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an arse by any other name

Posted at 16:59 on 27 Apr 2009 by Pandora / Blake

Tags: funny, meta-analysis

I took advantage of the sunny weather this weekend to do a marathon gardening session. I had a fantastic time getting my hands dirty and communing with nature, but when I got to work this morning I realised that my sunny pastime had its price. After limping to the office kitchen and back I whined at D. on IRC, "God, my legs and ass are totally seizing up."

"Ass?" he asked. "Your donkey?" I couldn't see the raised eyebrow, but I could sense it. I found myself the recipient of a good-natured cyber-spanking (on the arse, naturally) for using Americanisms. "You've been reading too much Yank porn, wench."

The thing is that it's not a word I usually use. And I realised, when I thought about it, that for me ass is an entirely sexless word. If I'm talking spanking, I'll say arse, or bottom, or bum, or something more descriptive. If my gluts are throbbing after a workout, I'll say ass or butt. The American slang words appeal less to my traditionally-English spanking aesthetic, so I tend to avoid them in erotic contexts. But they're great for whinging. Complaining that my backside ached from hunkering down over my planter beds all afternoon sounds terribly stuffy; likewise with the other old-fashioned English words - such as behind, rear or rump. (Although I don't think it's possible to use the word "rump" without sounding like a stereotypical British Colonel, mustaches and all.) If I'm whining about my lack of physical fitness, the casual words fit best.

When I explained this to D., he was surprised that a throbbing bum was a sexless thing for me. "Aching thigh muscles from shagging don't make you grin?" he asked.

I pondered. "They can be satisfying, but they're not hot per se." When I thought about it, I remembered that I hadn't found my aching muscles after the Pain4Fem or SM Circus shoots sexy either. I was proud of what I'd endured, but the actual throbbing in my muscles just made me feel sorry for myself. Even if the reason for muscle pain is hot, the ache itself isn't something I fetishize - not in the same way that welts from the previous night's caning will make me tingle. Which is kind of odd, when you think about it - but whoever said masochism was rational. ;)

How about you? Do you use different words for your, or other people's, bums depending on the context? Are your preferred words different from mine? The English language has a ridiculous number of words for the posterior - which ones do you like best?

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