-me-I’m-yours smile, she hoped. “Please, Jamie, take me and show me what it’s like to make love to a man.”
His jaw dropped. “Please repeat yourself,” he entreated in a voice she had never heard before. “Slowly, so I make no mistake.”
“I believe,” Theresa said in a voice husky with emotion, “I have to beg twice more. Please, my lord, make love to me.” She stretched up and traced the outline of his jaw with her fingertip. “Please show me how it should be.”
He took hold of her finger and suckled the tip. Red-hot sensation flooded her and her knees almost buckled. Why did such a tiny thing make her quim damp and her nipples hard?
“I…ah.” She did her best to sort her scrambled thoughts but it was difficult as ever more hitherto unfelt experiences bombarded her. “I need to know. Please, my lord.” Surely that was enough?
“What do you need to know, love?” He was inexorable, like a terrier with a rat in its mouth.
“The difference,” she panted. “How it…”
He pushed the neckline of her dress to one side and sucked on the soft skin that swelled to his touch. “Ah…I…”
“What difference?” Jamie asked. “Tell me or I stop.”
Oh hell, not that. “Between making love and teaching the mechanics.” Theresa fount not to sob. “Please show me. Take me and—”
Jamie put his finger over her lips. She looked up into his dark eyes and blinked at what she saw there. Tenderness and more. A need and an ache? For her? Oh please let it be so.
“Oh I won’t take you, Theresa,” he said, and paused before he continued. “That is not how it works.”
“No?” Sick, helpless despair rolled over her, darkness filled her soul and she began to struggle against his touch. Embarrassment made her sway and push at him to get away. “Let me go then.”
Jamie held her still with ease. “Stop it, you termagant. I will not take you—because this is a two-way experience. We will take each other.”
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