Welcome to the second weekly edition of #WriteBigSexyWords – a new feature here on F&H where we look at synonyms for words and concepts that you may encounter when writing, particularly if you’re writing erotica. Last week we looked at alternate words for common colours to make descriptions of people and things more interesting and appetizing. This week’s theme is words that describe a feeling or describe a state of being. How do we express intangible sensations or ideas? One way is to use similes and metaphors to give examples and understandable cues to our readers so they can place the concepts in reality to feel what we are describing or follow a character’s thoughts or motives. We can also add interest and texture by varying the word choice and leaning on our thesaurus to help us weave a coherent and articulate scene. As before, I have included the word, its part of speech and definition as well as an example phrase or short passage to bring the definition to light.

This week’s words

Sillage (noun) the degree to which a scent, like perfume, lingers in the air

“He smiled to himself as he walked from her apartment to the train station, remembering the taste between her legs, the sillage of her wet cunt still present in his beard.”

Numinous (adj.) having a strong religious or spiritual quality; indicating or suggesting the presence of divinity

“Simon looked up at her from where he knelt, naked, on the floor. She was more magnificent than she had looked on her website; regal, with a numinous quality to her, like a queen or a high priestess.”

Ineffable (adj.) too great or extreme to be expressed or described in words

“Jacqueline wrung her hands nervously as she waited for Elliott to walk up the three flights of stairs to her apartment. She had no idea how she was going to articulate to him how she felt, but knew she had to now that he had posed the question. It seemed impossible to explain the ineffable longing she felt when they were apart, how her body burned and ached to be against his.”

Supine (adj.) lying face upward

“The sun was scorching as Tyler hauled himself out of the pool. He was immediately self conscious of how his belly wobbled and how his wet swim trunks clung to his body. He made a point to look away from the girls sunbathing in a row of white lounge chairs, some face down, buttocks browning in the afternoon heat, others supine, pert breasts and bare stomachs making his cock twitch and throb despite the cool water.”

Frisson (noun) a shiver of pleasure

“She closed her eyes and listened to Leigh’s voice as she sang. She could hear the heartache and passion in her voice as she squeezed her thighs together. Leigh’s husky notes draped themselves around her and she felt a warm frisson between her legs. She slid her hand up her inner thigh beneath the table, suddenly not caring if anyone could see her, and secretly hoping that Leigh could.” 

Torpid (adj.) mentally or physically inactive; lethargic

“Carlos rolled away from Trent to the other side of the bed. The room had grown muggy and damp as the sun had set and the slow fan in the ceiling did little to stir the stale air. He knew he reeked of sweat and sex, Trent’s orgasm was smeared across his thighs and stomach, but he was too tired to care. He considered opening the window but he was too drained, too torpid with sex and exertion to make the long journey across the room. Hearing Trent’s breathing grow deeper he turned his back to the wall and fell asleep.”

Appetence (noun) a longing or desire

“It had been several months since James had seen her dance. She had a certain quality to her body when she was on stage, a litheness that betrayed her fragility. Thinking of her silhouette, the strobing lights, the way her hair moved in dark waves as she arched and writhed, he was filled with an appetence he had never felt before. He wondered if she’d talk to him after the show, if he waited around. Maybe they could go somewhere to talk, somewhere she’d feel safe.”

Veridity (noun) naive innocence

“It wasn’t that she specifically sought out younger lovers, more that as she had grown comfortable with her own middle age she began to appreciate the veridity of college aged men. They were so rigorous and earnest, especially the athletes, dedicating themselves to their own bodies, working their muscles into bronzed sculptures, hard and lean. She found them undeniably sexy and often found herself wet at the thought of a whole fraternity taking turns with her, passing her around like hot meat for them to fuck.”

Tristful (adj.) melancholy or glum, particularly in matters of the heart

“Ryan’s tristful days were over. He finally felt ready to move past his time with Cheryl and just have fun for once. No drama, no relationships, just good, hard fucking with someone who could keep up, someone who wanted the same dark intensity that he did; a woman who would blow his mind and his cock.”

The English language is such a rich source of beautiful words, the vast majority of which we never use. I hope you are inspired by this small sample to reach deeper into the linguistic cookie jar when writing your next piece as you continue to #writebigsexywords

Don’t forget …

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