Language of Love


Warning: foul language ahead.





I’ve been reading some romances lately. They do relationships–a whole lot of different kinds, not just romantic–like nobody’s business. There’s a lot to learn from them. Plus I enjoy them, particularly the relationships. Except.

I’ve read a couple books lately of the steamy variety. Explicit sex. I have no problem with this. In fact, bring it on! The hotter the better. No, what’s been bothering me about these two was the language of love. What kept throwing me was the frequent use of ‘fuck.’ Don’t get me wrong. I love the word. I like to use it. With gusto. And I don’t mind it in reference to sex. But both of these books had the lovers saying things very casually like, I really like fucking you. Hey, want to go fuck? Or a man talking about the woman he loves with another guy: Man, she’s a great fuck. Or casually discussing his lover (and the women do it too): oh, she fucks like a monkey. She’s the best fuck I’ve ever had. Tonight I’ll be fucking her brains out. These about women and men they are supposed to be in love with.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this bothers me. I *think* it’s because to me, romance  is supposed to be passionate and about love and need and wonder and joy. It’s supposed to transcend, be this amazing experience that reflects the link that these two (or however many) lovers share. That they would never have such a glorious orgasmic experience with anybody else. They are soul mates.

That sex–even hot, hard, up against the wall sex–shouldn’t be dismissed as just fucking, which sounds a lot more like fun exercise than a deeply emotional connection. It seems to diminish what the two are to each other, and how important and profoundly emotional the sex is. Then there’s the reference to pussy. Literally, “I love your pussy,” just came up in one I’m reading now. I don’t find this erotic or engaging. In fact it turns me off. But then, I find the word ‘pussy’ rather annoying and raunchy. In the other book, the author took things to a new level by having one woman refer to another as a “cumdumpster.” Ew.

I have to wonder if maybe I’m that crotchety old lady who remembers the good old days and hates what those young kids are up to these days. Am I? Is this the way romance is going these days? Or is this a niche? I wonder. These are only two books of many I’ve been reading. These are contemporaries with no paranormal/magical/sf elements. I’ve written some hot sex scenes in my books and I don’t know that I do it particularly well or not, but I don’t envision myself going down this raunchWhisper-of-Shadows-768x1152ier sex-language road.

What do you think?

Also, read this book——————————————————————————————->



Diana Pharaoh Francis writes books of a fantastical, adventurous, and often romantic nature. Her award-nominated books author pic francisinclude The Path series, the Horngate Witches series, the Crosspointe Chronicles, and Diamond City Magic books, and the Mission:Magic series. She’s owned by two corgis, spends much of her time herding children, and likes rocks, geocaching, knotting up yarn, and has a thing for 1800s England, especially the Victorians. For more about her writing, visit She can also be found on twitter as @dianapfrancis.


7 comments to Language of Love

  • Not a romance reader, but it strikes me that your complaint is that the language reduces lovemaking to the mechanical act, devoid of all passion. Two robots could do as much.

  • I understand your distaste. Any man who claimed to love a woman but told his friends that she fucked like a monkey? That’s not loving behavior – that’s macho chest-bumping that has everything to do with the man’s relationship with his buddies.

    Many years ago, an old college friend (who had absolutely no boundaries) asked me what the sex was like between me and my husband. I told him it wasn’t his business and he sighed. “That’s the same thing T said.” I felt so loved and protected in that instant, because I knew my husband respected the privacy of our marriage more than he cared what his friends thought. THAT is love.

  • sagablessed

    Ummm….I agree. Romance and love should have repect between partners. Now, I’m not saying there isn’t room for hot, sweaty boinky. But the word fuck has all kinds of negative under and over tones.

  • I keep thinking it’s an effort to capture the ‘reality’ of particular people and how men ‘really are,’ but yeah, too mechanical, too unloving, too lacking respect. At least for me.

  • Razziecat

    Urgh. I have to agree. Full disclosure: The older I get, the raunchier my language gets. I grew up so shy I frequently turned invisible (metaphorically….I think 😉 ). I couldn’t even type the f-word until a couple years ago because it made me too uncomfortable. Now, if it fits the character and the situation, I will use it, but I try not to use it too often because it takes the edge off of it. I certainly wouldn’t use it in a romantic context, unless I was trying to be humorous. There is a place for such language but also many places it doesn’t fit.