How to describe a female breast 3: Questionary

Yesterday, I explored the idea of describing breasts through analogies. This has the advantage of immediately evoking an idea without my having to go far as a writer. Plus, it’s a poetic way that doesn’t go into too much detail.

But if you are serious about trying to put the shape of a breast into words for erotic writing, you might find a gallery of breast shapes that Bratabase has published at helpful. This website is dedicated to finding the right bras for every breast shape. Commercial, certainly, but quite constructive in its help pages. Thirteen breast shapes are illustrated by sketches. This list is, as indicated above, originally made to find the right shape of a bra for yourself.

However, the questions that are in the background of the catalog can help any aspiring author to get away from the stereotype of uniform breasts:

  • Are the breasts more round or pointed?
  • Are the breasts more full above or below the nipples?
  • Is the upper base of the breasts rather wide or narrow?
  • Are the breasts themselves rather wide or narrow?
  • Do the nipples themselves stand rather high or low?
  • Do the breasts stand close together or one to two fingers wide apart?
  • Do the breasts appear rather full or empty?

Three techniques to describe a bust

I’ve been searching the literature for a description of a bosom that plays with the question pattern above without sounding too cool and detached. I know that in John Updike, somewhere in the Rabbit novels, there is a three page description of a bosom. If I can find it again, I’ll be happy to dissect it here on the blog. Right now, however, Nadezhda Sarankhova holds the place of the most accomplished description. This is due to the fact that she uses three different techniques to show the reader the bust size of her protagonist. In her short novel “Mistress Pepper’s Slutty Slut Show” she describes the initiation of some female students into a sorority.

The story is told from the point of view of a dominatrix who has been hired to make it especially hard for one of the girls, Brooke. The five contestants are awakened and, clad only in a see-through nightgown, panties and bra, must perform in front of Mistress Pepper. Brooke is the first to be asked to get rid of the nightgown and her bra. First, Nadezhda Sarankhova works with a visual description, as it could have come from the questionnaire above:

“Just let those boobs hang out so we can all see what you’ve got!  Whore’s aren’t shy about flaunting their nakedness just everywhere, Whore!” ​It takes Brooke a second, but she puts her hands behind her back.  It bares her full, rounded breasts to my eyes.  A pair of breasts that are large enough to hang back against her chest slightly, just enough to form a little crease where they meet her body.  And otherwise have a curving, rounded underside to them.  They’re topped with a pair of nipples the width of pencil erasers that stand up from her rounding mounds around ¼” and that’s counting their rounded tips.  They’re the same shade of light purple-tinged pink as the wide rings of color that surround them.  The tops of her mounds seem to slope almost straight up as they join her chest.  And her nipples are slightly “upturned,” pointing a few degrees up from straight out.  It gives the appearance that the undersides of her breasts are fuller than they really are.  And the smallness of those nipples makes them look almost point atop her curving mounds.

Mistress Pepper begins to play a little with Brooke’s breasts. She strokes the nipples several times and presses her fingertips into the soft flesh of the aspirant. Nadezhda Sarankhova uses a technique here that can certainly be expanded upon in other novels: Namely, her protagonist Mistress Pepper starts talking to Brooke about her breasts.

On the one hand, dialogues accelerate the narrative flow anyway, and on the other hand, self-image and the image of others can collide wonderfully here without the narrative perspective being broken. As I said, in this section the potential of literal speech is at most hinted at.

“Are those boobs nice and spongy soft, are they firm and pert? And be careful, whore, answer politely.” ​”My breasts are firm and pert, Ma’am.” Brooke answers. Her voice is laced with unhappiness and embarrassment.

After the visual and the dialogic description, the author now goes a step further and examines Brooke’s breast, as she had already begun, with her hands. I call this the tactile description. While it is fairly standard in erotic literature per se, here it serves to describe Brooke’s bust in more detail, so it has a different function here. And it rounds out, in the context of the visual and the dialogic description of the breast, the picture that has emerged.

I put my hand atop her mound, softly. Then I start squishing it gently. I feel the firmness in it, but I also feel sponginess. It’s like a hard wet sponge in my hand. And it’s nipple feels like a tiny stone against my palm. I take several seconds, agonizing seconds for Brooke, to fully examine her breast. I even use the tips of my fingers to caress it before loudly pronouncing “Ooh… whore has very silky soft skin on her tits!” Then I do the same with her other mound.

Descriptions with a wink

I also find the description that Gernot Gricksch gives of his heroine Lisa’s bosom in the novel “Die Bank der Kleinen Wunder” (The Bank of Small Miracles) to be completely successful. Gricksch also works with qualifiers. However, since this is the critical self-image of the protagonist, and since it is ironically broken and ends with an original comparison, it is fun to read. Clichés are thus elegantly circumnavigated. When asked what the meaning of the qualifier ‘pleasantly small nipples’ is, she immediately gives an explanatory answer:

Lisa found that the good Lord had been mighty stingy in distributing her external assets. But still: Lisa found her breasts okay. She had more than a handful and less than those silicone monsters from the jungle camp. Firm, not too far apart breasts with pleasantly small nipples. Lisa thought it was hideous when nipples looked like Michael Gorbachev’s birthmark.

from: Gernot Gricksch: Die Bank der kleinen Wunder

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