How People Taste: Salt and Batteries

So because this week’s theme seems to have become the critical philosophy of literary erotica – by which I mean the problems of writing descriptive smut – today’s subject is how people taste.

So as may be obvious to those who read my stories, I still haven’t come up with a way to describe the taste of semen, or a pussy, or how penetration actually feels.  Not one I’m really happy with.

This seems like a failing.

For example, how people taste.  On the surface, not too tricky.  I mean, sure, semen is salty, and a bit dry, and sometimes sweet too, and hot, and sometimes runny and sometimes almost not.  Pussies taste like batteries, and a bit metallic.  Sure.

But that isn’t it.  Those descriptions aren’t actually the thing this is all about.

I can write salt and batteries over and over, and it’s still not going to say what it feels like to sixty-nine someone you’ve been crushing on for a year, and finally get them, and have it happen completely unexpectedly, when you’ve just met by coincidence, with no idea you would, and you’re going down but also slightly stunned that somehow they’re finally in your mouth.

That, for example.

Because that’s what I’m really trying to say.  Not what their bits taste like, which is mostly the same as everyone else’s.  What I want to do is say why those particular bits matter so much to this particular other person.

Which isn’t the same thing at all.

Salt and batteries don’t tell you a thing about those feelings.  Salt and batteries and other tangible, physical descriptions of what’s going on are the last thing on your mind in that situation.

I mean, really, who but a writer of smut even tries to work this shit out as they’re doing it?

So given that,  I don’t know whether any description at all actually detracts from the moment the character is in.  Like who cares about salt and batteries when you’re about to have your filthy way with the object of long-suppressed desires.

And once you get past fumbling with batteries and salt, or sweet salt, or sticky salty sweetness, there’s not that much you can actually say.  For both kinds of bits, there’s a taste, and being realistic, it’s not anything as dull as skin and fluids mixed together.  It’s a good taste, an exciting taste, but I don’t have the words to say what it is.  Not for someone who’s never tasted it before, so they know clearly what I mean.  Not like if I say “rain on dry earth smells like water and fresh” or “gum trees smell like menthol.”

Which since I claim to be a writer of smut, is really what I really ought to be doing.

And if we’re getting picky, there’s sort of different tastes too.  There’s the change in taste as someone comes.  It’s there, and you know what I mean, and I can say it like that, just reminding you, but I can’t actually describe what the difference is.  There’s how you taste different to yourself to how other people taste you, as far as I can work out, while obviously not having any actual way to check.  Like how you hear your own voice differently echoing inside your own head, I suppose.

There’s how mouths taste, when you kiss.  When you take out foods, and lip gloss, and aftershave, and everything else.  It’s a taste, but I don’t know how to say what it is.  The taste of spit.  The taste of gums and spit.

That’s fucking sexy, isn’t it.

There’s what tits actually feel like.  Risen bread dough, to me.  That’s as close as I can get.  Also not that sexy.

There’s the huge range of ways someone’s mouth can feel on you, from frantic bat-shit crazy to meh, take it or leave it.  Sometimes the same person, two days apart, for no reason I can work out.  I barely touch on that in my writing.  I just kind of blithely assume it’s always good, and that just isn’t true, not really.  But this is fiction.

There’s girl cum.  For want of a better word.  I have no-the-fuck-idea how to talk about it in stories, or just to ignore it, or say wet.  But there’s a difference between merely wet, and the creamy stuff you can actually see, and the really thick stuff like it’s kind of clotting and having lumps, and yes, it’s really fucking alarming the first time you see the last on someone’s cock coming towards your face.  So I’m just going to do what everyone else seems to and ignore the whole thing and just say wet.

Even though that’s cheating.

So I cheat, but it doesn’t mean I don’t feel I should be trying harder.  And I don’t know how much of this I should be talking about in detail like this, or if we’d all rather stick to pretty generalisations.

Maybe I should write poetry.  A sonnet about the taste of nipples.  Which have a taste too, by the way.

There problem here, with all of this, and the posts from the other day, are that there’s some really basic stuff we all use shorthand for, and we all know what’s meant, but we don’t actually describe.  Not like we describe trees, or sunsets, or old cars.  Not just with words, so other people see the thing you mean in their heads as they read.

Not like how you’d describe it for someone who doesn’t know themselves.

Smut writers are always reminding, in a way.  Not actually describing.

In a way I’m glad I’m doing what I’m doing, and you’re all perves too, and I can assume you know.  Because if I was writing YA, say, and I couldn’t assume readers knew, this would all matter a lot more.  And be much more difficult.  If I was trying to tell someone how this all felt, who didn’t know.

But I’m not, thank fuck.

And because that would be really fucking creepy as well as difficult.

If I was, though, I’d basically be stuck at the orgasms are sneezes metaphor.  Because it’s actually sometimes almost true.  As best you could explain to an alien.  But in another way, it’s not.  Not at all.  The actually physical twitches are nothing to do with that, and that’s kind of a problem.

Like I said last time about boiling orgasms and cancer, what gets written in smut is really nothing like what it feels like, but it’s enough to sketch a reminder of what I mean, and I hope that’s enough.

I hope its enough for everyone else to see what I mean, and kind of share it, and get what the description is about.  Without me actually describing a thing.

I can’t describe.  That doesn’t seem to work for this.  And if I have to start describing, I’m really in trouble and I don’t know how to fix it, so I’m glad I don’t.

So yeah, that’s all.  Again nothing useful, and just me gently snarking on myself.

And KD West from the other day said some more about this too.  Yes I realize that super-polite back-and-forth is getting a little incestuous, but hey, nice things were said about me :)

And also yeah, by implication from all this, its possible I’m marginally less boring that I might first have claimed.  But I’m still boring, so don’t get too excited.

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