I was in the middle of setting up my gmail on my outlook express so I can download/organize my email. A huge job! And one of the things I noticed that it downloaded ever so slowly was an email I’d sent back in 2005 to a friend who wrote the Grammar Girl columns for the eharlequin site. She had written a webpage article about the top ten most overused euphemisms in sex scenes.

So during a conversation with another friend, BlueSue, I found myself challenged to write a drabble using all ten of those terms. Now for those uninitiated to the drabble art form, a drabble is a story – with a beginning, middle and end – told using exactly 100 words. No more, no less, though hyphenated words are debatable. (The title is not included and may contain up to 16 words). I laughed and said sure, and then Sue added the real challenge – use the terms without writing about sex! Well, I couldn’t pass that up now, could I?

The 10 ten most overused euphemisms are:

10. Her heaving breasts
9. His punishing kiss
8. Her liquid center
7. Like silk over steel
6. Her sensitive bud
5. Her honeyed sweetness
4. A dance as old as time
3. His throbbing manhood
2. Her pebbled nubbins
1. An intimate kiss (I must admit I changed this to intimately kissed…)

Yes, I cringe at its ‘purpleness’ but it also makes me chuckle, as it did Grammar Girl who requested a copy when I told her about it a few months later — she asked me to send it to her and we had a good laugh over it. And hence we’re back to the email I was now downloading.

So here it is in all its purple splendour, dug out from its obscurity beneath the gigs of email I’ve received in the years since:

“Evening Splendor”

In a dance as old as time, the sun gave his punishing kiss to those that watched the honeyed sweetness of sunset. The brilliant star blazed a scorching red against the clouds then settled to a passionate purple mantle floating above the heaving breasts of the ocean beneath, quickly fading to grey. Like a throbbing manhood, the incandescent beacon plunged into the liquid centre of the sea beyond.
Darkness thrust itself upon the cosmos until the sensitive bud of the full moon intimately kissed the pebbled nubbins at the ocean’s edge, reflecting as silk over steel on the calm waters.

A drabble from old
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4 thoughts on “A drabble from old

  • March 27, 2007 at 4:27 pm

    Nubbins I’ve never heard of that one before. Silk and Steel, liquid cores (sounds like a car doesn’t it).

    Ever see that friends episode where Rachel tried to write a romance novel and mispelled all the purple prose.

    “On page four he’s not reaching for her heaving beasts.”-Rachel

    “Why, she could have heaving beasts.”-Phoebe

    “Yes, but she doesn’t”-Rachel

    “What’s a niffle?”-Monica

    “Probably on the heaving beast.”-Chandler.

    “Uh oh, watch out for his huge throbbing pens, you don’t want to be around when he’s writing with those!”-Ross

  • March 28, 2007 at 8:45 pm

    Ha! Those are all TOO familiar! But it’s hard coming up with new stuff and sometimes, when a writer tries too hard for new ones, they sound even more ridiculous! (Wish I could think of an example off the top of my head, but I’m blanking…)

    Great post, Leah!

  • March 29, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    LMAO Amy, I’d forgotten that Friends episode.

    And yes, Wylie, you’re right about how new terms can be jarring. Which reminds me, I’ll have to find a link to that contest of the worst sex scenes which would compare to this.

  • March 29, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    Oh Gosh, yes! I remember this – what fun!! I’m glad you dusted it off. 🙂

    Sue L

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