Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The "C" Word - Just Another Anatomical Term? Or a Major Putdown?

So I called Anne to find out how Bob was doing, and because I was in the neighborhood... and we got to discussing a couple of books we had just read. One I had sent to her, and the other was one I just finished that I had been waiting and waiting for. Not giving away the titles yet, since I plan to review mine and I'm not sure if Anne will review hers. And the book titles aren't really relevant here. Here's the point.

Anne's comment to me was "Really good book. Very naughty, too. But what was with the "c" word all the time? I hate that word!"

My comeback? "I hate it, too. I just finished Book X, and I loved the story, loved the characters, loved everything, except that the H&H were in love and married, and he used the "c" word all the time during sex. Ick."

Now, I think if you know me, you know I'm sooo not a prude. I've pretty much seen and done almost everything - granted, just with Bob, but still.... I love erotic romance. I totally get off on it. But for some reason, I have this hot button word (no pun intended). And if it's only used once, or even twice, I can grit my teeth and bear it and ignore it. But when it is used in every single sex scene, especially between two people in love, it really irks my shit.

I can say that if my mild mannered, ever-so-polite hubby got a little more of a potty mouth in the bedroom, it would not bother me in the slightest. Somehow, though, I don't foresee that happening. I'm much more likely to get a "Honey, a little more to the left, please. Thank you, that feels really good" than a "Oh, yeah, f$%k me baby." Howsomever, if he were to say "I want to f$%k your *insert "c" word here*", I would probably divorce him. Or at least not nearly be as happily married as I am. Yet, an "I want to f$%k you" would not bother me in the slightest in the right context. Go figure.

So, what is it about the "c" word that irritates me so much? I truly can't stand hearing it spoken. I think that it is one of the most derogatory terms for a woman that can be used. But for a woman's nether regions? Is it so derogatory? Apparently, I still think so. So I can't stand hearing it spoken. Why do I hate reading it so much? I think, especially if it's in a book that I'm truly loving, truly invested in, then I'm hearing the characters in my head. And so I'm hearing it spoken. Does that make sense? And how could any man say that word to a woman he loves?

So there you have it. My hot button word. How about you? Do you have any words that really irk your shit in a book? I'm not talking about profanity in general. Just that one word that you really really hate with an all-consuming passion...

14 People Gabbed:

Holly said...

I don't care for that word, either. It doesn't really bother me to hear it said just in a general context (don't ask me why..although that does remind me of my Grandmother. We were driving to the store once when I was in HS and somebody pulled out in front of her. She yelled, "You *insert C word here*" and I Said, "GRANDMA" totally scandalized. She said, "I was only thinking of what your grandfather would have said!" YIKES! LOL)

But in a sexual context? Oh, I just hate it! I don't understand how ANYONE would think that's sexy. I also don't understand why the "P" word is considered sexy, either, but what do I know, right? lol

On an aside: MM talks dirty to me like that all the time. It's really hot. (Not the C word, but the other stuff you mentioned, just to clarify)

Ok, moving on now..

Anne said...

Hell yeah, the "C" word is just vulgar. I'm so not a prude as I love reading romance and erotic romance, but when a man, in the midst of sex, keeps saying, "I love fucking your *C word*" it just repulses me. Blech. Reminds me of porn, Hustler magazine, and anything else that is just distasteful. I guess it's from growing up knowing it was the worst possible thing someone would call someone else if someone called someone else the "C word" it be shocking and cringe-worthy and normally meant the person did something horrifying. I just can't stand the "C word."

The "C word" is so NOT sexy. Especially when repeated over and over and over again.

Karen Scott said...

Anne, I'm not fond of the C word either, it's just such a nasty word, and it annoys me when I read it in romance. I tend to pretend I haven't read it in my head.

Kate said...

Actually, I have no problems with the c word during sex, lol, nor the p word. I hate it used when it's derogatory toward a woman, like "You are such a c***", but it totally turns me on.

No reason why, maybe because it's "taboo", not sure. I'm probably the only one, lol.

Lori H said...

Lori, I totally agree with you on that word. I hate that word all together, no matter when or in what context it's used. It's just such a dirty, vulgar word.
I would have a very hard time reading a book with that word used
repeatedly.

Lauren said...

Okay, I'll bite (not hard I promise). I tried to comment yesterday but blogger hates me.

I use the c word in my books. Not all the time but I do use it. Sometimes I think it's the perfect word for the scene but I can certainly accept that it raises hackles. It used to raise mine in fact.I didn't use to - the word has baggage.

I don't use it as a slur - that's something I simply wouldn't do.

As for words that bug me? Hmmm, generally it's about context and who uses it. For instance, Jaci uses dick and she's the only one who doesn't make me wrinkle my nose. I read "piss flaps" as a euphamism for pussy (and I do love pussy, such a fun, sleek, playful word!) when the hero saw the heroine's goodies. Seriously, that was NOT sexy at all.

Anne said...

But here's the question Lauren, do you use it in a way that's tasteful... such as, if you're in the male POV and he's thinking about how good her *C word* feels rather than stating it blatantly.... or maybe saying his cock slid into her *C word*. THAT to me is fine, acceptable, okay... but, like Lori said, if my DH said to me I want to fuck your *C word* I'd have some serious issues with that. SERIOUS issues. LOL

byrdloves2read said...

I do not like the *C word*. I grew up so sheltered I never heard any swear words much less slang for "private parts". I still have trouble with the *F word* which is used so frequently. Go figure, I still enjoy erotic romance. LOL

Lori said...

LOL, Lauren - I don't think I've ever seen "piss flaps" before. That made me crack up. To me, I think part of it is the realism. Is it a realistic term? Could I imagine someone actually using it during sex? Piss flaps? Ummm, no. The "c" word? I guess because it's outside my experience, I find it unrealistic. (Not to mention vulgar and disrespectful.)

I find it interesting that so many people dislike its use, yet authors continue to use it so frequently. I wonder why that is.

Ann Wesley Hardin said...

It's certainly not my favorite word, but I use it. I wouldn't want to hear or read "I want to F your C" though. What I want to hear/read is "I want to F YOU."

My personal favorite, twat, isn't allowed :( I think it's a neat, playful word. Of course, it's an insult too but not, imho, as bad as C. I also like snatch.

It's a very difficult line to walk. I mean, Vagina is an ugly word too.It's just gross. Have we strayed too far from the love tunnels?? *gg*

Lauren said...

Anne - In my opinion, a hero should always think of the heroine's body in a complimentary way. So if and when CUNextThursday is used, it's not, at least in my opinion, going to be insulting. It's almost always a mental dialog thing and I think I've only had the hero say it out loud once and it was in a moment where the heroine wanted something from him and was hesitant to use words for her body and he sort of teased her with a bunch of words in a loving way. I've also had the heroine think of it as her c*nt so it's an equal opportunity thing.

Lori - I'm not sure that more people don't like it than do. I can't say that I've seen any difference in my sales between books that use the word and books that don't and I've never received a letter about it. I use it when the scene or the story called for it and I hope that no matter the words I use, they're always part of a loving sex scene where both (or more) parties respect each other.

I think intent and context is an important thing when you're reading a sex scene. A book can use the softest words and still make me sneer at how messed up the hero's actions are. But a gentle, loving hero can use crass or hard edged words and it works. At least for me as a reader anyway.

As for what my husband might say? Hmm, well I think there are lines he'd never cross - disrespectful terms that just wouldn't work - but if he busted out something super dirty in the right moment? It would work because I trust him and I know he respects me.

Chantal said...

I don't mind the word. I know that lots of other women hate it though. I tend to use it when I am really really mad at someone. I wrote a letter to the OB nurse I had when I had my youngest and it was addressed to 'you stupid *c word*' I don't ever plan to send the letter, it was just something I wrote to help me get through the really shitty birth experience. A way to let out my anger towards the nurse without getting myself thrown in jail for threatening her.

Anyway, I can remember a reading that word being used in books but it didn't bother me. Dh and I do talk dirty during sex but that word has never come up that I can remember.

Kristie (J) said...

I'm not too fond of it either. It's been used so strongly as a slur word that's it's hard to see it in a different light.

Jenster said...

Count me as another who hates that word. I'm all for talking dirty in the bedroom - LOL - but like Kristie said, that word has such a nasty connotation that there is nothing sexy about it IMHO.