I have quite the sticky sitation to cover with you today.
What do you call that pesky, albeit lovely..."fleshy pagoda of expandable joy"? Obviously you shouldn't call it a "fleshy pagoda of expandable joy"...unless the situation calls for such extravagance. No, it all depends on your story, your characters, your setting, your style, and your own preference. I warn you now I must break decorum to give this lesson, so if you find yourself easily offended by vulgarities within an instructive non-fiction piece, I urge you not to read on.
Now, for those of you lovely, excited people out there, I welcome you to a discussion of manhood. As I said above, it depends on five things just which term you use for that oh so important part of the body.
STORY: Is your story lightweight, or is it a true heavy-hitter. In softcore erotica, it is recommended, at least by yours truly, that you avoid, forgive my language, words like dick, cock, or any other such pwerful terminology. Hardcore erotica, on the other hand, is much more open to that sort of language.
CHARACTER: Perhaps you have written an innocent character into your ertica, a character that is quite uncomfortable with said vulgarities, may resort to more subtle terms, such as growth, manhood, et cetera. A character may, you'll find, also just have a preference for one term or the other.
SETTING: This is simple. A medeival knight would not refer to his cock so, unless you are using an omniscient narrator signified as having been from the future, resort to other terms. Manhood, maybe even saber if you want to go into a more retro style of writing harkening to the eighties. You may also find a prince or other royal not using such vulgarities.
STYLE: This is purely your own. I have recently written a story for the Kitten Knights set in a very fable-like style. Naturally, I could not throw around dicks and cocks as thought it was one of my royal orgies (which I shall regale you with at another date, I assure you). Sufice it to say, there was much manhood, and a few snakes, in that tale.
PREFERENCE: This is even more your own than style, I daresay. There are words I simply despise, among them the greatest offense to taint our noble genre: schlong. It disgust me when I see this word in erotica, no matter the sitation--excluding comic erotica or comic relief. The other I avoid like the plague: member.
Apart from that, there are a handful of things to remember when referring to manhood:
It is not a man teat, no matter how much you have used the word dick throughout the rest of the story. No man teats, especially if they are quivering.
In general, it is not a penis, but that can be let slide given the correct situation, such as a doctor's office or, again, for comic relief or the like. Do not use that during sex, however, unless very sure of its rightness.
Lastly, if your man's dangling bit must be referred to as a sword or a saber, never "plunge it into a forge of passion." Ever.
Thank you for going this far. May these lessons serve you well.
Raven de Hart