When There Isn’t a Euphemism

It wasn’t until I started writing smut that I found myself in a world where a euphemism is a good thing. My background is literary, and if your vocabulary is too fluffy in literary fiction, things get vague and pretentious. Not to mention trite.

Erotic romance is different. All hail the euphemism -no-one wants to read the word ‘penis’ in a romance novel, amirite?

But the great thing about penis (nudge) is that the euphemisms are so plentiful. Don’t believe me? Google ‘penis synonym’, and prepare to be amazed, and maybe a little grossed out, by the sheer variety on offer.

On the other hand, there are some things that just have no good alternatives. Most notably for me (so far): balls and pre-cum.

Are there any alternatives to these words? Goodness knows I’ve encountered them often enough. Balls seem to just be balls (unless they’re testicles, which is maybe even worse). For the most part, I’ve let their presence remain implied rather than name them outright.

‘Pre-cum’ or ‘pre-come’ is a shocker. When I see it in a novel I always think ‘Yeouch’. Then I try to think up an alternative, and just can’t. What else is there to say? A bead? A drop of… pearly something? A tear? Who wants a sad/weeping penis?

Sigh. The struggle continues. If I come up with a classy alternative for either of my problem words, I’ll let you know.


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