Erotica Pet Peeve: Thrum

editing-markupIf I was the Grand Poobah Editor of Smut, I’d immediately toss out any erotic fiction that used the word ‘thrum.’ Reading ‘thrum’ will cause me to close the book on an otherwise dandy piece of writing. Within the context of smut, ‘thrum’ sticks in my craw.

I’ve never seen ‘thrum’ used in any fiction except for smut. Erotica, like any other fiction, needs to use a common and natural vocabulary. Can you imagine turning to a lover and murmuring, “Baby, you make me thrum!” Once we set erotica fiction aside with special words, we open the doorway for it to become the other, a subcategory that is worth less than the so-called more authentic non-erotic fiction. This delegitimizes the genre of smut. We need to hold erotic fiction to the same literary standards as non-erotic fiction, and the creation and usage of an exclusive vocabulary keeps erotica segregated

Hideous for real examples:
Marc leaned forward to kiss his breastbone and felt it thrum against his lips.

Her erotic vibrations were back and thrumming at the speed of sound.

His body seemed to thrum with tension.

I felt his answer thrum in my bones…

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About Avery Cassell

Avery Cassell is a queer butch San Francisco writer, poet, cartoonist, and artist who grew up in Iran.
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