I read romances in which the sexuality ranges from sweet to very naughty. What I love about the romance genre is that there's a heat level for everyone. In my conversations with other romance authors, I've noticed a recurring topic: How to refer to *those* parts. (I wish I could use "schlong." I LOVE that word! Alas, it's not sexy.) Although I'm working on my fifth (I think) romance, I still have to stop and think about it. I base my decision on two key factors.
A.) The heat level I'm going for (I usually go for super sensual but not quite erotica.)
B.) My characters. Since my heroes are, well, men, most will think of their appendage as their cock. And some of my more matter-of-fact heroines will, too. My current one doesn't because she's more of a "nice girl."
How the ladies think of their stuff is actually a bigger problem for me. "vagina" is too clinical, "c*nt" too harsh (I used it once and offended a reader) and "hoo-hah" is too goofy. So far I base it on the heat of the scene ranging from vague euphemisms like "her core" to flat out naming the parts getting attention...like the clit. Romance heroes always know how to find it. :)
There are a few words/ phrases that I won't touch with a ten foot pole and I'm happy to share why.
I will not compare lady parts to flowers. For one thing, I'm not Georgia O'Keefe, for another it just doesn't come natural to me, no matter how much I enjoy the old-school poems referring to "Dew on the Lily."
I will never use the word "manroot." Not only would such silliness not occur to me, but there's a rant on an Amazon forum that convinces me readers don't want it.
I won't use the term "manhood" in a sexual situation because I don't want a man to be defined only by his genitals. However, if he gets kicked in the junk... and totally deserved it "He clutched his wounded manhood..." I think it works.
My heroines' wombs won't "clench" in desire. A womb has no play in sexuality. That stops at the cervix. If a womb is clenching it's either menstrual cramps or contractions from pregnancy. A clenching womb is painful, not arousing! Sorry, that's a big annoyance for me.
How 'bout you guys? How detailed are your descriptions? What ones turn you off?
Also, authors Jamie De Bree and Carol Buchanan have been doing a series on their blogs called "Sex on the Page." The posts are a lot of fun. Jamie's are a little steamier but Carol has a certain delicious subtlety.