In writing paranormal fantasy romance, I find myself chuckling…okay, sometimes breaking out into gales of laughter…over allowable words in the genre of romance. Take yesterday for example: I was writing a scene about Cam and his, er, “member.” Then I thought, what club is his cock a member of? And when did the word “member” become a word for a cock? I opened up the urban dictionary in my browser and searched for “member.” Turns out a “cherry bone” is a “member.” What the heck is a cherrybone? And, again I ask, “What club?” It also turns out that a “member” can be used to “pop mamas.” Really? Do men really say that? Like, “Hey, Frank, let’s take our members out to the club and pop us some mamas.” Sounds like something you’d do at a birthday party with festive balloons.

Another confusing topic is when does one’s writing cross into “erotica” or, shudder, “porn.” Some publishers say things like you can’t use certain words or WE WON’T PUBLISH YOU. A lot of the words on their list I agreed with. The word “cock” was on there, too. I thought, “geez, what will I call it then?” Oh, right, a member….of some club…used to pop mamas. I say, don’t use that publisher. I didn’t.

I was listening to a talk yesterday by a well-known Romance publishing house. The speaker mentioned about how their publishing house has different levels of “heat.” On the stove? “Most stoves have a few levels,” I thought. You silly girl, you, you know what they are talking about! They’re talking about sex scenes! But then this speaker went on to say that they don’t do erotica. In your home and personal life? Oh, right, you don’t publish erotica. That burner is broken, baby. Puts out too much heat so we had to turn the sucker off.

It’s a funny world…people do it, they think about doing it, they remember how they did it last time and how they want to do it next time. You can think about it in whatever language you choose. But whe you WRITE about it. Well. Watch your language, my friends. You don’t want Frank to whip out his member and start looking for mamas to pop.