Euphemisms For Body Parts In Romance Novels : A Ranking

While we at the Riot take some time off to rest and catch up on our reading, we’re re-running some of our favorite posts from the last several months. Enjoy our highlight reel, and we’ll be back with new stuff on Monday, January 5th.

This post originally ran July 09, 2014.
When it comes to sexy times in romance novels, clinical and anatomical descriptions can really ruin the mood. So it’s up to authors to work around those sex ed terms and come up with something a bit more creative. Unfortunately, certain words should never be used when describing a character’s bits and pieces. Here at Book Riot, we’ve ranked some of the worst euphemisms in romance novels. It’s a dirty job, but someone has to do it.

  1. Rod – We’re starting off easy. Nothing like a little construction equipment to get the blood flowing.
  2. ManhoodSkeptical child


  1. Member – It’s always throbbing and it may be a sign of priapism. Get that checked out.
  2. Nub – Can we just file “nub” into the “Least Sexiest Words Ever” folder?
  3. Love button – This isn’t Family Feud.
  4. Steel wrapped in velvet – This is apparently what every penis feels like ever.
  5. Manrootmandrakes


  1. Sex Missile – Missile,  noun: an object that is forcibly propelled at a target, either by hand or from a mechanical weapon.  Special thanks to Holley Wesley for her Twitter contribution
  2. Glistening orbsDavid Bowie Labyrinth Orbs


  1. Sword/Sheathed to the hilt – In case you didn’t know, all vaginas are part of the Arthurian Legend.
  2. Bisected cleft – I feel like this is a math term. Is this a math term?
  3. Quim/Cunny – There’s something entirely too cute sounding about these terms that make me highly uncomfortable. Like these should be the names of plushies.
  4. Intimate foldsshar pei puppies


  1. Cods – Fish ≠ Balls
  2. Womb – This sounds incredibly painful and, I’m reasonably certain that in terms of actual biology, nothing should be penetrating the womb.
  3. RosebudCreepy Business Community Dean Pelton


  1. Aching core – The only cores I want to read about are the molten chocolate kind.
  2. Love Canal – Boats pass through canals. Swan boats. Or even regular-sized boats…carrying cargo.
  3. Weeping anything – Because nothing sets the mood like thinking my sex organs are really upset.


And drum roll, please….


  1. Honey Pot – Honey makes me think of bees and bears, neither of which I want near my ladyparts.


Have I missed any? Tell me about the most ridiculous euphemism you’ve read!


Like chattin’ up other readers and keeping track of your books on Goodreads? So do we! Come give us a follow.

goodreads footer

Sign up for our Romance newsletter and watch your TBR explode.