Using Euphemism in Explicit Scenes

An image completely unrelated to euphemism in any way.

English is a flexible language with huge variety in vocab and many, many alternate words you can use to describe things, and euphemisms can be some of the most fun and enjoyable of the lot. So go nuts and have fun with it! Euphemism, genteelism, analogy, simile, they all have their place. But also be aware of when not to use them, and when to adjust word choice a little for particular situations.

For example, when I had just started out writing yuri/lesbian romance I used horrible euphemisms like ‘magic button’ in place of ‘clit’. I was hesitant to use that word, partly because I was still unsure of how explicit I felt like being with my works in general. It’s one of those things that can demonstrate a lack of confidence, and you probably don’t want your writing to come across like that.

After reading some recent lesbian erotica and various blog posts by other writers on the subject, I dropped that practice entirely. Just use ‘clit’, you don’t need to worry unduly there, assuming you’re writing something explicit. Be bold and confident in your word choices, you don’t need to beat about the uh… the bush, as it were.

You should also think about your characters themselves. How do they feel about sex and sexuality? Use words appropriate to the characters in question when describing scenes.

Like I have a character who loves breasts, and she can get a bit flustered when seeing her own girlfriend undressed because said girlfriend has a large and shapely pair. I therefore use a lot of euphemism for this character, describing in terms of fluffy pillows or comfy airbags, using silly descriptors in the prose to match the character’s own feelings and flustered state.

Likewise, ‘pussy’ is a word I’ll happily use for any girl who is openly sexual and liberated, but I might default to more gentle euphemisms such as ‘wetness’ or ‘moistness’ for characters who are more unsure of things, or who are enjoying their first ever experience. This is by no means set in stone, though, I mix things up a great deal as well.

A good rule of thumb is to avoid using the same word more than a couple of times in a scene. So if I open a sexy scene using ‘pussy’, I’ll switch to ‘wetness’ the next time a direct reference is required. Then I might use ‘centre’ or ‘moistness’ for the next, before moving back to ‘pussy’.

Similarly, a phrase like ‘her most intimate area’ serves well to break things up and prevent monotony, adding some additional variety to the prose.

She’s a relaxed and sexy girl, so I used something along the lines of ‘she wasn’t certain her bits could cope with doing it again so soon’. Click To Tweet

Conversely, words I personally avoid—out of a combination of personal preference and the type of cute and playful content I write—include the other C-word. ‘Cunt’ is something I dislike using, it’s vulgar plus it’s often used as a profanity and/or insult. But more than that, I rarely use the more extreme expletives in my works, so it’s simply not a word I’d use in any case.

However, if it fits your story and your setting, go ahead and use it. People do use that word to refer to their bits (note, ‘bits’ and similar terms are also okay! See below), and if you’re using a modern day setting, chances are this and other strong language are going to be perfectly in-character. Again, use whatever is appropriate for your story and setting.

A word of caution, however; overuse of swearing can make you appear amateurish, like you’re trying to prove something, or that you’re not confident in your own writing. If it’s appropriate to the setting, fine, but don’t do it just because. It doesn’t leave a positive impression on most readers and can actively turn people off your work.

There are all sorts of other terms you can also use, depending on circumstances. The aforementioned ‘her bits’, for example. This applies to males and females equally, naturally. People use all sorts of weird words for that area of themselves; bits, bits and pieces, junk, lady garden, the old chap, gentleman sausage, love tunnel, etc. The list is effectively endless.

It’s fine to use these in prose, just be sure it fits. If you write works like mine, which are heavily focused on light-hearted antics, playfulness, and naughtiness, then words and phrases like the above can work really well—especially in spoken dialogue—but I also make occasional use of them in prose for a bit of variety.

As an example, I had a character get into a pretty strenuous session, then some other scenes happened, then a situation arose later (a matter of maybe a few hours after the sexy scene) that resulted in further arousal. She’s a relaxed and sexy girl, so I used something along the lines of ‘she wasn’t certain her bits could cope with doing it again so soon’.

Exactly as I said above, think about your characters and the most appropriate words for them specifically. For a less sexually open girl, I might have gone with something like ‘she still felt too sensitive to reasonably consider doing it again…’ instead.

One other word I personally don’t use but others do: ‘sex’. Yes, I mean as a descriptive word for pussy. A writer friend of mine uses this a lot, as do several other writers I’ve seen. Like the other tips here, go ahead and use it if it feels right for your setting and characters.

Example: She moaned, rubbing the fabric of her panties deep into her sex.

That’s all for now, I hope this post was at least mildly educational or helpful in the event you’re interested in writing sexy yuri/lesbian content of any sort. Till next time!


Yurika S. Grant is a writer and yuri lover who writes lesbian fiction and lives in the sunny yet unbelievably flat East Midlands. Secretly a witch.

Support me on Patreon.
Find my books on Amazon.
Donate to my Ko-fi.
Follow me on
Please share! Every retweet, like, or remind helps loads, thanks!

1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Fetishizing & Equal Description (Lesbian/Yuri Writing) – Yurika S. Grant's Author Site

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *