Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A book whose time has ...


Imagine somebody with sufficient inspiration, initiative, passion, focus, research skills, and dedication to assemble a definitive compendium of literature’s wide world of metaphors for semen.

Yes, imagine my non-imaginary friend Cecil Goran, the Bearded Confidant. His research arc has recently climaxed, and the Dictionary of Semenyms [note: some NSFW pages on book description's host site] has been catapulted into the world.

I think it’s safe to say that a dictionary of jism, fifteen years in the making, gives new resonance to the concept of “stick-to-itiveness.”

So, yes, the news on Confidant’s remarkable semen dictionary is out ... and I’m here to help spread it around. Er ... to help disseminate it. Er ...

The imagery cited in Dictionary of Semenyms spans centuries, as well as representing a rich, warm, viscous range of categories—which Confidant has methodically organized with the lust of the true scholar. Here are some of the contemporary entries (complete with Cecil's annotations):

all - the greatest amount a man can ejaculate.
“He shot it all, thrusting once, twice.”
Alison Kent, The Beach Alibi
[cited in the "Quantities" chapter of Dictionary of Semenyms]

burning liquor - an intoxicating beverage, like firewater.
“His cock shuddered wildly, emptying its burning liquor into the trembling crash of her orgasm.”
Kristina Lloyd, Darker than Love
[cited in the "Temperature" chapter]

expansive juice - a fullscale, wide-ranging ejaculation.
“She was too tired to move and swallowed his expansive juice.”
Maxim Jakubowski, Kiss Me Sadly

[cited in the "Quantities" chapter]

his own fluid - used to describe semen as a man’s personal creation.
“Holding my ass cheeks in both hands, he shot his own fluid into me.”
Jean Roberta, “Communion”

[cited in the "Personal Terms" chapter]

warmth of it - a cozy blanket of sperm.
“The warmth of it slithered down my throat and I tried my best to swallow.”
Gwen Masters, One Breath at a Time
[cited in the "Temperature" chapter]

wet kisses - passionate pecks from a pecker.
“We come with synchronized precision, my pampered prick blowing wet kisses onto her industrious fingers.”
—Jeremy Edwards, “Napkin on My Lap”
[cited in the "Loving Terms" chapter]

But wait! Don’t answer yet. Dictionary of Semenyms also includes an epic erotic fantasy (m/m/m/m/m ...), a guide to “scarlet letters,” and a mini-encylopedia of safe words (featuring safe-word snippets from authors such as Alison Tyler, Kristina Lloyd, Teresa Noelle Roberts, and Charlie Anders)!

If a volume of this nature would traditionally be termed a literary companion, then "Semenyms" is a literary companion with benefits. I asked Confidant a couple of questions about this seminal reference work, this “Spunk & White,” if you will.

Can you tell us a little bit about the research process for locating semenyms?

I discover them only through deliberate accident. I can't directly search for an unknown word—I must scan erotic literature for orgasmic language and then hope to find a coined term tossed into the mix. It's like digging for X-rated treasure without a map to mark the spot. That's why the dictionary of semenyms has been fifteen years in the making.

Fifteen years is quite a journey! Did the nature of the project evolve in that time?

Yes. For a long time the dictionary didn't feature any definitions but only examples of usage from erotic literature. It hadn't occurred to me to write definitions, since every term obviously means "semen." But when I pitched the book to a publisher about ten years ago, the rejection letter mentioned that they didn't publish books of quotations. My first thought was one of surprise: "I didn't realize my dictionary was a book of quotations!" My second thought was more practical: "So I need to find a definition for each sperm term that transcends the obvious!" Writing the definitions proved to be quite a challenge but also extraordinarily rewarding, as I had an opportunity to add some of my own wit to the whimsical quotations from erotic literature. Plus, as any lexicographer will tell you, once you write the first one-thousand definitions, you get a rhythm going.

And now, here’s where you come ... in. Actually, you can come in two places:

First, Confidant cheerfully notes that "Semenyms" will be updated for future editions! (Semen: The gift that keeps on giving.) So here’s the come-on: If you have an entry of your own that you’d like him to consider, please either post it in the comments here, or e-mail it to him (confidant AT keepstill DOT com). Though previously published citations are preferred, Confidant acknowledges that “some semenyms are simply ahead of their time”—so quotations from your unpublished or not-yet-published writings are eligible as well.

Second, we’re giving away a copy of Dictionary of Semenyms! Here’s the challenge that Confidant has come up with: Match the sperm term to the person who said it. Below, you’ll find two columns, one containing entries from Semenyms and one containing the authors’ names. If you want to play, try to match up semenym to author, and post your guesses in the comments. We’re on the honor system here—no research, please. (But if you happen to recognize one or more of the entries and know the correct answers just because you’re a mad-skillz erotica maven, then that’s legit—it’s okay to win by dint of your previously amassed expertise, just not by dint of ad hoc answer-foraging.) The person with the greatest number of correct matches will win the book (and no penalty for incorrect matches, so guess away). In the event of a tie, the earlier comment wins. I’ll post the answers in a week (Wednesday, August 12), along with the name of the winner. Thanks for—er—sticking around and playing!

(doodle space)


1. choir of angels
2. craziness
3. divine pleasure
4. jamjam
5. life essence
6. love
7. man-dew
8. pecker tracks
9. salty smear
10. sap
11. swimming fluid
12. tummy medicine
13. vitality
14. white ink of life


A. Russell Brand
B. William S. Burroughs
C. Pat Califia
D. Jean Cocteau
E. Nick Currie (Momus)
F. Marquis de Sade
G. Allen Ginsberg
H. James Joyce
I. Stanley Kubrick
J. D. H. Lawrence
K. David Lynch
L. Henry Miller
M. Anne Rice
N. John Waters

Finally, Confidant has authorized me to offer you nice people a discount code, which will grant you 20% off when you buy Dictionary of Semenyms via CreateSpace.* (In order to take advantage of this offer, be sure to purchase directly through CreateSpace, and enter the following code after the "add to cart" step: QYVG2THE)

*Don’t be fooled by the 1994 publication date—Amazon and its subsidiaries evidently log all semen-related books according to date of conception. And Confidant notes, in the eroto-erratum department, that any typos are due to “one-handed typing, sticky fingers, or perhaps running dry on white-out.”


Ashley Lister said...

Hi Jeremy,

Billiant blog about what looks like a brilliant book. This should make a big splash with erotica authors :-)


Ashley Lister

Confidant said...

"Big splash" :-)

Thanks, Ashley!

Janine Ashbless said...

Oh gush - I mean, gosh. I'm in awe at such dedication to research! You must be exhausted, Confidant.
I can't even begin to guess at the jiz-quiz either ... Except Russell Brand may have gone for "tummy medicine".

Thank you for bringing us such reading pleasure, Jermey. Although it has made my eyes sting...

Erobintica said...

This looks absolutely wonderful. I'm a sucker for euphemisms as it is (I still get hits to my Blow Hard Tour post from people looking for euphs). Guess I need to scrounge around in the couch for coins so I can get this.

Nikki Magennis said...

What a fount of inspiration this book would be! Looks sensational, Jeremy, thanks for sharing.

Can I sing 'Semen chanted evening' now?

Oh, oh oh, my spamword! It's 'feudera'. You're not in some kind of mafia spat, are you J?

Jeremy Edwards said...

I'm loving all your wordplay, folks!

Looks sensational, Jeremy, thanks for sharing.

Yes, it's semensational!

You're not in some kind of mafia spat, are you J?

[Looks down.] No, just the garden-variety spats that match my hat.

Jeremy Edwards said...

Brilliant blog about what looks like a brilliant book.

Thanks, Ashley!

I am about to lose power (hastily scheduled maintenance on the local infrastructure), and then I'll be away from my computer for a while. Back later! Everyone please make yourselves at home, and don't be shy about matching up sperm terms ... and showing us your own.

Smut Girl said...

i can attest to the book being brilliant. i'm about 1/3 of the way through. i look at it and see a beautiful example of a lot of work and love. i cannot fathom that kind of work (nor would i have the patience to do it!)

great blog :)

Donna said...

Wow, what an amazing and witty celebration of words and jiz. I know I've got to have a copy of this book in my library. Every erotica writer should. Hell, everyone who's ever had sex would probably benefit :-). Great title, too!

I tend to be pretty straightforward in my references to semen. "Spunk-a-spunk-a burnin' love" when an Elvis tune is playing. In a recent foodie story I called it "dessert," "vanilla cream pudding," "comfort food," and "natural juices." (Semen played a rather large part in the menu). This all made me realize that I tend to draw from the prevailing imagery of the story for my references. But I'm not above stealing a good term from a writer I admire, lol, so thanks in advance for doing the messy work.

Now, while I am truly desirous of scooping up this intriguing tome in my hands and massaging it all over my literary imagination, I really suck at quizzes, so I'm not even going to embarrass myself by trying, lol. I look forward to seeing the answers, though. It's quite a list of literary greats.

Excellent interview, Jeremy and best wishes for a spurt in your sales, Confidant!

Confidant said...

Thanks, Janine! Re: exhaustion, luckily (as I once told Jeremy Edwards) writing about orgasms is like the experience of orgasm -- vividness followed by oblivion. In other words, it's the kind of exhaustion you forget. ;-)

Confidant said...

Greetings, Erobintica, from a fellow "sucker for euphemisms" (as well as "hands on" researcher!) Re: scrounging around in your couch for coins, I'll have to dig up my anecdote about how pennies got lucky.

Confidant said...

Nikki, your rendition of "Semen Chanted Evening" would be the perfect soundtrack to the dictionary! And the next line of the song is so true: if you chant for semen, "you may see a stranger."

Thanks for the nice words!

Confidant said...

Sommer, when you described "a beautiful example of a lot of work and love," I heard PeeWee Herman's voice saying, "I know you are, but what am I?"

Re: mustering the patience for compiling so many sperm terms ... as the Taoists say, a way is laid one stone at a time. And when you waylay a man to get his rocks off, and if he has multiple orgasms, and if it's true that when you give an inch they shoot a mile ... well, it all adds up.

Confidant said...

Donna, thank you for all the kind (and delicious) comments! As a foodie myself, I love all your sweet terminology. I totally agree with your approach of using the prevailing imagery in your story to suggest the sperm term. Indeed, that's why I organized my dictionary thematically. Though in theory an unlikely sperm term could pop up like a surprise ejaculation, semenyms that appear naturally in context are the most satisfying for me.

Anonymous said...

Impressive. I can't match all the authors with their words, but I would guess that Pat Califia coined "salty smear."
- Jean Roberta

Jeremy Edwards said...

great blog :)

Thanks, Sommer!

Excellent interview, Jeremy

Thank you, Donna!

In a recent foodie story I called it "dessert," "vanilla cream pudding," "comfort food," and "natural juices." (Semen played a rather large part in the menu).

Hmm ... that must have been the pricks' fix menu. (Gee, I hope I spelled that right.)

Donna said...

Right, Jeremy--it should be Pricks Fucks--and it's always a deal!

P.S. Haven said...

Dude(s), this is absolutely killer. I need this book.
Brilliant, brilliant concept. Can't wait to peruse the execution!

Confidant said...

Haven, thanks for the killer comment! By the way, that semenyn about divine juice I shared with you earlier ...


will show up in the next printing.

kristina lloyd said...

Oh, I want this! Great cover too. I do like 'love' as a semenym - so cute. I'll try and match people to paint later.

Amazing work. Confidant, you are the Dr Johnson of jizm.

Jeremy Edwards said...

Thank you for letting me play Boswell, Dr Johnson! You are indeed our age's expert in sementics.

I'll keep the match-'em-up game open through next Tuesday (or, technically, whenever I wake up on Wednesday to get my tally on). And keep the sperm terms coming!

Madeline Moore said...

Another must have research manual for writers of erotica. I do sometimes wish I had just such a book as I try to come up with another word for a man's come, and no, cum doesn' count.

In the midst of moving so my mind is just so much tapioca pudding...hmmmm...there's one!

My word verification is 'winess' (the female equivalent, I think, to a wino)

Thank you Confidant, and Jeremy.
Fifteen years in the making! What a long time coming!

Confidant said...

Thanks, Madeline! I see from your bio that you studied with D.M. Thomas. Did you know I actually quote one of his semenyms in my dictionary? :-)

Alana said...

I'm late, I'm late for a very important date!

I love this, J. Thank you.


Jeremy Edwards said...

The answers, and contest results, have now been posted here!