The "C" Word

The "C" Word

Let's discuss...

I've had a few friends mention their dislike of the "c" word (cunt, for those who don't know).  I can totally understand and agree with their distaste of the word.  We all have our boundaries.  It's usually used as a curse, insult, or in a derogatory light in literature, on television, and in real life. 

I never used to use the word in my writing and don't include it in my M/F "scorching" titles.  However, I admit, I do use it in my menage books from time to time.  Perhaps that's one of the many reasons they are all labelled "sextreme".

Here's the disclaimer for sextreme books from Siren Publishing:

SEXTREME: Erotic audience.

Extreme sex scenes
Hard core
Many instances of unconventional sex
No holds barred in sexual language
Not for the faint-hearted
Definitely will offend most readers

That list pretty much says it all.  If you buy a book that's sextreme, be prepared for the worst and expect the "c" word and many other naughty bits.  Still, the readership for these books is massive, so there are obviously women out there who don't have a problem with the "c" word.  I never use the word as a curse or negatively in my writing.  Like any other woman, if a guy dared to call me a cunt, his balls would be pom-poms on the tips of my pointy-toed leather boots. 

I add it for variety because pussy can get stale if used too much.  That's right.  It's just one of those things that can really add that extra oomph to an erotic scene if done right.  When things get down, dirty and nasty, my heroines' don't mind hearing or saying the word.  It turns them on, fuels their libido, and encourages them to embrace their darker side.

For curiosity, I checked my manuscripts.

My upcoming sequel to Saving Grace, Taming Jenna, has the highest number at nine occurrences.  Hmmm

Anyway, feel free to post your opinion.  

Stacey xo


Charisma Knight said…
Wow, this post was right on time Stacey! Yes, pussy does get boring, so I've started using the word cunt. During down and dirty sex, hell, there is nothing wrong with the word. Also, if a man ever called me cunt, I'd slap the taste buds right out of his mouth. LOL

I've definitely got to start reading and writing for Siren. I've got a ton of down and dirty naughties that just may offend the readership of the publishers I currently write for.


Tess MacKall said…
The usage of the word "cunt" is fine with me. I use it in my writing all the time and don't mind reading it.

Actually, "cunt" is like any other word, said in anger it can hurt--no different than calling someone a "bitch" when you're angry with them versus calling them a "bitch" when you're teasing them. It's all a matter of context.

As for "pussy"? I hate that word though I use it. It just sounds silly to me. I like the hard-driving no-nonsense sound of "cunt" much better. And men DO use that word when having sex. It's part of the bedroom chatting (if your man talks in bed, that is, lol)So "cunt" works much better in male POV I think, although I use it to some degree in female POV as well.

Some authors think it belongs strictly in erotica rather than erotic romance. I think it's fine to use it in both. Great post.
I agree 'pussy' is overused and language limits us, but I can't use the word cunt. The connotations are far too negative for me. If I call a guy a prick in a story, he's an obvious jerk. I don't mind the word 'cunny' when reading historical works - which is essentially 'cunt', but then, 'cunny' was common slang, similar to pussy, several hundred years ago.
J.Rose Allister said…
Great post--a topic I was talking to some fellow writers about not long ago.

I held off on writing the "c" word for a long time, because I'd run across instances in books that I found distasteful. But I eventually realized that was because the usage had been unnecessary, almost like it was forced in for shock value. I've also seen "cunny" used in contemporary fiction, and that just doesn't sit with me.

I've since seen how well the word can enhance the right scene, and much of my new work takes advantage of that. Give me super hot and naughty, and I'll take your "c" word and raise you a few others. LOL!
Delilah Hunt said…
I actually prefer this word to pussy in my writing. The first time I picked up a romance novel and saw the word cunt, I was titillated to the extreme. I just knew when I started writing this would be a go to word for me.
A word is only offensive depending on how you use it and the meaning you attribute to it. For me cunt is a beautiful word. Great article Stacey.
Fiona McGier said…
I've used the word as a casual insult for years, but that's the kind of family I was brought up in...I once used it in traffic in front of our oldest son when he was 2, and my poor husband had to sit in the OB reception area with a 2 year old boy who was happily bouncing around, repeating his new word du jour! He finally defended himself from the nasty looks, "It's his Mom who has the potty mouth, not me!" That's when I learned "Time and place". But the word does not feel dirty to me, so doesn't turn me on. It's just a word...that being said, if my heroes ever used it any of my alpha heroines would make them eat their own balls, so it's not one I'll be using.
Very interesting post and comments.
Dalton Diaz said…
I do have a potty mouth, but it didn't extend to the C word and pussy. See? No problem with the latter, but hate that C word. I don't know what it is, but it's a total turn off for me.
Celtic Chick said…
Personally, I wouldn't want a man to say that to me, but when writing, you have to consider your characters and what they would do or say.

I can see how it would be a turn on in certain sexual situations.

I am curious about this Sextreme line you mentioned. Might have to check out some stories.