This Is Not How You Put Someone In The Mood

4 August, 2015 Musing Musers, Random 24 comments

I don’t think I’ve made much of a secret of the fact that I’m super into sexy scenes in my books. I don’t necessarily mean sex scenes, but sexy, hot, hook ups, any and all of it. I am here for people smashing their faces and/or other body parts together.

That said, I’ve read a lot of them and there is nothing worse than getting really into a scene, you’re feeling the mood and then *record screech* the author drops in a word that’s just wrong. So wrong it throws you totally out of the scene and you’re cringing and skimming past the offending moment like nope, not for me.


Now, I can’t imagine writing a sexy scene is easy. You’re trying to appeal to a broad audience with a wide range of preferences. That said, there are definitely some things we can all agree should be avoided. Curious as to what? Never fear, I asked the internet and we are here to tell you the following words and terms should prooooobably be edited out.

Nobody Likes The Word Moist:


Or Folds:


Or Meat:


In Fact, Maybe Avoid Food-Related Terminology Entirely:


Especially Juices:


Remember, Body Parts Are Not Strobe Lights:


And Vaginas =/= Caves/Rooms/Buried Treasure/The Chamber of Secrets



Bug References (Seriously?)


You Know What? Just Back Away From The Thesaurus

Bonus Round:

There are so many amazing euphemisms on this list, my personal favorite being “plenipotentiary instrument” for penis. For those of you (like me) who are not familiar with the word, plenipotentiary means a person, especially a diplomat, invested with the full power of independent action on behalf of their government, typically in a foreign country.

So, you know, that’s hilarious.

Now, none of this is meant to give you the impression you shouldn’t get expressive with your sexy terminology. Just remember, there’s a time and a place for everything. Except the word moist.


Meg Morley

Meg Morley

Co-bloggery at Cuddlebuggery
Meg is an all-around book nerd who just really wants to talk about books, preferably with other people but by herself will do. Find her on Goodreads.

24 Responses to “This Is Not How You Put Someone In The Mood”

  1. Sara

    I’d like to put forward “milk” (as a verb – i.e. “she milked my…”) and cream (as a noun, referring to either male or female liquids). Dairy is NOT OKAY.


  2. Bella

    Wow, so this hilarious post just brightened my whole day! Can I add one word I saw recently in a romance that I hope to never again see in that context? Plush. Once was bad enough but then the author kept using it, constantly referencing the heroine’s plush lower lip. It just made me think of plush toys and that’s not the image an erotic scene should conjure up.

    Thanks for the giggles everyone 🙂

  3. Zarah

    OMG, I die!! *laughing so hard I am crying, and feeling nauseated, all at once*
    All my pet peeviest of pet peeves have been mentioned, I believe, but I would very strongly like to second the idea that sex is not in any way, shape or form cannibalism and should therefore not be associated with words about meat and/or dairy.
    I am a vegetarian, ffs!! 😉

  4. Georgette

    Thank you, I needed this!
    Wait, that sounds wrong. Or perhaps, that’s the point? NOT love’s sweet arrow, but the point.
    I hate the word “moist” with a passion- I won’t even use it to describe delicious cake. I do have to say all the entries into this post are hilarious, but the planetariumpluntonium instrument (completely wrong, on purpose), is my favorite. Wow. Great post to start off a Tuesday morning!

  5. Nat

    I recently read a m/m romance where one guy “gnawed” on another guy’s nipple. And just when I didn’t think it could get any worse, he took out his “fun stick.”

  6. Fangs for the Fantasy

    Now I’d normally say “moist” but “folds” now takes the prize.

    Maybe it’s a hazard being a gay man but if I read a book that uses the word “folds” (especially repeatedly) I instantly get a mental image of a well ordered linen cupboard full of perfectly ironed and folded towels and sheets. So it will be licking and sweating and panting and then LINEN CUPBOARD. It’s rather derailing of any sex scene. repeated use of the word “folds” will just overwhelm all mental images with sheets and eventually lead me to google one of those videos of the sorcerers who manage to fold fitted sheets

    Then I look up from the computer (and folding sorcery) and remember I was supposed to be reading hot steamy riveting action
    Fangs for the Fantasy recently posted…Falling Skies, Season 5, Episode 6: RespiteMy Profile

  7. Ilex

    This was a fantastic post! Who knew bad sex could be so much fun?

    I’d like to add “clench” to the list. No body parts should be clenching when you’re trying to have sexytimes. And being “clenched” by my lover isn’t exactly a turn-on, either.

  8. Alexia

    This was PERFECT. I’m pretty sure I stopped breathing at some point because I was laughing so hard. Moist is still my least favorite word, probably EVER.

    I think my favorite part/tweet was “I’m sick of the word “entrance”. It’s a vagina, not a door.”

    Writing sex scenes is hard for me, but I can definitely say that I’ve NEVER used any of these words. Nor would I.
    Alexia recently posted…Disney Love- Day 10My Profile

  9. Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections

    I completely agree on the words “moist” and “flesh”, as they make my skin crawl. And I was going to add “milking” too. Just, no.

    I recently read a book that talked about “the sound of skin slapping on skin” and I cringed all the way to the moon.

    Other than that, terrific post.
    Inge @ Bookshelf Reflections recently posted…The Struggle Of Writing A ReviewMy Profile

  10. Vane J.

    I’m laughing my ass off and also trying not to vomit. Yuck, moist. Really, that’s the wort. And plenipotentiary instrument? That’s a turn off and it would make me laugh!

  11. Shannelle

    I loved the word “moist” because it makes me think of chocolate cake, but this just ruined everything. >.< I SAW NOTHING BUT CHOCOLATE CAKE

  12. Carina Olsen

    lol 😀 I love love love this post Meg. So awesome. Thank you for sharing about it all 🙂 So much fun. I also love sexy scenes. <3 But so many weird words, lol 😀

  13. prinsessan

    Reading your list I´m happy to be a foreigner. English being my third language after german and swedish I don´t have all these disgusting feelings about some of the words. So my recommendation is to just pick a different language when sex scenes are described ;-).
    Great blog by the way….
    Greetings prinsessan

  14. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I LOVE this post! This is really funny because as an editor, I’ve totally researched euphemisms for body parts, and finding good ones is harder than you might think! And, while I love the idea of using the correct terms (like vagina), when you actually read it in a sex scene, it can sometimes come off as suddenly clinical and strange – especially if you use it over and over again. Actually, that’s a problem in general – try writing a sex scene without repeating the same two words over and over again and you’ll find it’s harder to make it all sound good than you thought!! (But I will say that SOME of these words are just horrible and should be avoided at all costs. All. Costs.)
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…Stepping Stones by Kacey Vanderkarr – Excerpt & $20 GiveawayMy Profile

  15. Tom mike

    Just tell your partner that you’re not feeling up for sex today. It might not seem like the hail damage most exciting thing to say, but it’ll be easier than fighting against your desires. When you’re honest with your partner, they’ll understand and not get offended.

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