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What the hell ... it's been a while.

The other day, a lady with the highly unlikely name of Morgan Hawke wrote me the following note:
Dear Jim,

- I write smut. I write damned good smut. I LIKE writing damned
good smut. And I have a blog where I post interesting articles on the
writing of quality smut.

A friend of mine had a copy of your "Manhood" article. Do you
have a link to it on your site so that I might Share that profound piece of
wisdom with my fellow must-writers? If not, May I have permission to
post it on my blog, in it's entirety with credits and links to your

Please? Pretty please? Pretty please with sugar on top?

Always nice to hear from a fan, but I never wrote anything titled "Manhood" (although, in all honesty, it does sorta sound like something I would have written, doesn't it?). So I checked out her site (www.darkerotica.net) (and I suggest anyone who enjoys some top flight smut do the same, the girl has some serious chops) and quickly came to realize that she was talking about THAT article, the one that will haunt me for the rest of my life and be mentioned by the presenter of my Nobel prize in literature. ("Say, while you're up here, why don't you read "On the Subject of Penises" for the Queen and her honored guests, Sir James?")

I sent her an official okey-dokey to post the silly thing ... then noticed the date on the original post.

Dear Bert and Ernie, has it really been over a decade since I wrote that?

So, on the assumption that there are people reading this journal who've never seen it, I've decided to toss in a copy of the original post. Hope it brings a giggle or two ... I figure even the queen might get a kick out of it.


On the Subject of Penises...
by Sailor Jim

Jim pauses in his latest endeavor and frowns. After a moment's contemplation, he saves his work and firmly closes his new fantasy G4 titanium PowerBook. After a meditative sip of his drink, he addresses those around him.

"There are some literary subjects that have become total cliché and attempting to describe an erect penis is one.

"I am writing a sex scene and my hero is now crossing the room while fully erect. So, basically, his stiff dick is bobbing like a demented conductors baton as he crosses the room ... however, one cannot simply write, 'He crossed the room, his stiff dick bobbing like ... ' and so forth. Well, one could if one was writing that sort of scene (and one was half plastered), but this one cannot.

“To write anything referring to his 'turgid manhood' is also somewhat tacky. Hell, just the term 'manhood' to describe the penis strikes me as idiotic. A dick is no more one's 'manhood' than a hymen is one's 'maidenhood.'

'He strutted across the bedroom, his hard manhood pointing the way' sounds somewhat he owns a badly named seeing-eye dog. 'Sit, Hard Manhood ... good boy.'

"Just describing the state of erection is tough. It is a simple matter of erectile flesh and hydraulics, but damnably difficult to put into terms romantic. 'His penis, reacting to his viewing her naked flesh, achieved satisfactory erection, proving good vascular response and socio/psychological adjustment.'

Oh, yeah ... baby, baby.

"Terms like 'throbbing,' 'pulsing' and all other variations of this nature make it sound as if the silly thing had a blood pressure cuff wrapped around it. 'His fleshy organ quickly surged into full alertness, throbbing and pulsing and otherwise scaring the shit out of him.' When I envision something throbbing, I imagine an action somewhat akin to a bullfrogs throat sack as it croaks. THROB! Frankly, with this in mind, if my dick ever took to throbbing, I'd call a doctor. Matter of fact, I would think that any woman, faced with an actively throbbing pulsing penis, would be somewhat concerned as well. (I don't know this for a fact, though ... Dian says that in certain situations, the sight is somewhat exciting, but the first time she experienced this situation, she looked for a stick to kill it with.)

"And then there is the matter of size, shape, color and texture. Well, he's the hero ... I suppose it should be heroic, but somewhat shy of practical joke size. Shape, now, there's another difficulty ... as well as color and texture. Hell, let's face it ... a dick is a fairly funny looking, if not downright ugly, piece of equipment. Veins, bumps, ridges and all that; a color that never matches the sheets, much less the surrounding flesh (or any flesh, for that matter); an overall look of a plum precariously balanced on a badly whittled rod. Let's not even mention it and simply stick to the concept of a literary description of my hero approaching the heroine.

"Okay, he's naked and fully aroused ... does he stride? Stalk? Strut? Strikes me as a situation that calls for something more than 'walk,' but something less than 'bound.' I could have the silly sod moonwalk across the floor, but the resulting mental image ... damn, too late! Oh, well...another round of therapy.

“And what does the erect penis actually do while he crosses the floor? Does it bounce against his belly, producing its own applause? Does it wave about in some sort of vague response to his stride? Would it be feasible if I simply had him hang a towel from the damn thing and skip the entire description?

"And what about the heroine? She is languidly reclining on the bed...and doing her level best to not bust a gut laughing, I suspect. Should she stare? Gasp? Giggle? Ogle? Chant 'boingy, boingy, boingy' as he approaches or whistle the 'Elephant Walk' in time to the swaying? This is supposed to be a moment of strong passion and deep emotions... but a bouncing, throbbing, column of manhood slowly moonwalking forward...damn, gotta stop that image ... strutting towards her cannot be what every woman dreams of in her fevered imagination. I want this scene to be equally stirring to both men and women, but fear that this is impossible."

Sailor Jim stares into the fire for a moment, then opens his PowerBook once more. "Screw it ... or, rather, let's not. I'll simply segue from her starting to slip out of her clothes to the morning after. Y'know, the standard story cop-out. Thanks for letting me talk this one through."


( 48 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 5th, 2005 06:45 am (UTC)
I love it. Every six months, without fail, I am reminded of the little bit of silliness.
Mar. 5th, 2005 06:45 am (UTC)
I'd hit it.
Mar. 5th, 2005 09:26 am (UTC)
Mar. 7th, 2005 04:18 am (UTC)
I'd be there for backup. Waiting in the rafter for the summinabitch to die.
Mar. 7th, 2005 07:19 am (UTC)
Mar. 5th, 2005 06:53 am (UTC)
I think I'd vote for the towel option, but only because that has a hilarity all of it's own.
Mar. 5th, 2005 10:06 am (UTC)
What's wrong with giving it sound effects? ^_^ Thanks for sharing. This made me smile.
Mar. 5th, 2005 03:53 pm (UTC)
Now that would be a gig: Foley artist in charge of penis sound effects.
Mar. 6th, 2005 12:00 am (UTC)
Mar. 6th, 2005 11:40 pm (UTC)
Master of the Slide Whistle.
Mar. 6th, 2005 11:58 pm (UTC)
Zamfir, master of the Pants Flute?
Mar. 5th, 2005 10:09 am (UTC)
Still just as funny as the first time I read it. Thanks for posting it again--it gives me a wonderful excuse to introduce all of my friends to your LJ. :-)

Mar. 5th, 2005 10:21 am (UTC)
There are times that insomnia is a GOOD thing!

Thanks, Jim!

Mar. 5th, 2005 12:25 pm (UTC)
You're fantastic.. just so you know. :)
Mar. 5th, 2005 01:13 pm (UTC)
*still giggling*
Thank you for my morning laugh. I still snicker, laugh, and giggle just as much as when pixel read it to me for the first time.
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 5th, 2005 07:43 pm (UTC)
Re: bobbing like a demented conductors baton...
I very much agree! There is humor in everything we do, sex is no exception.

As a "writer of erotica" myself, I've several times posted links to "On the Subject of Penises," or to one of the follow-up threads, usually in the newsgroup ASSD. It often seems like half the regulars there participate in Alt.Callahans, lurking at the very least. Now I'll be able to link to this blog entry, too. :)

(I'm suppressing an urge to open up the sealed copy of Naked Through The Snow to confirm that it's in there, too. I know my un-sealed copy is around... somewhere. Maybe in the bathroom.)
Mar. 5th, 2005 09:12 pm (UTC)
Re: bobbing like a demented conductors baton...
My brain changed that to "a conductor's baton bobbing to the Dr. Demento theme song."
Mar. 6th, 2005 01:32 am (UTC)
Re: bobbing like a demented conductors baton...
And in a similar vein, I was reminded of a ex-girlfriend who would say, "boing, boing, boing," sometimes. Fortunately silly and horny are not mutually exclusive mental states.

(And then there's the bumber sticker that says, "Sex is the most fun you can have without laughing," which always makes me wonder about people who don't laugh during sex.)
Mar. 7th, 2005 05:29 pm (UTC)
Re: bobbing like a demented conductors baton...


You've got to have the right sound effects to read this post by!
Mar. 5th, 2005 03:18 pm (UTC)
Ah Jim, it's good to go back to the Classics every once in a while.

Homer, Polybius, Livy, Sailor Jim...
Mar. 5th, 2005 04:58 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes, 'boingy, boingy, boingy.' Now I'm laughing so hard I can't breathe. Thanks, Jim!
Mar. 5th, 2005 05:15 pm (UTC)
Still funny after all these years. Except I'm sure it was misdated...it couldn't possibly be ten years old!
(Deleted comment)
Mar. 6th, 2005 12:32 am (UTC)
Oh thank you so much for this! I actually snorted some diet coke out my nose, which is now burning, thank you very much.

And I'm sure the imagery will never leave me.........
Mar. 6th, 2005 03:41 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the repost
I wonder how many erotica authors are lurking here. Girl Friday first turned me on to this in it's original posting on alt.callahans, she was introduced by Gary who posted above.
Mar. 6th, 2005 03:52 pm (UTC)
Mar. 6th, 2005 04:19 pm (UTC)
wandered here from esmereldachubb. Thanks so much for the morning laugh!
Mar. 6th, 2005 11:27 pm (UTC)
Thank you - this was linked to me, and I really needed a laugh today!

But I have to say, the baton line was brilliant. I wouldn't have minded that cropping up in a story at all.
Mar. 6th, 2005 11:42 pm (UTC)
Ah, yes, SJ's seminal work...

it's been a while, but it's always a good read.
Mar. 7th, 2005 02:43 am (UTC)
Boo, Hiss!
Ah, yes, SJ's seminal work...

Terrible pun, Shipmate ... simply ghastly.
Mar. 7th, 2005 10:32 am (UTC)
Re: Boo, Hiss!
Of course, my good Seaman. But you're a stand-up kind of guy, I figure you can stick it out...
Mar. 10th, 2005 04:06 am (UTC)
Re: Boo, Hiss!
Stop it already! *rolls off of chair and restitches sides after laughing*
Mar. 7th, 2005 03:11 am (UTC)
One night a friend and I Napstered all the songs with the word "penis" in the title and made a CD. Played on RHIS in IRC one night, it was awesome.
Loved this one...
Mar. 9th, 2005 02:43 pm (UTC)
When I envision something throbbing, I imagine an action somewhat akin to a bullfrogs throat sack as it croaks. THROB!

Well there's an image that will never leave me. Guy stands there, woman says something seductive, and his erection suddenly inflates to 15times it's origional size, veins stretched impossibly over near-transparent dermal gasbag, before deflating again. With optional *croooak!* sound effect.

Well, at least I know what my third movie project will be now..
May. 5th, 2005 10:08 pm (UTC)
I know Morgan. I used to dance with her, back in the day. Just saw her shopping a few weeks ago, in fact.

What a small world, man.
May. 12th, 2005 08:05 am (UTC)
I brought this to my (women-only) writing group and read it aloud. It was especially appropriate, as one of our new members had brought some (decent) erotica to share with us all. The group was laughing fit to split, and requested that I link them here so that they can traumatize others share.
May. 15th, 2005 08:33 pm (UTC)
HAHAHAHAHA thats great, I love it!
May. 16th, 2005 01:24 pm (UTC)
I'm here via a link in a comment on ginmar's LJ.

Thanks, this was bloody brilliant.
May. 26th, 2005 06:34 pm (UTC)
Oh yes: "Boing," said Zebedee.

Love it. Please may I have it for my new essays section in my Spike site, Mwrgana's Home for Wayward Boys and Boys?


*blushes a little and wonders if it's really unusual to make bouncing-type remarks. On a similar note, I've always enjoyed hypnotising them and getting to follow my finger back and forth... which isn't to say that my lovers always fall asleep *before* sex, honest! Keeps me amused*
Mar. 1st, 2006 02:09 am (UTC)
Okay, I am still laughing. Blame Piker cohorts for linking me. Truly awe inspiring writing.

"Ah is that all?"
Apr. 22nd, 2006 03:07 am (UTC)
Sex in and of itself is like two fish out of water. Lots of flailing and gasping for air and wet slapping sound effects.
Jan. 22nd, 2007 04:48 am (UTC)
I don't remember when or where I first encountered this, but I saved it to my hard drive so I'd never lose it. Thank you for the laughs it's given me and many others.
Feb. 25th, 2008 04:47 pm (UTC)
got linked to this from about 15 different friends of mine....

i believe that is one of the major problems facing erotica writers today..... how do you describe it without making it sound like a source of hysterical laughter? or a horror film?
(frankly, "pulsing and throbbing" tend to be images i associate with alien movies...)

however for a true comparison of good erotica , humor, and BAD erotica, i strongly suggest you look over at Crevette 's live journal, where she is reading some very bad writing indeed, all about a "darkly angelic half alien vampire" and his tight leather pants......
Feb. 27th, 2008 04:15 am (UTC)
*happy sigh*

I do love dicks.
Jun. 9th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
This is one of the reasons why I find writing sex scenes to be difficult. *LOL*
Jun. 9th, 2010 11:10 pm (UTC)
Jun. 22nd, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)
I so needed this today. You did indeed "bring a giggle or two."

And now I must remember how to breathe.

*cracks up again*
Dec. 24th, 2014 09:23 am (UTC)
This is still one of my favorites.
( 48 comments — Leave a comment )


Sailor Jim Johnston

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