The word vagina and vulva are the correct words to use when we are talking about a woman’s genitals. Don’t let the traditionalists convince you otherwise! And let’s not get started on the word penis which is hardly ever used by women (shockingly even by men). In a perfectly healthy conversation, the squeamishness associated with using the words ‘vagina’ and ‘penis’ refuses to go away, no matter how much we have evolved.
As a part of the Social Service League of my college, I was asked to take sexual harassment sessions in various schools. During the good touch, bad touch part, I was supposed to explain what private parts were and why they were called ‘private,’ I used the terms – penis and vagina. Now, while the children were comfortable with the words, the teachers squirmed. Clearly, they were not used to these terms being used, and it made me wonder how and if they had ever talked about these things openly.
Now, while I can understand why they do not use the word in front of children, I don't know why they are ashamed of using them amongst themselves. Although, all through childhood we have been taught never to use these words, and I am not proud of it, but I too have been a part of this ‘funny names for your vagina or penis’ brigade. Come on. We were not born yesterday! We’ve all used ridiculous words in place of the actual word (as though it were our secret language), either because of shame or because everyone else was doing it. Now some of the funny names that we used and came across for vagina and penis have been hilarious, not to mention ridiculous at times.
The word itself gives you a picture of what we are talking about. This word was used so much it would confuse me. Is this guy talking about his penis or does he mean actually eating sausages? *wink wink*
This was at the time when I had started watching American movies, basically my preteen and teen years. I saw those glitzy, glamorous on-screen beauties refer to their vaginas as ‘jay-jay’, which I then thought was quite cool! No seriously, ‘jay-jay’ is such a sexy name!
One of the funniest terms, ding-dong was used by almost all the guys in my class. I remember how some guy in the back would shout out ding and wait for his friend to shout out dong before bursting into laughter. Well, guess who’s laughing now?
When we hear Monica call it her flower, all we can do is laugh at it being referred to as one. But have you ever wondered how much a blooming flower resembles the opening of our vagina. Although it sounds funny, we also hear Rachel tell her that no one would take it if Monica keeps calling it that. So might as well call it what it is.
Thankfully, I have outgrown these terms, and I don’t understand the shame associated with them. But all said and done, those were fun times! It seems that as kids, we thought we had our own secret language that the adults wouldn’t figure out. Guess what, they did all that before you were born.