Why Some Women Are Afraid To Use The P-Word When Referring To Their Vaginas

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women who insist on using the word vagina
Self, Sex

What's in a name? Lots.

There has never been a human born without at least one of their parents experiencing an orgasm, and yet we continue to be embarrassed — and often grossed out — by the parts of our bodies that simply HAVE to be involved in that process.

This has been on my mind lately when I talk with female friends about words they do and don't like to use and/or hear in reference to their "vaginas".

Personally, when I see or hear the word vagina, I think in very clinical terms.

A vagina, to me, is a key feature of the female reproductive system, which comes with all kinds of positive and negative features. Positive: yummy good feelings. Negative: periods (and other stuff I could get more specific about, but I won't ... so you're welcome).

When I see or hear the p-word, I think of sex. Hot, sweaty, incredibly blissful sex.

When I see or hear the c-word, it depends on the context. I may think of sex, but in a far rougher sense, or I may think of the worst thing I could call someone of any gender.

The nicknames vag, vajayjay, and hooha make me laugh. I like to pull these words out during casual banter.

When I think of the words beaver and pink taco, I think it is time to think of something else.

Because no.

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I was honestly surprised at how many women I know who CANNOT STAND the word p***y in reference to their own vagina. There seems to be a passionate consensus among my female friends that ANY word other than the anatomically correct vagina applied in relation to this most delicate (yet certainly durable) of female body parts is generally considered, in clinical terms: GROSS.

I was surprised ... but I also get it.

Dirty talk was never something that came easily for me (although being dirty talked TO has always made "coming" easier).

When I tried to analyze why, I uncovered three basic reasons:

1. I didn't know what I was supposed to say

2. I was worried I would say something that would sound weird and decidedly NOT sexy.

3. I was worried I'd ask a guy to do something he didn't want to do, and he'd then judge me for wanting him to do it.

All of which adds up to the one TRUE reason I couldn't get the sexy words running excitedly through my head to fly out of my throat and into a guy's waiting ear.

Shame.

Shame for having sexual thoughts. Shame for having sexual body parts with sexual functions. Shame for my perfectly natural, normal, biological impulses.

I didn't grow up religious. I didn't grow up with parents telling me sex was anything but wonderful. I didn't grow up with teachers advocating abstinence only.

But I distinctly remember the first feelings of excitement I felt in whatever you want to call that region, and I remember feeling guilty about it. Feeling shame.

What broke me out of that horrible jail cell of self-repression was looking at sex for what it is. Fun. Normal. Exciting. Enjoyable. Playful.

I started playing with different words via text, or by phone, or in bed.

It didn't take long to realize that neither me OR the guy I said it to felt anything remotely close to grossed out.

So back to my lady friends and the lightening quick cries of "EW!" at the mention of a 'V' as a 'P', I have to wonder ... 

Do they not get even the teeniest bit wet when they hear it? Like, nothing? At all?

What is so gross anyway?

A p***y is a cat. A kitten. Who ever thought of a kitten and immediately exclaimed, "EWWWWWW!"?? (Other than really mean kitten haters maybe. But eff them.)

When you picture a cat (if you aren't allergic) what do you think of?

Grace. Fluidity. Softness. Something you want to pet and cuddle and take care of and play with.

Why on Earth wouldn't I want to think of my vagina that way?

It can definitely be fluid. It is definitely soft. It LOVES being petted, rubbed and played with — although it is absolutely discerning and will only allow someone special and trusted to do so.  

What's there to be grossed out by? 

Unless what you're grossed out by is SEX.

Why does a vagina have to be so scientific and proper?

Do women insist men refer to their breasts as mammary glands? Do you ever ask a man to suck on your papilla (the medical term for nipple, duh)? Do you get grossed out by the word boobs? I'm pretty sure those answers are all "no."

If you want to go all radical feminist on me and say you don't like those words because men assigned them to us, have you ever noticed the names they came up with for their own body parts? Would you really want to consider part of your body to be like a male chicken? Or some dude named Richard? P***y seems a whole lot more complimentary to me than any of the penis nicknames I can think of.

Have you ever even dedicated Google time to the origin of the scientific names for your anatomy? Turns out vagina is simply the Latin word for sheath. Yes, that's right. The place for a warrior to enclose his gladdis, i.e., the Latin word for sword — and, not so coincidentally, penis.

Oh, and vulva is Latin for "wrapper." 

Here's the honest to goodness truth as it just is.

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Vaginas enclose penises. Vulvas wrap up vaginas. These things are what they are, and not one thing about them is gross.

What's gross is the sticky, moldy smell of all of that inbred and inborn slut-shaming we carry on our shoulders.

Sex has is own unique smells, sounds, and words — just like eating and sleeping and walking do.

Don't try to sell me on the notion that childbirth is beautiful and natural, but that my pussy isn't graceful, soft and sweet.

Vaginas are as beautiful in pleasure as they are in pain.

Sex is fun and messy and playful. 

Not one part of you is gross. You just need to believe it.

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