Are you ready, Romance writers, to talk about the dreaded M word? That word is “manhood.”
Who do we authors feel so compelled, here in the 21st century, to use a word that was no doubt used at least 50 years ago? Why are we afraid to write whatever word we actually use when we’re in bed with our guy? Why do we insist on reaffirming to men that their groin is their very manhood itself, the center of their being? (Of course, many men do believe that; but why should we fall into the trap?)
To me, the term is hopelessly Victorian; and I cringe whenever I’m reading a modern steamy scene, and they’re about to do the nasty, and suddenly she’s being made love to by some dude’s manhood. Huh?
I say that we Romance writers need to sign an invisible but unbreakable pact to ban the word “manhood” from our sex scenes. Even in historical milieus, we could make up a more poetic term–like “adamant urge,” or “raging fire”–and keep his manhood in his trousers.