The magic of dirty words

A recent Facebook debate started with the question: “Do you use dirty words in your prose?” Which once again got me thinking about a topic I’ve been pondering during years of writing.

The answer of course is: Yes – as a pornographer I do use dirty words – and lots of them. The only alternative being the dreaded “poetic” metaphors of “purple prose”.

It’s easy to dismiss the use of dirty words like “cock”, “cunt” and “pussy” as merely rude and vulgar, catering to the base instincts of the reader. But to me, they’re more than that. I would claim that dirty words are in fact magical.

Of course, I don’t believe there is such as thing as “magic” in the traditional sense. But dirty words are magic inasmuch as they make great things happen by deceptively simple means.

An erotic story often begins with a mundane narrative that gradually evolves into a sexually charged situation. And I’ve noticed that the mood radically changes the second the first dirty word appears. Imagine the hero and heroine meeting, narrative and dialogue ensues – and suddenly he says: “Show me your cunt.”

Even the most blasé reader of erotica still feels a slight shock as the mood changes. And this immediate reaction to the dirty words is what gives them their magical properties: They reveal a world of physical urges usually hidden under protective layers of social mores – they challenge us to face the beast within – and let it come out to play.

As an author, I’m increasingly aware how important the introduction of dirty words is in every story and scene. Because it is truly a point of no return. Once the magic spell has been cast, the story has turned sexual, and will never be “innocent” again.


Illustration: “Whispering Sexy Words” by BloodyBess

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