As with other discussions about language, this post contains words that may offend certain readers. If you’re offended by these words, feel free to skip reading this post and move on to less offensive topics, like dwarf bunnies.
First, let’s watch an educational video.
Okay, I get it. And my kids will be adults who know the proper words. Though hopefully without having to tag in the overly excited “Virginia” guy (what was that about anyway?).
But I’m less concerned about the proper words to use when discussing a clinical issue with my doctor. I’m curious to know what the proper words are for other situations. Like, I dunno; how ’bout in real life.
If I’m talking dirty to my wife, “I’m totally gonna insert my penis into your vulva” just doesn’t have the right effect.
In fact, I’ve got a friend whose wife has a giggle box tied to the word penis. If he were to even start to use that word, she’d crack up, regardless of how sexy he was trying to be. I know; I’ve seen it (admittedly in a far more casual situation). My wife and her husband teamed up with me to get her to say the word itself, and it was like pulling teeth. Very hilarious teeth.
And who could blame her? It just sounds silly.
For that matter, how do fiction writers decide on a word to use? I’ve seen a lot tried in a lot of subgenres, from romance to action, from fantasy to sci-fi.
On the male side of the gender aisle, I’ve seen “member” and “manhood” and “cock” and “piece”. With the seemingly crude exception of cock, each seems to be overly euphemistic, like the author is trying to talk about a thing without naming it. What an incredibly awkward way to write.
The female side is even worse. Apart from race exceptions including the kinda fun “nether lips” to the über-generic references to her “sex”, it seems the anatomy goes completely unnamed in most cases. He’s “inside her” or she’s “touching herself”. I was in my late twenties when I first encountered “pudenda”, and I had to look it up!
Strangely enough, we have no such quandary for breasts in our home. Boobs, tits, tatas, jugs, melons, knockers, boulders, boobies, bust, buxom, and even simply breasts readily find their way into our conversations. Literature seems to do the same. Perhaps milk bags are distinctly acceptable by any label.
With the Guys
The only place where some labels seem to be comfortable is when the guys are talking.
We can talk about our junk, our balls, our package, and when we’re being humorous, we even pull out (figuratively, of course) schlong, wang, dong, and other words that sound like dishes on a Chinese takeout menu.
For some reason, we have proper words, for ourselves at least. When it comes to women… In the case of my Christian friends, they often seem to dodge the worldly go-to, “pussy”, though they fail to offer a valid replacement.
What’s the Answer
So what are the proper words for a Christian to use? Some consider any to be unwholesome and therefore to be avoided, but I don’t personally buy into that. So, what do I say?
Cooter, cootch, and bajingo (a la Scrubs) are vulvas in my home, but only for tongue-in-cheek or humorous contexts. When they’re carried over into more serious contexts, be it sex talk or changing a diaper… it’s hard to my daughter having a bajingo. But she certainly has something. So what is it?
Is cock crude? Or is it kosher for Christians?
Is pussy foul? Or is it acceptable among close friends?
Urban Dictionary has countless things to say on the topic, but naturally, it’s all from the world’s perspective. What does a Christian call these things?
Do I really just have to get used to vulva?