by Raelene Gorlinsky
I am stunned by the number of romance heroes who possess both male and female "parts". They've got two pairs of nipples, one for each gender. Two sets of lips. And four arms and a multitude of fingers.
How else would you interpret descriptions of our hero that refer to his male nipples--this must be to differentiate them from his female ones, right? His manly arms hold the heroine while his masculine fingers stroke her body and his male lips seduce her. So what are his female arms, etc, doing? Just hanging there? Or maybe waiting for another guy to join the fun so they can have a turn too?
If you are talking about a male character, believe me, we know his body parts are male. Cut out the unnecessary words. (Well, okay, if he's an alien or a weird paranormal creature, then you might have to be more specific.)
This isn't to say that you should never use such descriptors. Sometimes it is appropriate or accurate to differentiate, to draw a contrast between a feminine and masculine characteristic. A "masculine chin" describes a square, strong chin--and could be used in reference to either a man's or woman's face. Not all men are broad shouldered, so we all understand that "masculine breadth of shoulder" means wide shoulders. "Male scent" can be an allusion to the scent of sex, of pheromones, or even just to differentiate a "clean masculine scent" from the smell of cologne.
But please, never, ever write "his male penis". Not unless he's also got a female one.
Have you seen a description like this that left you laughing or groaning?