Jeff Vandermeer sets out his six rules for writing sex scenes. I am stumped by rule three though:
(3) Don’t use offensive or stupid terms. Several words leap to mind that are either offensive or stupid in the context of a sex scene. You should know what they are, and I’m not going to repeat them here. Just be aware of your terminology, because if you make a mistake or use something inappropriate to the context, your sex scene will either turn people off or annoy them. Terminology should not bring the reader out of the story.
I’m just not sure what these offensive or stupid words are. Vaginal sludge, perhaps? I wish Vandermeer had been a bit more explicit because the context of every sex scene is different and there aren’t any words I can think that need a blanket ban from the bedroom. My teasing notwithstanding, that Jim Younger quote actually works in the context of his ridiculously over the top novel.
In the comments to his post Vandermeer is seeking the best and worst sex scenes. As always, I nominated James Salter for the best. A Sport And A Pastime is generally considered to be his erotic novel but Light Ages is even hotter.