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« Down on Digital | Main | True Art School Tales »

September 19, 2003

Sexy Words

Michael Blowhard writes:

Dear Friedrich --

I'm on my way to work this morning, listening (as always) to an audiobook, my mind half on its contents and half on the day to come. But some small mental seed is starting to push its way up and through ...

There's storminess ... There's dark blue and black ... There's a slim, black-haired woman wearing slim black leather ...

Yep, it seems like ads for the movie "Underworld" are everywhere -- on buses, billboards, phone booths and more. Well, I harumph to myself, that's certainly another movie I'll be doing my best to skip.

But that tight leather thing she's wearing ...

And then (having long ago lost track of what the lecturer on my audiobook was talking about) I wake up to what my mind's really been gnawing on: the word catsuit. What a sexy word "catsuit" is: slangy, defiant, confident, slinky-snakey. Feline, too, of course, but not in that annoying way real cats are feline. And redolent of Emma Peel and Diana Rigg, and Michelle Pfeiffer too, of course -- can't beat that. And I start musing about sexy words more generally, and how interesting it is that non-vulgar words can even be sexy.

I don't have much of a list of sexy nonvulgar words going yet, and I'm hoping you (and any and all visitors, of course) can pitch in here. (Sexy vulgar words we'll return to in another posting.) I guess slinky is pretty sexy, although you've got to get past the Slinky toy. Soigne. Cognac. Leather. Gotta admit that I find papaya and mango sexy, if in a tiki-house way. Wait, I find tiki-house pretty sexy too.

I know there'll be a big gray zone here -- is breast vulgar or non-vulgar, for instance? Let alone nipple? And hey, does anyone else find the word vulva trance-inducingly sexy? I sure do. I think they're all gray-zonish words myself. Our usual four-letter favorites? Fine and pungent, but definitely vulgar.

So, sexy non-vulgar word nominees, please. Hmm ... Ribcage? ... Tight? ... Assignation? ... Diaphanous? ... Sarong? ... Any word whatsoever, so long as it's spoken by Barry White or Kathleen Turner? ...



posted by Michael at September 19, 2003


Cognac? Cognac? What kind of kinky thing are you and the Mrs. up to, anyway?

Posted by: Friedrich von Blowhard on September 19, 2003 11:55 AM

The word "voice" is pretty sexy. "Flannel", "Silk", "nape", "omelette" and however it is that Todd Rundgren sings "important" in the song "Something to Fall Back On". And the phrase "See ya..."

Posted by: annette on September 19, 2003 11:59 AM

Ooh, excellent. Flannel's really good. I notice that it's hard coming up with verbs, at least non-vulgar ones. Any thoughts about this? Hmm. Occurs to me that there are all those corny genteel-dirty words that romance writers use: lance, spear, manhood. Sexy? Too corny? Churn? No, not churn. Still trying to come up with verbs here.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 19, 2003 12:14 PM

Also, "tiramitsu" and "souffle." (That old women-and-food thing! :))

Posted by: annette on September 19, 2003 12:15 PM

Women's relationship with food can be pretty sexy. "Chocolate" doesn't do it for me, but I suspect it works for The Wife. "Balsamic" can move me a bit, though.

Hey: "nape." No, wait, you already pointed that one out. And "bikini," of course.

Should we allow trademarks? "Corvette." "Jaguar XKE." "T-bird."

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 19, 2003 12:18 PM

Oh, and the word "strap."

Don't look at me that way.

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 19, 2003 12:19 PM

How about "blend" as a verb?

Posted by: annette on September 19, 2003 12:24 PM


very nice.

Posted by: David Sucher on September 19, 2003 12:28 PM

"Blend" is very good!

Not very original, but: "merge"?

"Writhe"? Occurs to me that there's a whole class of is-s/he-sick-or-having-fun verbs: convulse. Grimace. Thrash. Writhe. Pulse. Throb.

But now I'm getting back into the romance-writer's verb-list...

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 19, 2003 12:33 PM






Posted by: Pouncer on September 19, 2003 12:54 PM

Strop, razor and shave.
I think I'd better stop now... is it getting warm in here?

Posted by: Dente on September 19, 2003 1:07 PM

Slick. Swelter. Desire. Rough. Bite. Massage. Rapture. Ecstasy. Splay. Throes. Lust. Suckle. Straddle.

There are so, so many....

Posted by: Dente on September 19, 2003 1:19 PM

A few more: "auburn", "bearskin" and "champagne" especially when describing a color, as in "champagne-colored evening gown." I like "writhe" a lot as a verb, but we might be tipping over into the "vulgar" list a bit...:)

Posted by: annette on September 19, 2003 2:23 PM

Good lord, we've got poets on board here.

"Ambrosia"? Did anyone yet suggest "ambrosia"?

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 19, 2003 2:41 PM

I was going to keep this list to myself, thinking I'd said quite enough already (don't want to be a comment hog), but since you mentioned poets, I decided to go ahead, because I think the line beginning with "skin" makes a lovely poem all by itself:

skin, tussle, wrestle, swell

Posted by: Dente on September 19, 2003 2:45 PM

How about such easy hits as:

wallet, cash, hard, CEO, power... bad boy, jail time, motorcycle, grease... professor, library, over-due, office hours

Jeez, gotta jet...and I'm just getting started.

Posted by: laurel on September 19, 2003 5:25 PM

Correcting an earlier comment: I meant that old "women-and-food" thing; not "old-women" and food!! And..."office hours" is non-vulgar sexy? I'll never go to the dentist the same way again!

Posted by: annette on September 19, 2003 6:15 PM

Tattoo, tawny, cigarette, supine, slippery.
How about Merlot?

Posted by: Nate on September 19, 2003 6:24 PM

how about, petite sirah, tetrazini, (food!), six-pack (not the beer), chest, salt and pepper (as in hair), just to name a few.....

Posted by: debra on September 20, 2003 11:43 AM










I think you may have invented a new artform,
the erotic poem comprised of sequenced single verbs .

Posted by: Pouncer on September 20, 2003 10:53 PM

Good Lord! You people must think about sex all the time! ;-) A lot of the the words suggested here do not seem even remotely sexy to me. Maybe I'm just not reading the right books.

Posted by: Lynn S on September 21, 2003 10:42 PM

How about these?

You (Among the best of them all... I think)






Posted by: Arun on September 22, 2003 6:39 PM

"The kids are going to Gramma's for the weekend"
but you have to be a parent of teenagers to find that one sexy.

Posted by: Deb on September 22, 2003 7:11 PM

Come ON Annette! :-) Consider're a college student grabbing a last minute book in the library. You're looking hot because it's Friday night and you're about to go on a date. Then you catch him looking at you. It's the professor you've had a two year crush on. You remember, the one that says you always do excellent work. He walks slowly toward you and stands a little too close. Then he says, "Annette, I've been thinking of you lately. I need a Teacher's Assistant next semester. Would you be interested?" You pause and say, "Maybe, what do I have to do?" He says, "Come see me tomorrow. My office hours are posted on the door. Actually, I finish at 5:00. Why don't you just come then."

Okay, I'm sorry. I'm the weirdest person on earth. But that is totally sexy to me.

Posted by: laurel on September 22, 2003 8:24 PM


That would make a perfect scene in a bodice ripper--you know, the ones that fly off the bookrack at the grocery store yet everyone sneers at as junk!. You forgot the graying temples, straight shoulders where his briefcase hangs tugging his shirt ever so slightly to expose dark hair at the V of his collar and the crease leading all the way up up his legs. Unless he's an art professor and then his hair flows back in glistening waves from his forehead as he holds his book with strong, sensitive fingers.

Posted by: Deb on September 22, 2003 8:41 PM

Whew, gettin' mighty hot and humid in here!

Posted by: Michael Blowhard on September 23, 2003 12:22 AM

Just for the record, I wasn't writing that for the writin'. I was tryin' to show the merit of the words "office hours." Now that I consider it from a writin' point of view, it definitely needs a bit of tweaking. Ha! store romance for sure. Wait a minute, I'm not proud. Forget the tweaking, where's the Walmart rep?

Posted by: laurel on September 23, 2003 6:12 AM

Laurel---That's kinda sexy, although it also kinda sounds like the setup for a Penthouse Forum story. But that's "after hours"---not "office hours."

Posted by: annette on September 24, 2003 8:32 PM

what got me was "why don't you just come then"

Posted by: melissa on December 6, 2003 6:35 PM

"glistening like a wet seal"




Posted by: Lynda on June 27, 2004 2:26 PM

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