All I want for Christmas is a Gay Thesaurus.
I avoid repeating the same word in the same paragraph. (I know I just used ‘same’ twice in the previous sentence.) As I write a first draft repetitions often get onto the page, but during the editing process I delete these in favour of words with similar meanings. A thesaurus is my best friend when writing and editing.
I’m writing a gay romance novel, Nothing is Forever, and my thesaurus has not proven up to the challenge of providing me with alternate words for penis, testicles, scrotum and anus. Not one to give up I reached out to friends on Facebook to see who could help. Responses were immediate with friends suggesting alternate words and useful blogs and websites.
For penis, I assembled more than 100 words, but my list proved confusing rather than helpful. I’m a bit choosy about the words I use, so I set about sorting these words to make a useful list to pin to my wall.
- Apart from the word Dick, I don’t like referring to a penis by a man’s name. From the list of 100+ words I deleted, Johnson, John Thomas, Jimmy, Mr Happy, Mr Winky, Peter, Little Elvis and Willie.
- Some words seem childish; more the word that a boy would use rather than a man. I couldn’t imagine referring to my hero’s penis as a Pee Pee, Willie, Wee, Weenie, Winkie, Pecker, Ding Dong, or Spout. They also got cut from the list.
- For me sausages and meat references conjure up few romantic images. Tube Steak, Salami, Sausage, Baloney Pony, Weiner, Bratwurst, Hanging Meat, Meat Popsicle, Meat Thermometer, Skin Flute, Meat Puppet, and Meatsicle were also axed from my list.
- Call me fussy but referring to a penis as an animal, often a snake, doesn’t work in a gay romance. I will not be using Trouser Snake, One Eyed Trouser Snake, Hog, Tube Snake, Trouser Trout, Spitting Cobra, Anaconda or Alabama Black Snake. They too did not make the new list.
- I can’t see a place for the term Baby Maker in a gay romance either, so it too was deleted.
- There are also words that twang of vanity and attempt to make your penis sound unrealistically enormous. I would rarely use Long Dong Silver, Middle Leg, One-eyed Monster, Tent Pole, Third Leg, Pole, Tallywhacker, or Monster, but experience has taught me to never say never. I have seen a few monsters in my time; so perhaps, in the right context these words may make an appearance.
- To me some words on the list sounded crude so they will also be avoided. The Bald Headed Yoghurt Slinger, Cornholer, Lover Muscle, Fuck Stick and Main Vein will not appear in my writing.
- And then there was a long list of about 40 words that I had never heard of to refer to a penis. Obviously I need to get out more. But really, who refers to it as a Shyantz, Bud, Cack, Choad, Dingis, Jimber, Peen, Putz, Pepper, Schlort, Plonker, Doder, Doinker, or Digger.
- So I come to my favourites; Dick, Cock, Prick, Schlong, Dong, Shaft, Thing and The Little Man. In addition there are some that I will use on special occasions, when they fit the context. Boner, Hard on, Chubby, Joy stick, Member, Piece, Pocket Rocket, Tonsil Tickler, Throbber, Wang and Tool fit into this list.
The search for appropriate words produced a short list that I will happily use, but as I evolved the list I was struck by two additional realizations.
- New words can also be used.
My friend Tom uses two expressions that I will borrow.
I’d love to take his lizard out for a run.
I bet you, he’s got a cute little freckle.
In the correct context, there will be no misunderstanding their meaning. Tom has invented new words for penis and anus.
- Through implication I can refer to a penis without using any of the words from my list.
The example below is part of a sex scene from my book and the word penis is implied, without being mentioned.
Resting, I open the album again. “Tell me about this one,” I say pointing at the photo of the marching soldiers.
“I went to their passing out parade. Joe took me along. His friend was graduating. I didn’t know anyone. I was shivering with excitement as we walked through the gates. Men in uniforms were everywhere. Joe took me to meet his friend. They were all getting ready and showering. The showers were all open, everyone was naked, some of the men had erections and I started shaking. I thought I was going to faint. I had sex with two of them after the graduation. It was fun.”
The men in the photos are not the only ones standing to attention. I am obviously excited by your story of a threesome, and so are you. We reach for each other. Fueled by erotic imaginings and memories of past experiences, inhibitions are discarded as we experiment with new techniques.
So I’m left wondering, Do I need a gay thesaurus? The answer is probably yes, but I also need the talents to write about body parts in an imaginative and evocative way. As I write my 1,000 words a day, maybe I’ll hone these skills.