Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Let's talk body parts.

Thanks to a recent indulgence if mine called the Kindle, I've been reading quite a bit in recent weeks -- more than I should, really, because reading a lot can mean writing too little.

Anyway, I've been noticing recurring instances of unintentional anatomical misinformation and/or abuse.

First, many authors (hell, many people in general) seem to be under the impression there's a "thick vein" running along the underside of a penis. Now, I've never been the proud owner of penis, except when I've held a man in thrall (usually for the amount of time it took him to get off), and I've never been a medical student, but I had begun to suspect some time ago that this dense tubular structure was not, in fact, a vein.

Nagged by doubt, I looked into it (well, not literally).

Sorry to say, fellow writers, you need to consign the Mighty Penis Vein to the erotic-romance biohazard scrap heap. That tubular structure is the corpus spongiosum, a column of sponge-like tissue that fills with blood during an erection, keeping the urethra -- which runs through it -- open. (That bit is from Web M.D.) Wikipedia describes the corpus spongiosum as "expandable erectile tissue."

Then there are lips. No, not netherlips. They're in m/f erotic romance, and I haven't read any in years (in part because of phrases like netherlips).  I mean the lips that ring a person's mouth.

In every story I've read, characters bite/nibble/chew their lips. Frequently. This is no exaggeration. A chapter can't go by, it seems, without some (usually nervous) guy treating his poor lips like slabs of peanut brittle.

As a result, I've declared a moratorium on lip-biting in my own books -- unless, of course, one character is doing it to another. But no more self-cannibalism!

So what body parts in romance fiction have you seen mislabeled, ill-treated, or behaving in strange ways? I seem to have become hyper-aware of this stuff, but I'm hoping it will teach me some lessons. 'Cause I'm sure I've been guilty too!


Chris said...

How 'bout the ever popular punching one's erection to make it go away?! Seems... painful.

Also, I haven't quite figured out how one looks up seductively through one's eyelashes. I end up with a facial contortion and eye strain when I try to get that to work.

Oh! Probably only giraffes could reach a man's prostate with their tongues. :D

Tam said...

Oh Christ on a crutch, I'm having posting issues.

Okay, when you look at a picture like this (VERY NSFW), it looks like a vein because a penis, unlike your pussy tube there, is not perfectly round. This antaomic cross section shows the urethra running down the underside, not right down the middle as we all imagine. So is it hotter to lick a vein or a urethra? Hmm. Neither? But it definitely protrudes, probably depending how much blood you got pumping down there.

I am a lip chewer. My own, not random strangers, so I don't find that weird.

Yaoi with assholes that get "wet" (see a doctor) are not good. I can't think of anything else that really strikes me as anatomically weird. Ass lips and other words taken from female anatomy and tried to apply to male annoys me. The parts are different. Deal with it.

K. Z. Snow said...

I've heard about boner TKOs. Never read about 'em, though -- thank goodness.

I've actually experimented with that eyelash thing. Eyelashes curl up, not down, so it's virtually impossible to look through your eyelashes unless they're bent in an unnatural way. So, yeah, that's pretty stupid too.

Oy, yeah, tonguing the prostate. I'll bet plenty of guys wish their proctologists could do that. :-)

K. Z. Snow said...

But Tam, you're not licking the urethra! It's neatly cocooned within its spongiosum tube, which in turn is covered by that delectably silky skin.


Is it only in native-Japanese yaoi that assholes get wet? Or do they get wet in Western yaoi too? (Why the hell did I just ask that? There was some reason behind the question when it first popped into my head, but damned if I can find it now!)

K. Z. Snow said...

BTW, how'd you so quickly come up with such a clear shot of a fully engorged corpus spongiosum?

Oh, I forgot. It's probably in one of the medical texts you regularly consult for your job. *eyeroll*

Kaetrin said...

Tam's comment makes SO much more sense when I read it on the right blog! LOL!

I did not know that about the vein thing. Thx for the edumacation KZ :)

K. Z. Snow said...

Oh God, Kaetrin, I got the giggles just wondering what other blog you associated with Tam's comment!

Tam said...

When you scroll tumblr you find pics like that about every 15th picture. LOL At least on my dashboard. Yes, it's not the "urethra" exactly, but it's definitely not a vein either, although I'll refrain from posting a pic of a veiny penis for your viewing pleasure. Might take me 25 or so pictures to get a sample of that.

Somehow I was responding to you and it ended up on Kris' blog. Sigh.

Tam said...

Oh, I've only read the weepy ass in Japanese yaoi. I'm not sure what those Japanese women are thinking. They have one too and I'm pretty sure it shouldn't ever have started leaking on them.

K. Z. Snow said...

Kris's blog? Bwahahahahaha!

Maybe Japanese folks like to have sex as soon as they get out of the bath, shower, or ocean, without drying off first -- which would account for wetness in areas that normally aren't wet.

Yeah, let's go with that.

Jason said...

I always thought they were talking about the actual vein that runs through the penis. if you look at Tam's pic, it is to the right of the big spongium do hickey. :)

K. Z. Snow said...

I don't know, Jase. Maybe some were. But I never got that impression based on the descriptions I've read. (Of course, there are hundreds of descriptions I haven't read.)

The most prominent vein (especially during erection) is on the dorsal or top side of the penis. And when your mouth is full of dick, it's kind of hard to work the topside -- unless you've got one of those giraffe tongues Chris mentioned. :)

Kaetrin said...

Go see Kris's latest - about conflict in m/m romance.