So I’ve been working on the next Juliet story. Yay! And it’s once again taking me into somewhat uncharted territory, because there’s actually some same-gender nookie involved. Something I want to do right, since it’s not actually something I’ve, you know, done. It just seemed important for this story.
So I was talking with a friend who was kind enough to look through the story and give me some feedback, which was enormously helpful.
We talked about the potential traps involved in writing a love scene between two women, instead of a mixed set (or, as I’ve been doing of late, a trio). Pacing is a bit different. (A chance for more emphasis on foreplay and by-play, and no need to stop with the come shot, after all!)
But the biggest thing about writing a scene between two characters? You can’t use freaking pronouns. “She kissed her nipple” just doesn’t cut it! But using both women’s name all the time sucks too! It demands a fair amount of careful scene-setting to make it clear who is doing what to whom, and how. To those of my fandom friends who wrote lots of yaoi and yuri? My hat’s off to you. I had no idea!
Another thing that came up that I’d like some help with. I tend to use cunt as the descriptor of choice for a woman’s pudenda. I find it offensive when applied derogatorily for a person, but when and where I grew up, that was the accepted terminology — no charge behind it or anything.
And my friend didn’t have a problem with that, but felt that other people might — that it might be considered crass or or offensive. Which isn’t my intent at all; I just want to be descriptive.
Don’t know if this is a regional thing (since she’s in the South Pacific and I’m in the Western US — or the East Pacific, I guess) or a generational thing.
So I wanted to ask you: do you find the C Word offensive? Only in some circumstances? In any? I really don’t want to piss anyone off when I hadn’t intended to; I mean, if I’m going to poke someone in the eye, I want to do it on purpose, you know?
Thanks! Leave comments if you feel the need to explain or expand!
Oh, and by way of thanks, here’s a bit from the story in question, which should be out soon:
From Juliet Takes a Chance:
The first night that Jordan visited started out incredibly awkwardly. She and my roomie Franny seemed to rub each other in exactly the wrong way, and I was worried that I was going to have to take Jordan down to the one motel close to campus. It wasn’t even that they didn’t like each other; it was almost as if each were allergic to the other’s very existence.
All three of us had changed into our night things — Franny in the hall bathroom — and were sitting there getting politely plowed. I’d just poured a third round of stiff rum and Cokes for each of us, figuring that if Franny were drunk enough, she might just pass out, when there was a knock on the door, and Jason poked his head in.
“Hey!” I said, “at least wait for us to answer! We could have been naked in here!”
Jason smirked at me. “Like I’d be that lucky.”
I snorted. He’d cornered me nervously the first week of the year, but I’d turned him down as nicely as I could, telling him that I already had a boyfriend, and it had taken months for Jason even to look me in the face. If he and my roommate were playing lick-the-lollipop, it was no business of mine, but it was nice that he was talking to me again. “Jason, this is my best friend from home, Jordan.”
“Cool!” He walked in as if he’d been invited — which, given the expression on Franny’s face, I guess he had — and poured himself a drink. “So, was this one — ” He pointed at me with the bottom of the food service glass. “ — always such a tease?”
Jordan snorted into her drink. “Tease? Nah! Till last spring, Sweet Miss Allison here was as pure as the driven snow.”
“Hey!” Franny and Jason both laughed, mostly at my expression. “Thanks a lot! Jason, let me try that again: this was my best friend Jordan.”
We all laughed, drank some more. Jordan and Jason found that a couple of folks from his old school were in her dorm. They laughed about that. Well, she laughed. He mostly seemed to be fascinated by watching her boobs bounce. Then, after a while, the conversation split in two: me gossiping with Jordan, just like old times, while Jason and Franny spoke very quietly, the sexual energy arcing between them.
At one point Jordan surreptitiously flicked her head toward the other two, and then poked her index finger through the circled fingers on her other hand.
I shook my head; so far as I knew, Franny and Jason were both still (technically) virgins. Raising my own index finger, I gave it a languorous lick, and then sucked it into my mouth.
Jordan’s eyebrows shot up. I don’t blame her. If ever a couple looked as if they desperately wanted to fuck, but were waiting for written instructions and an engraved invitation, it was those two.
“Alli,” Franny said primly, if a little unsteadily, “Jason’s having a hard time with that psych project. I just said I’d come over and give him a hand.”
“A hand?” snorted Jordan. When I shot her a warning look — and Jason and Franny went stone-faced — Jordan added, “Sorry, just kidding, I really… Alli’ll tell you. I’m the tease!”
The other two smiled uncomfortably and retreated.
As soon as the door had closed, Jordan started to laugh — her loudest, most infectious laugh — and I had to press my hand over her mouth.
“These walls are thin!” I said, barely holding in my own giggles. “Shh!”
Jordan shushed, much more quickly than I had expected. I looked down at her. She was blinking at me, and I realized that in order to cover her mouth I had pressed my whole body against hers. We blinked at each other for a few moments and then broke into simultaneous peals of laughter. Each with a hand covering the other’s mouth.
When we’d laughed ourselves out, we were still tangled against each other, breathing heavily with the just-suppressed giggles. Still tittering, Jordan poked me and asked, “Psych project?”
I poked her back. “Yeah. Dr. Green’s in the middle of the sex unit.”
“The spectrum of human sexuality.” The prof was dumpy and grey-haired and seemed to delight in the fact that we couldn’t think of her and sex at the same time.
“I bet!” Jordan wheezed. “What’s the project?”
“Comparing different schools’ interpretations of common sex fantasies.” The fact of the matter was, there wasn’t anything sexy about the project. Except for the subject matter.
“Ooo! Why can’t my classes have stuff like that?”
“What? Comparing the Freudian, Jungian, and Adlerian views on threesome fantasies? Yeah. Thrilling.”
“That your project?”
Jordan cocked her head, peering at me. “What happened to my sweet, innocent friend?”
“She got laid and started taking college psych.” I mixed each of us another drink.
After taking a sip, Jordan gestured toward the door with her food-service glass. “So, your roommate and her pet munchkin… Isn’t Franny Mrs. Saving-Myself-for-Marriage?”
I nodded, but told her how I’d walked in on Franny and Jason four or five times: him eating her, her eating him, each of them diddling the other — once even in a rather contorted sixty-nine. “But I’m pretty sure they’ve never actually, you know, fucked. They’ve always had most of their clothing on, and there’s always at least one foot on the floor.”
“Like a fucking fifties sitcom!” Jordan snorted and we both started laughing again. “Damn! What does her guy think of that?”
“Joe?” That thought doused me in cold water. “Don’t know. I feel like I should tell him, or make her tell him or something, but honestly? These two are so happy….”
“Hey,” Jordan said, poking me again, hard this time. “Not your problem, right?”
I sighed. “Right.” I took my best friend’s hand and squeezed it. We’d had that conversation a million times: that other people’s fuck-ups are not my responsibility. That they needed to learn their own lessons and make their own choices. “See, I just feel… I think she’s doing it because I said… It’s kind of nice when one of the partners has some… experience.”
Jordan rolled on top of me, pinning me down and favoring me with her most skeptical look. “She’s doing it because she’s horny as fuck, and she likes the dweeb, though I’m not sure what the fuck she sees in him.”
I snorted again, and felt myself blushing. “He’s hung like a horse.”
“You’re shitting me!”
I shook my head and then gasped, “Oh! Fuck!”
“Franny was asking me all of these questions about anal last night!”
Jordan’s eyes flew wide. “Damn!” I’m sure it was as hard for her to visualize prim Franny taking it up the ass as it was for me. “Have you and Ken done…?”
I blushed and shook my head. We hadn’t had anal sex — not then — but bending over and showing him my ass on the video chat had gotten me thinking in a way that still confused the hell out of me. “I… I did some research.”
“Nice that they’re getting the benefit of it.” Jordan smirked. “I guess they’re running out of other ways to fuck without fucking.”
“Yeah. I guess. She never spends the night, because actually sleeping together would somehow be more cheating than sucking him off, but she’ll probably be in there until one or two, anyway.”
“So.” Jordan raised her eyebrows in exaggerated suggestion and — as she had done a thousand times when we’d hung out together — pressed her body against mine. “I’ve got you all to myself?”
An impulse flared through me: clear, direct, all but undeniable. In that moment, on that bed, with her pressing down on me, I wanted to kiss Jordan. Kiss her, my body said. Touch her.
What the fuck? said my brain, and as usual, it won. I just lay there, blinking up at her.
Jordan blinked back. As if she’d heard what my body had said. Which was more than a bit humiliating.
“Um.” I was very aware of her weight on me, of the way her breasts were pushing down and flowing over mine. It was really distracting.
Distracted and humiliated: one of my favorite combinations.
“Um. Yeah.” Jordan tweeked my nipple half-heartedly, distracting me and humiliating me even more, and then slid over to lie down next to me. We both stared up at the dingy dorm ceiling.