Discussion → Does the serious writer really consider words other than pussy

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    Stephen Stark
    Jan 30, 12:49pm

    repugnant and carnivorous? I've often found that the latinate words more vivid and provocative. There will be no arguing over the wonders of pussy from me.

    But I'm curious what others think about sex words. Meg says pussy. Finnegan says penis. Is it that pussy encapsulates, shall we say, the whole affair in a way that vagina does not?

    "She was very drunk and bit hard on his penis" sounds way more painful to me than "She was very drunk and bit hard on his dick"/cock/johnson/rod (choose your weapon).

    Now, if it were "She was very drunk and bit hard on his manhood," that might say something a bit different.


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    Meg Pokrass
    Jan 30, 01:11pm

    Women have discovered no word that allows them to talk comfortably or even sanely about this..er... slightly important part of their anatomy. That was my simple statement in the story. I played and had fun with the thought of that, which made it enjoyable to write.

    I think men have it much easier, no surprise. The word "cock" is cute and jaunty. It is a winner. I have mixed feelings about that fact - but truly, the word cock is awesome.

    Vagina? To me, the word vagina sounds medical, almost like some kind of dread health concern. Why that is i do not know. is it just me?

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    Gary Percesepe
    Jan 30, 02:28pm

    while we are at it--the term cunt connotes--what?

    please stay in line

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    Stephen Stark
    Jan 30, 02:44pm

    Thanks, Gary, for the uncomfortably open question. Jack Kerouac calling his aunt that would connote something entirely different than the sixth or seventh grade boy, or girl, for that matter, hearing it for the first time and thinking, something about that sounds wrong. Not wrong in the that's-dirty sense, but wrong in the onomatopoetic sense. Much less fidelity to that which it is intended to represent than pussy.

    Cock being one of my less-favorite representations of 'manhood' I find it fascinating that a woman would find the word awesome, in (I guess) the dude sense of the word.

    Wikipedia is awesome on cunt, so to speak:

    Cunt (pronounced /ˈkʌnt/) is a vulgarism, generally referring to the female genitalia,[1] specifically the vulva, and including the cleft of venus. The earliest citation of this usage in the 1972 Oxford English Dictionary, c 1230, refers to the London street known as Gropecunt Lane. Scholar Germaine Greer has said that "it is one of the few remaining words in the English language with a genuine power to shock."[2]

  • Fictionaut.thumb
    Meg Pokrass
    Jan 30, 07:12pm

    "Cunt" connotes "bitch".

    Why do a woman's sex words connote
    -Cowardice (pussy)
    -Bitchiness (cunt)
    -Idiocy (twat)
    -Something torn, ruined (slit) etc.

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    Ann Bogle
    Feb 10, 04:12pm

    Comments: These words, "c" in particular when for women, are adhominem if used as name-calling.

    There was an unfortunate event at Wryting-L, a listserv. A poet there, August Highland, called me a "c" after I had expressed solidarity for a writer on the list who was suffering acute depression; I decided against doing nothing and instead shot back, "crowded bitch." Another writer, Talan Memmott, then reported that Highland had been writing very agressively to him backchannel and provided a transcript of that. The moderator, the man suffering acute depression, settled it by delisting me for a while. The decision seems to have been that it had been more okay for a man writer to call a woman writer a "c" first instance than it was for her to call him a "b" in self-defense. The moderator cited the use by gay men in London of derogatory female names against men. I'd heard something similar from men in metal bands in Texas. The word "crowded" I got up north, from a nickname for someone: "Rowdy Crowd." Memott apolgized for his earlier part. Then I wrote a short essay about dirty language in public spaces, including Carlo Parcelli's use of the "n" word in an essay about creative writing programs, and added a transcript of the aforesaid exchange at Wryting-L. It runs 10 pages and is called "Cool Report."

    Clam is a word I've tried.

    Zza Zza Gabor -- the sound in that.

    In my story called "Ecriture de la chatte," one reader, a personal friend, read in it that the vibrator the size of a rolling pin is inserted. I didn't mean it that way and am rethinking phrasing. I forgot about the situation that Gary broached on another thread in this group about men with very large penises, what they go through; I didn't write that story though could try. I guess I read Finnegan's story as a brilliant reply to that.

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    Gary Percesepe
    Feb 10, 06:25pm

    it WAS a brilliant reply to that by ff, as was the aforementioned meg "pussy" (in scare quotes) story

    what other unwrit stories are we harboring in this thread, i wonder--

    shall see--

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    Katrina Gray
    Feb 17, 08:03pm

    So how exactly did I miss this thread?

    "Pussy" is the best word I have found so far, sadly. It is direct, and perhaps a little sexier than the others, though I am reluctant to use it to address my own. The Grey's Anatomy phenomenon of calling "it" a "va-jay-jay" sounds kind of idiotic and cutesy to me. "Cooch" and "crotch" work for me on certain days. I work with childbearing women, midwives, doulas, etc., and many are comfortable with "birth canal." Blech. Some also say "noni." I had a boyfriend simply left it at "bottom."

    For men, I am partial to "cock," but not with an article in front, or in plural form--no "a cock" or "cocks," but instead, "Mary enjoys cock immensely." As an abstract, an idea. "Rod" is also nice.

    But really, here: how many times do we refer to actual body parts when we write about sex? This may--maybe?--be the fine line between the literary and the pornographic. It seems that many writers will simply write: "He forced himself inside me," rather than, "He forced his cock inside me." But there is a place for it all, and if a story is well written, names of body parts matter less to me.

    Yes, Gary, many stories brewing on this side of the Mason-Dixon, where my neighbors are partial to saying "down there."

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