Coffee Rhetoric: V is for Victory

June 24, 2010

V is for Victory

 I recently engaged in a discussion about the trials and tribulations of dating and sex with a male acquaintance and I used the word "vagina" to describe a ... vagina. Alarmed, he asked, "Why do you have to call it that??"  
 "Because that's its government name. It's a VAGINA! VAAAGIINAAAA! Say it with me... say vagina!" I prodded and teased. 
"Noo, I can't!" He insisted. 
People's aversion to sounding out the vowels and consonants that make up the word VAGINA has always amused me. Without hesitation; Cookie, vajayjay, vaj, poon, poontang, punany, kitty, kitty cat, carpet, bush, and the 'P' word will spill from the mouths of women and men without incident... without so much as a chuckle. The moment I say vagina aloud however,  hands cup over mouths muffling sheepish chuckles; which incites me to find any excuse to use the word "vagina" in a sentence, because I've often wondered what's at the root of people's discomfort with using the clinical term for a woman's genitalia, during a friendly discussion.
Quick research (read: Google search) showed that the term "vagina" isn't favored by major broadcasting companies, as evidenced by news that three networks rejected a funny Kotex tampon ad - (which actually mocks the sterility of said ads, selling menstrual products) - for using the term. Kotex later re-shot the commercial substituting "vagina" for "down there." Which still didn't placate two out of the three networks. This is interesting, especially when you consider that major TV stations have no compunctions of conscience when the term "Erectile Dysfunction" is used to sell Cialis and Viagra. 
Owning and appreciating the word VAGINA and all it entails discourages the indifference many women (and some men) feel toward what's best for the sensuousness between their legs, because how one feels about her vagina dictates the impact of her sex life, how it's treated, and how she feels about her body overall. 
A recent study of more than 2,000 women found that those who had the most positive image about their vagina (its natural, healthy smell included) had better orgasms and reported stronger sexual energy. Women, (unlike men, who see and touch their penises everyday, several times a day, to relieve themselves in many instances), don't see or even bother to look at the intricate detailing that goes into making the vaginal area function. I'm reminded of the Ace Ventura type reactions I got when during another discussion (amongst other women) about the vagina, I opined how worthwhile and important it is for a woman to hold a mirror and strong light underneath or before her vagina and vulva (the other 'V' word) - to self-examine and make sure nothing's amiss or funky looking; i.e. sores, unsightly warts, discharge, etc. I stood alone that day, as no amount of explaining my petition made the suggestion anymore palatable... so I changed to another course for fodder. 
In answer to the Yahoo! Question: "Why are we so afraid and uncomfortable with saying the V word?" there were a myriad of responses to why "vagina" just wasn't a desirable word to say versus the slang terms for it. One man suggested: "I think it's because vagina has 3 syllables so it sounds like a long word and it's as if you are trying to make it sound wrong even though it isn't. I have no problem saying penis." 
While not particularly sexy sounding in the throes of passion (I get that), generally saying VAGINA several times won't cause one to be sucked into an abyss like the Bermuda Triangle, never to be heard from again or an even worse fate as illustrated in the black-horror flick, Teeth
The latest craze (endorsed by Jennifer Love Hewitt)- in female vanity known as Vajazzling, which is the strategic bedazzling of little Swarovsky-like sparkles on the lower hypogastric region, makes appreciating one's vagina a lot more fun and brings women that much closer to looking at the actual thing while mouthing the word VAGINA out loud. I liken Vajazzling to playing the choo-choo train game with wee ones while feeding them, in order to get them to eat their food. Whatever works.