Nov 13 2011 3:00pm

Squick Me Out: UnPassionate Words, Part 2

TunaThe first Squick Word post just won’t die (Squick Me Out! Words Not to Use in Moments of Passion) comments keep being posted, and some evil beings continue to email me passages of books with the M word in it!

Go figure, it all started out with the word “moist.” *vomits* I scoured my recent reads for months and jotted down words that made me feel dirty inside. It took ages, but I finally have enough to disgust you all.

The slightest word can pull me right out of a story and make me cackle like nobody’s business—which is also when I scribble said word down in my trusty “Squick Word” notebook (seriously) so I can share them with you all. The following words are honest-to-goodness words I have come across in my reading this year.

Animals– Any use of animal in reference to body parts, sounds or food products used during sex really gross me out. Specifically “Fishy” “Meaty” “Porked” or “Tube Steak,” yes, they’re funny as hell, but they are NOT sexy. Tuna seems to be a favorite of some erotica authors, and I can tell you, it turns me off faster then a group of Bieber look-alikes.

Heaving – Last I checked my bosoms do not heave, not even after a heavy work out. The only heaving I do is after food poisoning. Again, totally not sexy to use a word that I think of as the time I spent clutching the toilet.

His “Member”?! – Do I need some sort of membership card to visit? Can’t we just say his penis, dick or cock? Why must we go back to the playground; what’s next, his privates?

Turgid – When I first saw this word in a book the internal conversation I had was amusing “Turgid Cock? What in the blue hell is that?!” Off to Google I went: Swollen; Distended; Timid. Wait WHAT? Timid? Wouldn’t it just be easier to say swollen? How many of you non-authors actually knew what that word meant until you came across it in a sentence?  It’s also way too close to the word Turd for my liking.

Cave – When I see the word cave in place of vagina, I think canal. When I think canal, I think BIG. It’s even worse if he “licks her cave.” I always feel like Jacques Cousteau is going to pop out and say I discovered a new species!

Speaking of caves….

Vaginal Contraction – Why must we say they had sex and she had a vaginal contraction? Women, even those without children, know damn well nothing good comes from a vaginal contraction. Cramps come with vaginal contractions, PAIN comes with vaginal contractions (Okay, sue me, I like typing vaginal contractions).

Uterus – Yes, I’m aware it’s a body part we females utilize. But whenever I see it written I turn into a 15-year old boy in health class and giggle my arse off. It sounds like outer space “I’m traveling to Uterus to seek new life forms.”  It’s just not a sexy word, especially in a sentence with vaginal contractions.

And as if this all weren’t enough, I asked my friend and author Saranna DeWylde for some help. See, she’s the one that told me about the macaroni noises, so blame her. I asked her what new word she’s came across made her want to hurl and then almost died reading her response:

Smegma- First of all, this one is just nasty because of what it is (dick cheese) and secondly, the word associations. Smegma makes me think of magma, which brings us to volcanoes and then you’ve got volcanic spewing dick cheese. Not a pretty sight.

Tell me you aren’t horrified right now! 

Veins- Please please pllllleease do not reference a swollen penis with the word veiny. I get the icks. “His veiny member spewed hot smegma” just about makes my bosoms heave over the toilet.

Saranna also threw in the word Sauce, which I also agree with. Ladies, cum is not sauce. Sauce is something you put on a burger or a salad. Am I right? Why must we use this word like cum is some new-fangled salad dressing?! If you tell me it’s secret sauce I’m libel never to eat takeout again.

Another we agree on:  Groaning/Groaned – Again another word I associate with throwing up and/or a bowel movement.  “He groaned while thrusting into me;” sorry, but I’d be telling him he needs to see a doctor or visit the bathroom. Saranna says, “I know a lot of fantastic authors who utilize these words. Some do it very well, but I’ve always associated those sounds as something you do when you’re worshiping the Porcelain God with your face or your hindparts. Sometimes both. ’He groaned against her mouth.’. Get him a Zantac!”

Baby Batter– Do I really need to tell you why the use of this word is a bad idea all around?

Honorable mentions:



There are some times when you just don’t need to be that descriptive.

Have you come across any new squick words since my last post? Agree with me, disagree? Try and gross me out, you know you wanna! Can you make a paragraph with every single word on this list? (Please don’t.)

And we're not done yet! It's time for Return of the Squick with Squick III | Squick IV and don't miss the first post with words that make us cringe!

Yellow-fin tuna at sunset image courtesy of nilsrinaldi via Flickr



Natasha Carty reviews Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy on her website Wicked Little Pixie and lives in Toronto, Canada, with her cat, Seamus.

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Pamela Webb-Elliott
1. Spaz
SMEGMA. Spewing. spew spew, hot lava. OMG I am still dying. Can't stop laughing.
Also... baby batter!!! batter, ahahaha. Oh man that is so funny.
The picture is killing me... Well played!!
Amanda Bonilla
2. Amanda Bonilla
Okay, smegma is just GROSS. I pretty much agree with everything on your list, but I'm on the fence with "groan". I think a groan can be sexy, it just depends on how you use it in a sentence. Now, grunt, on the other hand, DOES NOT do it for me. ;)
Amanda Bonilla
3. Cassy
I think I just peed a little-ya-it was that funny!
Kate Nagy
4. Kate Nagy
Can we please, please declare a permanent moratorium, for now and for always, on the word "lave"?

Also, I think that books need to be implanted with a little microchip that triggers a laugh track whenever a reader encounters the term "velvet sheath" (in reference to, of course, a lady's "moist cave"). Christine Feehan and MANY, MANY OTHERS, I'm looking at you.
Amanda Bonilla
5. CdnMrs
OMG how did I miss Squwick Me Out 1?
Ok I hate the word "Mewl" it makes me think of a vomitting kitten. I don't know why, but I can't stand the word. It means whimper, use whimper!

I also get totally grossed out when heroines have juices dampening their thighs. That's a lot of MOISTure...yuck.
Amanda Bonilla
6. Darlynne
Baby batter? Really? Ugh. I'll throw out (yes, I would) "clench," close cousin to "contract." For that matter, "milk" should never be used as a verb unless the discussion is about cows, goats, etc.
Natasha Carty
7. WickedLilPixie
@Pam - Hot flowing Smegma.
@ Amanda - I groan when bad things happen, I don't think I know of anyone who has groaned in my presence unless it was after Taco Bell. Wait, what does that say about me?
@Cassy - LOL sorry!

@Kate - Velvet Sheath sounds like one hell of a nice outfit ;) LOL
@ Sara - I am going to beat you when I see you for saying the M word!!
@Darlynne - Agreed to all you've stated! Clench is pain tyvm!
Victoria Janssen
9. VictoriaJanssen
I can't stand mewl either.

Baby batter...I am going to pretend I never read that.
Amanda Bonilla
10. millionmph
This has me LOL and cringing so much! "Straining" is another squicky word for me. :shudders: All I think of is bathroom problems when I read that. "Spasming" is another. Makes me think of someone having an epileptic fit.
Natasha Carty
11. WickedLilPixie
@Aestas - Sounds a little violently fast doesn't it?
@Victoria - LOL sorry
@Millionmph - Ugh I had straining!!!!
Amanda Bonilla
12. Callysta
LMAO!!! You had me crying.
Moist does not squick me out, and I love pistoning!!! And groaning!
The other ones are definitely squick, especially Smegma. ** heaves**.
Natasha Carty
13. WickedLilPixie
@Callysta - LOL sorry...wait no i'm not, you used the M word!!!
Amanda Bonilla
14. Jen at Red Hot Books
OMG. Who could read "dick cheese" and not laugh?? I cringe when I read that a woman "milks" a man with her lady bits. I'm also squicked out with "pucked hole." (**shudders**)
15. wsl0612
Being a long time science fiction nerd I'm very familiar with the word Smegma (Red Dwarf, anyone?), so I'm shocked to think it was ever used in a romantic context, WTH?? As to Member, well I don't care for it either, but if you're reading an historical from the female point of view, would any of those Regency virgins know the word penis or cock? Can anyone shed some light on this? As I figured the historical author was trying to use the slang the heroine would be most familiar with. Baby batter? Well if you're trying to be funny I suppose :-)
Natasha Carty
16. WickedLilPixie
@Jen - LOL ewwww!!
@Wslo612 - I have never read a historical, so I couldn't say ;) But I am going to think you're correct, they wouldn't say penis or cock.
Amanda Bonilla
17. Anette
I'm on the "lave" side of the hater-party.

No! No! And for FFS - NO!!!
The word makes me think of a mountain of icecream the hero is munching down on - not her breast or whatever bodypart is in focus in the story. Also - it makes me think he covers it in drool.
Not a very nice picture at all! More like "uuhhhm, buddy? Too much information there - could you please just stop it, thank you very much!"
Amanda Bonilla
18. Scooper
I can't believe you wrote smegma. My best friend just came into town last night. Our conversation drifted and she taught me the word smegma and its meaning last night. I'd never heard of the word before and, honestly, I could do without ever hearing or thinking of it again. lol
Amanda Bonilla
19. merreidth I had to look this up on wiki...and I about this was just to funny....I would really hate to read a romance novel with this any where in the book....i shudder just thinking about it..
Amanda Bonilla
20. Ai

I don't think we should confuse vaginal and uterine contraction.

Cramp happens when the uterus contracts.

Well, I sure hope I'm not wrong about that. :)

However, today I learn a new word: smegma. Thank's for that. :D
rachel sternberg
21. rae70
"Veins- Please please pllllleease do not reference a swollen penis with the word veiny. I get the icks. “His veiny member spewed hot smegma” just about makes my bosoms heave over the toilet." LMAO!! thats just sounds so awful!!
Natasha Carty
22. WickedLilPixie
@Anette - I know, I always want an ice cream after I see that word!
@Scooper - You know you say it outloud when you see it typed ;)
@Merreidth - Heh heh, it's your new word of the month!
@Ali - Most welcome, use it well lol
@Rae - It does doesn't it, I'm quite proud of that sentence!
Kathy Davie
I agree with Callysta. I'm cool with "moist", "groaning", and "pistoning". But don't make me go near "lave"; it's just too close to lavatory for me. As for "heaving", yeah it's either a ralphing moment or she's been running a marathon.

As for "smegma"...yuck! Although, yeah, it is absolutely perfect on Red Dwarf, LOL!
S Tieh
24. infinitieh
Hey, if one had to walk up the stairs wearing a corset/stays, she'd be heaving by the time she got there.

I agree with Ai about the difference between vaginal and uterine conr]tractions. Besides, haven't anyone here had orgasms while having menstrual cramps? The pleasure overrides the pain.

I give lots of leeway to historicals since the slang words then would be very different. However the two that still make me giggle are "woman's fleece" and "nether curls" for pubic hair (okay, I think the books these were from were Medievals, not Regencys, but still funny).
Lana Baker
25. lanalucy
Nether curls? OMG. That makes me think of curls around a butthole, not her "moist velvet cave."
Amanda Bonilla
26. rdsangel127117
I didn't think anyone else felt as disgusted as I do about those terrible descriptions that authors use to describe certain parts of the human anatomy. Your article made me feel validated at last and made me laugh heartily! All of those words make me shudder, but "appendage" and "cock?" Yuk! That C word is everywhere! Why?! It doesn't matter whether it's in historical or contemporary romance. It crops up. What is wrong with penis? That's what it is. Someone SAVE ME from that WORD!
Laura K. Curtis
27. LauraKCurtis
As an avid watcher of the old Britcom Red Dwarf, I cannot even IMAGINE seeing "smegma" in a romance novel. The shortened version, "smeg" functioned as an all-purpose curse word on the show ("smeghead," "smegging," etc) , so for me it will always make me giggle.
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