(No illustration today, for obvious reasons:)
Romance novelists have special problems normal people never have to deal with.
For example, a recent writers’ forum posed this question (paraphrased, to protect the not-so-innocent):
I need a word for penis. I know this sounds a little weird but I’m stuck. I don’t like the “d” word and I’m definitely against using
I am also not a fan of “throbbing manhood,” though I have resorted to just “manhood” periodically.
It’s old fashioned but I’ve seen wick used. Also rod, staff, spear, sword…
I often use words like “erection” or “arousal” or “hardness” which kind of implies the same thing.
I’ve seen “member” used.
(This reminds me of the levity new nametags provoked at our local bookstore when they decided to promote their membership card on placards that dangled on booksellers’ chests.
The nametags read Are You a Member?
Only romance readers caught the hilarity of this question. It seemed to me that asking customers if they were penises was inappropriate, at best.)
But the best response of all was from the writer who admitted to being on a personal crusade to bring back the term manroot, which was popular in historical novels in the eighties. Now that’s a euphemism!
I have to admit that my favorite is “#”.
“#” signifies a break in the text–so you have your protagonists groping and gasping at the end of a scene, then put in your little “#”. After the break, you begin with something like:
The next morning, Madame Blavetsky awoke with a remarkable sense of fulfillment.
Yeah, I know. It’s cheating.
So, grrrls–and guys, if you’re confident enough in your “manhood” to join in–any other ideas?