What to Call the Penis?


Kim Devereux outlines some rules for writing good sex. (But never bad sex.)

Do go for the etymological dictionary for epithets that feel historical: like, membrum virile, arbor vitae (from the late 18th century, for a type of evergreen shrub), wrinkly (early 15th century) or bole (early 14th century, from Old Norse bolr meaning tree trunk).

Lyz's writing has been published in the New York Times Motherlode, Jezebel, Aeon, Pacific Standard, and others. Her book on midwestern churches is forthcoming from Indiana University Press. She has her MFA from Lesley and skulks about on Twitter @lyzl. Lyz is a member of The Rumpus Advisory Board and a full-time staff writer for the Columbia Journalism Review. More from this author →