Frequently Used Words in Romance: Top Ten Tuesday Post


Yay for finding new gems in the blogging world! Thanks to signing up for new mailing lists I found out about the Top Ten Tuesday blog posts. They looked like so much fun, I couldn’t resist. A place to let my inner booknerd shine? A way to geek out over obscure bookish things? AND an excuse to make listicles about books? Yes, please.

If you’re interested in joining in, the link and explanation of how it works is here on That Artsy Reader

On to the listicle! The most frequently used words in Romance. For this list I’m focusing more on spicy kinds of romance books because a) sex is just fun and b) the choice of frequently used words was much more interesting. I’m also explaining/defending some of these overused words, as a romance author.


If I’m going to pick one, I go with using damp over moist. A lot of people have an issue with the way moist sounds. I’m one of them. It’s just such a silly word. And please, other romance authors, never use it in tandem with something else like “passion-moistened”. Please?

eeew gif


I use both of these with a clear conscience and no regrets. Slick, wet sex is always better than dry rubbing. I’m just saying.


Look, it’s hard to figure out a more interesting way to say “he put his penis in her happy warm vagina” okay? Sheath at least has a more poetic ring to it.


The TV show Shameless (US) says it all when one of the characters asks, “ever tried to play pool with a rope?” Sorry, overused-word-list-makers, but that’s accurate.


As in “plunged into the kiss” or “plunged into her wet center”. It’s a good word with nice overtones to make readers think of reckless jumping and falling off the cliff and into love. I agree not to overuse it though. I’ll limit myself to one plunging metaphor per book.



Our main characters spend A LOT of time looking at each other. Because narrative tension. We’re trying to make it clear that they’re attracted, and that means nonverbal cues. Which happens to include a lot of locked eyes or longing gazes.


Although I’ve seen plenty of other metaphorical descriptions for arousal, like lightening, electricity, sizzles, and flashes. I can promise to try and vary it up, and find some other metaphors than fire.


*Raises hand* Guilty. Breathless, took her breath away, sucked in a breath, breathing hard, gasping. Romance spends a lot of time describing the things love can do to your lungs. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Haha! This was a fun one! Thanks for sharing! 😉

Jessica J

Thank you, for this wonderful list….this reminds me of every werebear/alpha love story, I have ever read #lovethem Makes me feel like I just read an entire book in less than a minute!


Haha you certainly made me laugh. 🙂

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday – gotta’ love discovering new bookish things (as you say). Hope to see you join the meme again. 🙂

Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland this week.

I don’t know…I’d like to see more moist in books…but maybe because that’s because I’m a contrarian and derive a certain amount of enjoyment from other people being a little bit icked out.

Have a great week.

Anna @ The Bibliotaph

Oh goodness – this list is wonderful and hilarious. I haven’t read enough romance novels to make a list like this, but I can totally understand where a lot of these words came from. But…moist? Really? Not sexy.

herding cats

Bwahaha yup. If I’d done words inside vs title mine would have been quite similar. Moist just kills me. Bleck! lol


This made me smile so much! Every thing on your list was SPOT ON!


But how many people let out a breath they hadn’t realized they’ve been holding? 😀 (Though I think that’s not confined to romance alone…crime novels also love this)

Moist is definitely a disturbing word. I feel like everyone feels that way ? And it can be argued that ‘Breath’ and ‘gaze/glance’ are used in EVERY book and I’m honestly very okay with it


Very interesting selection of words haha!

Quinn's Book Nook

Hahaha I love this! When I was putting my list together, I was contemplating going in a little more “sexy times” route, but changed my mind. Love this list!


I almost had to stop reading altogether because I too absolutely abhor the m-word. Gross!


Great list! Lots of fun to read! Moist is just the worst word ever! ?


Haha such an entertaining list!


I’m pretty sure this list proves why I don’t (and shouldn’t?) read fantasy that often, because just the overused words make me giggle like the five-year-old I really am. I’m totally one who hates the word moist. I don’t even know why. I mean, I don’t give it a second thought in a non-romance book. I’m romancist. =/ I like your take on this list!

Chrissi Reads

Loved reading your post! 🙂 I don’t read a lot of romance but know that these words are included a lot!

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