Endowed

You know my gynecologist felt compelled to console me over the fact that my clit is always gonna be as, ahem, easy to find as it is now? Somehow, being a little better-hung than the other ladies isn’t quite as uncomplicated a physical asset as, say, having large breasts. In fact, having a hazelnut instead of a pine nut is potentially repulsive. I’ll need to very carefully prepare my partners for the sight of my gargantuan hot button. (“It’s not a toomah!”) But no. No traditional conflict over the vag in this society, no sir!

Easy — it just required a thoroughly fantastical re-write of basic human impulses:

Men do not in fact embrace the pooter. All they see women as are baby-making machines, reproductive robots, and in fact the act of sex itself is physically repulsive to men. (Hence Marcotte’s strange fantasy about a male dream of impregnating a female without going through the sweaty hassle of “befouling” oneself by touching her — whereas, of course, everyone in their right mind knows that it’s the befouling that’s the fun part.)

We men wanted (per Feminism 2.0) women for nothing but sexual release. But now feminism 3.0 also (claims to) be big into sexual release, and yet men must still be portrayed as the Oppressors. So Feminism 3.0 postulates that men really aren’t all that into sex after all — in fact, we’re vaguely repulsed by the vagina — and, ergo, forcing men to have non-procreative, purely-pleasure-oriented vaginal sex is the new form of Feminist defiance.

I will have sex with you until you’re shaking from exhastion, but damnit, I will not bear your child! Eat it, Men! Nailed ya! Hah-hah, suck on that one! (And, when you’re done, the other one too!)

God, I’m so craving an abortion right now.

I should probably just go for a D&E and cosmos with the girls, and not even bother with this, but Sweet Mary Mother of God. Whose pleasure, dipshit? Do you think a Brazilian wax–like the one Carrie got in Season Three, Episode Fourteen–is tantric? Women have been getting fucked for yonks, but this is not quite the same as having pleasurable sex. Women’s bodies have been wanted for just as long, but this is not the same as giving women license to love their bodies. Even the Sex and the City team have figured that out.

It is possible for a group of people to be the object of hatred and desire at the same time. And it is possible for their bodies to become subject to all sorts of conflicting messages of fascination and revulsion. It is also possible–more like inevitable–for them to become linked to a series of standards for desirability. This becomes a way to simultaneously render them and their bodies accessible and controlled. This is why there are lots of women who have lots of sex but few orgasms. It’s why women are taught to be ashamed of the way they smell. It’s also why there are so many men who don’t like eating pussy.

Anyway. I’m gonna go make myself something cloying and boozy before I curl up with my favoritest television show ever, but first: I was talking yesterday with my dear friend in Chicago:

“I have this problem that I can’t talk about on a cell phone in the park.”

“You joined al Qaeda?”

“Yes. I got really drunk last night and now I’m a terrorist. It’s like waking up in the Marines these days. It’s part of their new anti-profiling strategy. Dunno what they’re doing here, though. One in three San Franciscans is already on the no-fly list.”

“Do you have a yeast infection?”

“Yup!”

“Maybe it’s because I’m a gay man, but I had no problem saying ‘yeast infection’ on my cell phone.”

“Well, you’re not the one with the microbrewery.”

But I was wondering. How much sharing and oversharing do all of you do about your vaginas? And assorted issues therewith? Would you use the terms “cottage cheese-like discharge” and “it feels like I masturbated with Ben-Gay” in a busy public place? What if you were on the phone with your HMO and the appointment service was telling you that they couldn’t fit you in for three goddamn days?

79 comments for “Endowed

  1. twf
    April 29, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    I’ve found garlic to be a good treatment for mild yeast infections.

    Once I was walking down a busy city street with my now-husband and several friends. One of my friends has a reputation for speaking a tad loudly. She says to me, just as we pass a group of people, “so how’s that garlic shoved up your cunt?”

  2. April 29, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    Ditto on the garlic for the yeastiness. Also, yogurt.

    Maybe it’s the confrontational punk rocker in me, but I have *no* problem talking about such matters on the phone. Back in the day, my friend Amalia and I used to start up such conversations on the train just to get people to stare.

  3. Betsy
    April 29, 2007 at 12:58 pm

    Good question, piny. I don’t talk about it at all. And in fact, recently I’ve wanted to be able to ask my good friends one question in particular – do you shave/wax, and if so, how much? Because I don’t at all, and my boyfriend loves that I don’t, but if we were to break up, I would have no idea what the norm is these days for that sort of thing. I wouldn’t necessarily follow the norm, but I would like to know what it is among women of my cohort, just so I knew what men’s expectations might be.
    Anyway, that’s not a question. I just wanted to answer yours by saying that I would feel self-conscious raising the subject, though if someone else brought it up, I would chime in happily.

  4. April 29, 2007 at 12:59 pm

    I”m just ever so curious, so forgive me, Piny, if I overstep.

    I understand that when a woman takes male hormones, it enlarges her clitoris, but what would have happened had you gone on to have the whole gender reassignment thing? Would you have ended up with a really small penis? Would it have kept growing? Would you have gotten some sort of reconstructive surgery to make it larger?

  5. April 29, 2007 at 1:09 pm

    I have no shame talking about this kind of stuff. Probably because my parents were always very upfront, what with the copies of A Woman’s Experience of Sex and Our Bodies, Our Selves hanging around the house. And then living with five other women in a collective house for three years – when you start going through the collective PMSing as your menstrual cycles sinc up, nothing is out of bounds.

  6. Sniper
    April 29, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    Actual conversation in my office:

    Woman A: I’m glad I belong to the gender that doesn’t compare genital size.

    (Pause)

    Woman B: My vagina is smaller than your vagina.

  7. R. Mildred
    April 29, 2007 at 1:34 pm

    I was mentioning on the phone last night how whenever I see a woman with a shaved snatch I immediately am reminded of manatees.

    I asked if it was just me, she said yes.

    Do you think a Brazilian wax–like the one Carrie got in Season Three, Episode Fourteen–is tantric?

    Could you clarify what you mean by “tantric”?

  8. R. Mildred
    April 29, 2007 at 1:36 pm

    umm.. I got confused, Ignore the last question there.

  9. April 29, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Boy, interesting strawman he’s got going there. I don’t doubt that many men who hate women sexually desire women—and it makes them angry that their inferiors make them weak and desirous. So they do things like try to control women, rape them, portray them plasticized and shorn in porn magazines, and compare our genitals to Playdoh and bacon. Ace doesn’t claim to loooooove his toilet he dumps into and men who view women as receptacles quite happily treat us like we’re disgusting.

    That or Ace drinks from his toilet.

  10. April 29, 2007 at 1:50 pm

    Or, what piny said.

  11. kidlacan
    April 29, 2007 at 2:19 pm

    last time the husband had a yeast infection he emailed all his friends to tell them. subject header:

    I HAVE A YEAST INFECTION ON MY PENIS (n/t)

    it seems no different from any other sort of infection, to me, at least. if you’d be willing to talk about a sinus infection, why not a yeast infection?

    i have engaged in some serious overshare about my IUD, though. i have considered actually making and wearing an “ASK ME ABOUT MY IUD!” shirt. it’s that awesome.

  12. Daisy
    April 29, 2007 at 2:21 pm

    The last time we were together, my best girl friend and I were at what is the equivalent of a food court on our campus. The tables are very close together and our conversation covered nipple piercings, our collective anti-depressants and therapy sessions, breastfeeding, the common confusion between usage of the words vulva and vagina, and sleeping with boys who aren’t (and shouldn’t be) our boyfriends. We both caught the girls next to us listening in.

  13. April 29, 2007 at 2:57 pm

    There is one special time in which women who would not ordinarily talk about their vaginas will- child birth! The fun bits may get a small mention, but I get to hear all about centimers dilated, water broken, etc. *disturbed* My mom won’t even let me put my pads out, even though I assure her that my dad knows that women bleed from their crotches every month.

  14. April 29, 2007 at 3:00 pm

    I try to limit my discussion of disease and disorder of my sex organs, but I’m comfortable saying something like “My uterus hurts,” or mentioning tampons.

  15. April 29, 2007 at 3:02 pm

    I would totally wear an “ask me about my IUD!” shirt, I think that would be totally awesome.

    I am famous among my circle of friends for having no sense of TMI — I will share anything I think is relevant with anybody I know even slightly well. Both of my long-term partners to date have had to take me aside and lay down some ground rules for what in our sex life is not party conversation. It doesn’t embarass me, so I figure it’s icebreaking. *shrugs* I do, however, usually talk less about “gross” stuff, because I figure people don’t want to hear it, or else I don’t want to think about it long enough to talk about it. If someone asks though, I’m generally willing to talk about it if I’ve already had to get it in my brain.

  16. car
    April 29, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    I have a weird combination of being overly modest with being overly informative. I can’t talk about personal bodily functions at all, and wince at even overhearing words like “pee” in general conversation, but I’m also a biology teacher so what I can do is get in front of 30 college students and blithely talk about penises and uteri and symptoms of sexual diseases and the like. As long as it’s technical, I’m there. I did notice that after having my first baby a lot of the shyness went away – I guess you can’t have several random people in and out of a room examining your nether regions and asking about it without losing some of the reticence. Not to mention breastfeeding for close to three years total – you get pretty well-versed in discussing yeast infections.

    kidlacan, is it by any chance Mirena? Because I’d be so with you there. I had so many bad experiences with different birth control methods, I could now be one of those people in commercials walking along the beach and jumping for joy at my wonderful feminine contraceptive product.

  17. pigeon
    April 29, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    i’ve been lucky enough never to have a yeast infection or UTI or the likes, but have talked extensively and pretty publicly with my best friend about hers. sex is probably one of our favorite things to talk about, and has gotten us many a stare out at coffee, or dinner, as one or the other goes on about particulars about our partner, or a newly discovered kink, or her recent declaration that her sexuality is not so much defined by gender attraction as it is by BDSM and wondering if she could get away with answering “how do you identify” with “sado-masochism.” pretty much everything and anything is fair game for discussion. i’m less likely to get into details with other friends until i know whether or not it would make them uncomfortable, but don’t think twice about casual mentions of sex, vibrators, tampons/anything period related, etc. my experience has been, though, if i seem at ease and don’t make a big deal about talking about x, whoever i’m talking to is less likely to be embarrassed or uncomfortable either.

  18. Bravo Romeo Delta
    April 29, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    Well, if nothing else, a hazelnut v. a pine nut means that the ignorant among us (Yo!) are far less likely to need a team of sherpas to navigate the entire vast unexplored three square inch wilderness. With a bit of luck like that, it’s even possible that my next sexual experience will be better for my partner than if I had just gone into the bathroom and rubbed one out.

    As regards the general drift of the question at top, I’m no more or less comfortable with guys yammering about their wang than women yammering about their pooter. Or for that matter, about any one of a number of Bodily Things That Are Pretty Natural.

    So, in any case, I’m not seeing this whole adoration/revulsion thing. It may exist, but if so, it’s existence is a complete mystery to me – even more mysterious than the Vast Vaginal Wilderness.

  19. jkr
    April 29, 2007 at 3:35 pm

    I give TMI in many situations, but this isn’t one of them…would never mention, e.g., a UTI to any but my very closest friends and my husband, and probably not even to those friends.

    What’s interesting is that if a client wants to talk about it, I’m there, using the right words and giving them information, no embarrassment (nor for that matter prurience). The client who was surprised to learn that a virgin could use tampons, or (sadder) was shocked by the idea that her husband had no right to “go ahead and take what he wants” if she said no to sex? No problem; let’s talk. And I don’t get embarrassed at all. OTOH when I try to talk about my own issues, I blush and stammer and freeze.

    Years ago I had a neighbor–married and in her 20s–who would have spells explained as “guts hurting.” It took several months of dropping and finding her incapacitated by “guts” before I realized that this was her term for menstrual cramps.

    (She and her husband had joined Opus Dei, last I heard; it seems fitting.)

  20. Mandolin
    April 29, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    “Well, if nothing else, a hazelnut v. a pine nut means that the ignorant among us (Yo!) are far less likely to need a team of sherpas to navigate the entire vast unexplored three square inch wilderness.”

    Okay, perhaps I’m misunderstanding your sarcasm here, but seriously, is it actually difficult to find clitorii? I mean, I haven’t vast experience with clitorii beyond my own, but it’s sort of “yo, I’m right here,” and the concept of clitorii being hard to find sort of baffles me. I mean, I figured it was one of those stupid myths started because the guys in question weren’t actually looking. Am I missing something here? Are there actually women whose labia function like invisibility cloaks?

  21. Bravo Romeo Delta
    April 29, 2007 at 3:55 pm

    Mandolin,

    Okay, perhaps I’m misunderstanding your sarcasm here, but seriously, is it actually difficult to find clitorii?

    Apologies, I was riffing off of the myth you noted – which I agree has a lot more to do with guys not looking all that hard (and perhaps the famous stereotypical reluctance of guys to ask for directions when they can’t find something) than any sort of invisibility cloak.

    I would imagine that if the labia were a effective invisibility cloak, the DoD would have been all over trying to replicate that technology for stealth fighters.

  22. Mandolin
    April 29, 2007 at 3:58 pm

    “Apologies, I was riffing off of the myth you noted”

    The possibility had occurred to me, but for some reason I was getting mixed signals. Sorry for misreading!

  23. Bravo Romeo Delta
    April 29, 2007 at 4:00 pm

    Mandolin,

    Now, on the other hand, I will admit to being completely overwhelmed by the pluralization rules as they apply to genitalia..els..ses and their bits as a whole. :-)

    BRD

  24. Mandolin
    April 29, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Oh, I can explain that easily:

    For informal discussion, pick pluralization that sounds the silliest.

  25. kidlacan
    April 29, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    since we’re doing the overshare — like, how big is considered “too big” for clitoris size? it had never, ever occured to me that such a thing as a too-big clitoris could exist. i’m wondering if, all these years, i’ve had some massive malformation of my clitoris and never known it. i mean, it’s right there, and it’s pretty hard to miss…

    mandolin – in my experience, i’ve never had someone not be able to find the clitoris, but they’ve not always known what it was, or that they’ve found it. and there’s sometimes embarassment about having to say “wait, so which part is the clitoris?” there’s this sort of Myth of the Clit, and the basic topography is never really explained (particularly not to dudes). current dude lacks this embarassment, which is probably why we get on so well. i gave him the guided tour.

    car – actually, it’s the old-school paragard. i had my endocrine system eaten by a weird reaction to a medication a few years ago, where i got to have two periods a month (each about a week long) for six months, after which i stopped having periods altogether. which i was totally fine with, aside from the monthly OMG PREGNANCY SCARE!!!1!, but my gyn decided i had to be put on hormones, as it Just Wasn’t Healthy. since i do have such funky hormones, it never was clear that a) i was ovulating at all or that b) the Pill had any effect on me whatsoever, so i decided to go with something non-hormonal.

    i shill for the Mirena every time someone tells me how bad their cramps are, though, because i hear nothing but good. and i shill for paragard the rest of the time, because my uterus is now a zygote-free zone until 2012. with absolutely no effort on my part!

  26. April 29, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    I personally don’t have a problem talking about general stuff related to the vagina etc., but I recognize that some people do and curb my speech accordingly. Plus there’s the question of how close we are. So my high school friends are used to discussion of the uterus in rebellion, but my new grad school cohort hasn’t been graced with it so far. (Plus I think these guys are more squeamish. One of them I could see literally fainting.)

    One question for the guys, that I think is fairly on-topic – if you grew up with sisters, did you find that that made you more used to the idea of female biology as normal rather than icky? For example, my brother is totally unfazed by periods, because of having Mom and both an older and a younger sister.

  27. sunburned counsel
    April 29, 2007 at 4:46 pm

    I found myself, on the Metro, explaining to my brother’s girlfriend over the cell phone, how to use the Keeper.
    So nope, no worries about talking about anything.

  28. Daisy
    April 29, 2007 at 4:59 pm

    Sunburned counsel, the Keeper is AMAZING and every girl I become remotely close to gets to hear about it.

  29. elektrodot
    April 29, 2007 at 5:23 pm

    car-

    oh man do i want the mirena. does insurance cover at least some of the cost?? lord knows i cant afford the 500$ price right now.

  30. Mandolin
    April 29, 2007 at 5:33 pm

    “I understand that when a woman takes male hormones, it enlarges her clitoris, but what would have happened had you gone on to have the whole gender reassignment thing? Would you have ended up with a really small penis? Would it have kept growing? Would you have gotten some sort of reconstructive surgery to make it larger? ”

    I’m going to assume you’re being sincere and try to give you a partial answer– although your question is directed at piny, I’m reading you as being more interested in transgenderism in general.

    Here’s a list of hormonal effects of transition: http://www.lgbthealthchannel.com/transgender/ht.shtml. I can’t vouch for how awesome the site is — it was just the first google link.

    Pretty darn sure from independent knowledge of clitoral hypertrophy (enlargement of the clitoris) from other medical conditions, that the clitoris is never going to turn into a penis. I’m pretty sure it just enlargest to a certain point and then stops. However, there are lots of sites on the ‘net where you can find the information you want. I encourage you to look it up.

    When poking around, it may be helpful to remember that not all transgender people opt for bottom surgery, which I believe is part of the subject of a recent post here. And wihle I don’t speak for piny, it’s probably helpful for you to also remember that questions like this can be considered rude.

  31. April 29, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    I talk about all this stuff all the time: about waxing (I love getting half-Brazilians but am usually wayyyyyy too lazy about doing it with any regularity,) how heavy my period is, (like, strawberry-clots and tonstonstons of blood), UTIs, yeast infections (have done the garlic cure), the time I doubled up on tampons for my heavy flow, only took 1 out and ended up in Bellvue a week later, you name it. Oh yeah and about how I ejaculate sometimes when I come, and how NO it is not pee.

    I think it is a good thing to be open about these things — case in point, a shy-ish friend of mine had never had a UTI before, and she IM’d me about it, worried that she had blood in her urine, etc. I urged her to go the doctor and she did and saved herself a full-on kidney infection.

    Oh and the hilarious time I had been chopping habanero peppers and went to change my OB Super Plus. I learned it is important to wash one’s hands post pepper-handling at LEAST 7 times.

  32. helenesch
    April 29, 2007 at 6:19 pm

    I thought some of you might be interested to see my friend Dylan’s website. He’s transgendered (FTM) and got really tired of answering the question “what do your genitals look like?” as if that was the most important thing there was to know about him. And as if his genitals were something strange or scary. So he made a short film called “Trannymals” featuring photos of his genitals dressed up with little googlie-eyes and various other things. It’s pretty clever, and actually won some awards at various LGBT film festivals (international ones), which is impressive since it’s his first film. Anyway, here’s the website for anyone who’s curious to learn more about it: http://trannymals.com/home.htm

  33. April 29, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    Can men find vaginas repulsive and still have sex with women? Yes, they can. How do I know this? Because I actually pay attention to the world around me. I know it’s crazy to think that the constant societal drumbeat that vaginas are icky, smelly, foul and slimy could possibly affect people, but gosh golly, I knew more than my fair share of men who were leery of performing oral sex on women because of the sheer ickiness of the whole thing.

    As for growing up with a sister–I don’t know. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have a good attitude toward menstruation, but after you get to be older than fifteen or so, you sort of realize that it’s just one of those things that’s neither good nor bad but just is. What residual embarrassment I have about tampons and pads is really just the same as I have about any slightly personal item, no different from foot powder or condoms or dandruff shampoo. It’s not exactly comfort, but not exactly discomfort, either. Yeast infections fall under this heading–my ex-wife was fortunate not to get them all that often, but for heaven’s sake, it’s unpleasant, and then you take your medicine and it goes away. If a body part is foul because it can get an infection, my feet need to go, stat.

    I still think that the hating on the vagina is driven by sheer envy. Aside from being an interesting example of hydrodynamics, the penis really isn’t that interesting an object. The female reproductive system, contrawise, can sustain another lifeform for up to 42 weeks. There’s a bit more power in the latter one, and I think that’s why we’ve worked so hard to tear it down and change it from the center of life to a cesspool.

    Ace O. Spades, of course, is kidding on the square. He not only fears and loathes the vagina, but the creatures in possession of the vagina. At some point, he’ll have to deal with that issue. I won’t be holding my breath.

  34. April 29, 2007 at 7:17 pm

    man, I wish I had a pine nut. mine’s more of a sesame seed. guys are always losing track of it.

    anyway, yogurt is good for a yeast infection, but I’ve found it works just as well (or better, since I don’t much like yogurt) to get some L. acidophilus pills and take one before every meal until the infection goes away. yeast hates acidophilus.

  35. jj
    April 29, 2007 at 7:22 pm

    I would totally wear the “ask me about me IUD” shirt. I talked about it incessantly for months! (Paraguard–the copper non-hormonal one, hormones fuck me up!)

    I’m a TMI kinda gal, and get shit for it occassionally, but everyone who knows me and can stand to be around me just knows that what I’m like. I think its partially because I’m a scientist, and hang out mainly with guys, that I’m like fuck it…I’m going to talk about whatever I damn well please. This scares off all the asshole guys who are scared of women’s bodies anyways.

    I love to talk about how I’ve had three seperate gyno’s tell me I have a longer than usual vagina. It wasn’t at all…”this is a problem you should know about”. It was, “oh we have to get a longer speculum” or “oh, we need to make sure we leave the strings on your IUD longer”. I think it’s kinda cool, especially because I’m really short and petite..you wouldn’t think I would have a long vagina. I figure it really helps to explain why I like well-hung guys so much;)

  36. luxdancer
    April 29, 2007 at 7:23 pm

    RE: The Keeper

    I have a Diva Cup, (or sold as the Moon Cup, by the same company) since I have a latex allergy. It is a wonderful, wonderful invention and I recommend it to everyone.

  37. Bravo Romeo Delta
    April 29, 2007 at 7:32 pm

    Maybe it’s just me, but the name ‘Keeper Cup’ just seems a bit unfortunate. I mean it makes the thing sound like some sort of tupperware container for storage.

  38. louise
    April 29, 2007 at 7:34 pm

    Great thread; I’m reminded of a recent session in which my therapist and I were comparing notes about our mothers and their generation- mine used to ask if I needed a “sanity napkin” and my therapist’s mother has a car she loves called a “vulva”…

    HABENEROS??? AIY CARUMBA!!! Telling THAT story is just a pubic, er, public service!! :-)

  39. Em
    April 29, 2007 at 7:50 pm

    1. Dear Marcy,
    JFGT

    2. It depends. I have friends who are A-OK with it and others who aren’t.

  40. B Moe
    April 29, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    Can men find vaginas repulsive and still have sex with women? Yes, they can. How do I know this? Because I actually pay attention to the world around me. I know it’s crazy to think that the constant societal drumbeat that vaginas are icky, smelly, foul and slimy could possibly affect people, but gosh golly, I knew more than my fair share of men who were leery of performing oral sex on women because of the sheer ickiness of the whole thing.

    I have likewise know women who didn’t like performing oral sex on men. I didn’t think they were repulsed or frightened by a penis, however, I just figured they didn’t want to put it in their mouth.

  41. preying mantis
    April 29, 2007 at 9:44 pm

    There’s something of a difference between not liking something and finding it to be gross. I wonder how much of it stems from the weird idea a lot of the purity freaks seem to have about semen just sort of hanging around in vaginas forever.

  42. zuzu
    April 29, 2007 at 10:24 pm

    When women can shove their pussies down their partners’ throats and gag them, we can talk about the reluctance to perform fellatio as in any way equivalent to the reluctance to perform cunnilingus.

    As for growing up with a sister–I don’t know. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I have a good attitude toward menstruation, but after you get to be older than fifteen or so, you sort of realize that it’s just one of those things that’s neither good nor bad but just is.

    Having sisters doesn’t help at all, if my brothers are any indication.

  43. April 29, 2007 at 10:40 pm

    I didn’t think they were repulsed or frightened by a penis, however, I just figured they didn’t want to put it in their mouth.

    When women can shove their pussies down their partners’ throats and gag them, we can talk about the reluctance to perform fellatio as in any way equivalent to the reluctance to perform cunnilingus.

    Bingo! I think half of the reluctance of women to perform oral sex is due to my idiot brethren like Ace, who view a blow job as the most sublime of all sexual activities, because the bitch can’t speak when she’s sucking your cock. And so the get a tad overzealous. These are the guys grabbing women by the backs of their head, and not letting them go. (To all women–and yeah, I know this is easier said than done–bite down. The bastard deserves it.)

    But none of the men I’ve known who’ve objected to cunnilingus objected on anything other than sheer ickiness grounds–no “boy, my mouth gets tired” or “my gag reflex kicks in” or anything legit. Most men I know who’ve objected weren’t even willing to try.

    Incidentally and unsurprisingly, the fact that most women need some form of non-penis stimulation to come was also sort of beside the point to these guys. Because, ew, it’s so gross.

  44. April 29, 2007 at 10:43 pm

    (Also incidentally, lest I tar all my male friends with the same brush–most that I know have been more than willing to give as much, if not more, than they got in return in the oral sex department. The gynephobic are the outliers, not th norm. But they’re a noisy and obnoxious group of outliers, and they give the rest of us a bad name.)

  45. B Moe
    April 29, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    When women can shove their pussies down their partners’ throats and gag them, we can talk about the reluctance to perform fellatio as in any way equivalent to the reluctance to perform cunnilingus.

    So fear is the only reason not to perform fellatio? Why are you so defensive, ZuZu, I honestly don’t think it is that big a deal. If the woman doesn’t want to do it, then don’t do it. I personally don’t see any long-term benefits of expecting a partner to do something they don’t enjoy.

  46. April 29, 2007 at 10:55 pm

    My own friends and I are pretty upfront about our experiences, particularly when they’re funny. To wit:

    A few years ago, I was experiencing some vaginal dryness, which I was combating with a tube of Vagisil cream.

    One morning, I went to apply the cream…but grabbed a tube of toothpaste instead.

    “OW OW OW OMWTF OWOWOW FUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK!!!!” does not even begin to describe it, people. I did a version of the Irish jig that no Irishwoman has ever seen.

    Always double check the label when you’re putting something on your hoo-ha.

  47. zuzu
    April 29, 2007 at 11:10 pm

    So fear is the only reason not to perform fellatio? Why are you so defensive, ZuZu, I honestly don’t think it is that big a deal. If the woman doesn’t want to do it, then don’t do it. I personally don’t see any long-term benefits of expecting a partner to do something they don’t enjoy.

    You might never learn whether you actually enjoy something or not if your attempts at doing that something result in some joker pushing your head down onto his penis, or if some other joker has shoved his cock into your mouth.

    You’re right, though, about one thing: nobody should stay with a partner who expects them to do something they don’t enjoy, and nobody should stay with a partner who won’t perform some act that’s rather important to their partner’s sexual satisfaction. Of course, the real goal is sexual satisfaction, and the guys who won’t go down on their girlfriends tend not to be all that terribly concerned about ensuring that their girlfriends get off in some way that doesn’t involve penile-vaginal intercourse. Whereas women who won’t give blowjobs will usually get their men off some other way.

    Personally, for instance, I cannot have an orgasm from PIV sex. Just not set up for it. So if a sexual partner refuses to go down, or even to manually stimulate me, that means he’s not interested in my sexual satisfaction. OTOH, even if I, say, won’t go down on a guy, there are plenty of other options.

  48. B Moe
    April 29, 2007 at 11:25 pm

    Of course, the real goal is sexual satisfaction, and the guys who won’t go down on their girlfriends tend not to be all that terribly concerned about ensuring that their girlfriends get off in some way that doesn’t involve penile-vaginal intercourse. Whereas women who won’t give blowjobs will usually get their men off some other way.

    Bingo. I personally like cunninlingus, but even if I didn’t it was obvious after the first time I did it that there were benefits in it for me, also, as the straight sex later was much better than any I had experienced previous. Even if I didn’t like it, I would still do it for purely selfish reasons. The main aggravation I have had is with women who don’t like to fellate and feel uncomfortable receiving oral sex because they feel guilty about not returning the favor or something.

    So if a sexual partner refuses to go down, or even to manually stimulate me, that means he’s not interested in my sexual satisfaction.

    Bingo again. But it is more than likely selfishness and arrogance than fear or revulsion.

  49. Lorelei
    April 29, 2007 at 11:52 pm

    How much sharing and oversharing do all of you do about your vaginas? And assorted issues therewith? Would you use the terms “cottage cheese-like discharge” and “it feels like I masturbated with Ben-Gay” in a busy public place?

    An ex of mine took it upon himself to describe to me how he at first felt confused by my vagina (yes, confused) because I apparently have unusually large labia or something. This was told to me in a bus station. With people there.

    And on a crowded bus back from Boston from visiting a different guy I’d been dating, I called my friend to tell her all about the sex. ‘Okay, so the PIV sex — THAT WAS A FUCKING DISASTER. It’s like he forgot he wasn’t a fucking virgin and didn’t know not to try and BREAK MY CERVIX. I swear to God, my vajayjay is *so* pissed off at me right now. And then I somehow got lotion on it so it’s like ‘OH NOOOO I BUUUUUURN.”

    Basically, my friends and I have no TMI boundaries, and the area in which these discussions are taking place doesn’t really matter to us.

    ‘LORI MY VAGINA’S ALL SORE AND SHIT AFTER I FUCKED THAT GUY AT THE PARTY, DO YOU THINK IT’S HERPES OR SOMETHING?’

    ‘NO THIS IS WHAT WE CALL ‘HAVING SEX WHEN YOU’RE WICKED DRUNK SO YOU CAN’T EVEN GET WET.”

    People: *have a look on their faces that distinctly says, ‘OH, I SEE? UHH…’*

  50. Lorelei
    April 29, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    I gotta say, the first time I gave oral sex to a girl I was like, ‘Oh dear God what did I get myself into?’ Because it *is* gooey and sticky and weird. But, you know. You do what you gotta do.

    I get an obscene amount of satisfaction from giving head, though. The men I’ve slept with end up acting so submissive during it and I kind of go ‘TEEHEE :D.’ It’s great.

  51. Bravo Romeo Delta
    April 30, 2007 at 1:42 am

    Ginger,

    Toothpaste?

    I’m sorry, but that is funny. It rates up there with the Prep-H v. Toothpaste, or any one of a number of Morning Hygene Products Confused disasters. I’m sorry that it turned into something that profoundly uncomfortable, but I guess it falls into the category of “Things That Might Be Considered Funny Many Years Later”.

    I guess that I have to consider myself lucky that I don’t own any products that resemble toothpaste and that I might put on my wang.

    Ces’t la Early Morning Hygene Rituals.

    BRD

  52. Mandolin
    April 30, 2007 at 3:43 am

    “I guess that I have to consider myself lucky that I don’t own any products that resemble toothpaste and that I might put on my wang.”

    Yet.

    Quick, someone invent something necessary for wangadillies that comes in a tube resembling toothpaste.

  53. Bravo Romeo Delta
    April 30, 2007 at 7:04 am

    Just you wait! I’ll get the thing laminated and so there!

  54. Bravo Romeo Delta
    April 30, 2007 at 7:14 am

    Maybe the flipside of it has to do with how likely one would be and how much one can get stuck in one’s zipper?

  55. Roy
    April 30, 2007 at 7:47 am

    I gotta say, the first time I gave oral sex to a girl I was like, ‘Oh dear God what did I get myself into?’ Because it *is* gooey and sticky and weird. But, you know. You do what you gotta do.

    I… I don’t even know what to say.
    I’ve never thought of vaginas as gooey, sticky, or weird. I think that the penis is a lot weirder than the vagina, really.
    *shrug*

  56. Thomas
    April 30, 2007 at 9:48 am

    I get an obscene amount of satisfaction from giving head, though. The men I’ve slept with end up acting so submissive during it and I kind of go ‘TEEHEE :D.’ It’s great.

    Lorelei, very interesting that you should mention the giver dom / recipient sub dynamic to fellatio. I have heard the same thing from a number of women, and I think it’s common. Yet the social construction is just the opposite.* I think the act itself does not particularly have an orientation along a power-exchange axis, but it gets construed that way — partly because of the patriarchal construct of fellatio as invasion of the mouth, and the attendant common abuse that Zuzu talks about. I think association of oral sex with a recipient-dom dynamic is much less common with cunnilingus, though I still hear it.

    *Didn’t Patrick Califia write something once about the sadly limited sexual activities that the leather community (specifically the gay men’s leather community) expected from tops? Specifically relating the story of a top that liked to tie up bottoms and blow them, and the stir that caused in the community? Or am I thinking of some other author?

  57. April 30, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Bravo,
    Yeah, I think it’s funny; it’s actually one of my favorite stories, because, you know, I picture how I must have looked in my head, and I can’t help but laugh.

    Of course, at the time, I would have squatted over a fire extinguisher. Luckily, I’m fully recovered.

  58. J
    April 30, 2007 at 11:34 am

    Holy Shit.
    This is the funniest post I think I’ve ever read.

    Right on. Thanks for the laugh.

    J

  59. Frumious B
    April 30, 2007 at 11:54 am

    For informal discussion, pick pluralization that sounds the silliest.

    orifi.

  60. Mooser
    April 30, 2007 at 1:28 pm

    God, I’m so craving an abortion right now

    Better hurry!

  61. bbrugger
    April 30, 2007 at 2:23 pm

    Heh. I don’t deliberately talk extra-loud in public spaces, but I tend to be pretty matter of fact and open. And these days, being 51 and in that happy state known as peri-menopause I have a whole new realm of things to share.

    Hot flashes? Sounded like a fine idea back in my “I’m always cold” days. Now? Not so much. Hot flashes AND menstrual cramps? Totally not fair. I’d like a nice quiet word with the design team, please. And a two-by-four.

    The wash your hands story above reminds me: Years ago I was at an event with camping and these palatial communal showers. One morning as about a dozen of us women were showering and dressing a young woman came in. She discovered that the basket of shower supplies she’d brought didn’t have any soap, someone offered her theirs and the conversation went on.

    About the time the young woman was shyly informing us she’d met a nice young man and spent some quality time with him she poured a nice dollop of (excuse the all caps, this is a safety announcement) LIQUID PEPPERMINT SOAP into her hand and began to ‘clean house’.

    Her eyes went very wide. She gave one of those long in-drawn gasps that you just know is going to result in ear-splitting shrieks. And she took about three steps straight up into the air. It was like something out of a RoadRunner cartoon.

    It took four of us to wrestle her back under the shower flow to rinse it off.

    We became quite good friends, and she took a great deal of delight in telling people how we’d met.

  62. Lorelei
    April 30, 2007 at 2:47 pm

    OH. I also once got a come stain on my wool coat that I’ve had the money to dryclean all of twice since I’ve owned it. So I walked around for seven months with this stain on my coat. I would end up proudly announcing what it was, especially when I met new people.

    ‘The best part is, I don’t know whose it is. :D’

  63. Lorelei
    April 30, 2007 at 2:49 pm

    Yes, on my wool coat. Don’t even ask.

  64. Lorelei
    April 30, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    LMAO BBRUGGER. What a way to meet a new friend! :D

  65. Thomas
    April 30, 2007 at 3:14 pm

    Lorelei, on behalf of the sluts-and-kinksters caucus of the readership, I applaud.

  66. April 30, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Well, guys, I have to say: from the gets-made-of-constantly-by-friends-for-being-such-a-priss caucus of the readership, I am blushing so hard reading this thread.

    Mind you, I keep coming back because it’s hilarious, but I don’t think I’d ever be bold enough to have conversations like these in public out loud.

  67. togolosh
    April 30, 2007 at 7:37 pm

    LIQUID PEPPERMINT SOAP

    Dilute! Dilute! OK!

  68. Tricia(freya)
    April 30, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    bbrugger: Heh, a college roommate’s bf did the same thing one morning after he had slept over. Apparently peppermint soap stings the boy parts as well.

    He told me about it a bit later over cereal and Saturday morning cartoons.

  69. piny
    April 30, 2007 at 8:00 pm

    Dilute! Dilute! OK!

    HA ha ha ha ha…

  70. bbrugger
    April 30, 2007 at 9:14 pm

    togolosh: Precisely. It’s not just weird word salad in tiny print on an overloaded label, it’s a safety issue.

    Evidently it put her completely off all things peppermint for some time afterwards. Starlight mints. Mint chocolate chip ice cream. Peppermint schapps. The scented candle set her mother gave her for the holidays. All of them gave her, as she put it, the female equivalent of the sympathetic cringe guys do when someone in a movie kicks a male character in the balls.

  71. Lara
    April 30, 2007 at 10:37 pm

    Man, it makes you feel like crap when you are with a guy who is so reluctant to give you head (because he thinks your vagina is so “gross” or “smelly” or “nasty”). I mean, I remember when I was with my boyfriend (now my ex-bf) and he would just hesitate, looking at my pussy, and having this sort of mmm-this-is-gonna-be-gross look on his face. This type of experience has happened more than once to me with a few different guys, and I am really convinced that men absolutely abhor women’s bodies even though they claim that they “love” them. Grrg! If I ever happen to come across a guy that views my body that way I’ll just leave him at the curb ;).

    You people have some hilarious stories, by the way!

  72. Ruth
    May 1, 2007 at 12:00 am

    I’m not likely to discuss intimate subjects with anyone who calls my vagina a “pooter”

  73. Lorelei
    May 1, 2007 at 12:58 am

    Lorelei, on behalf of the sluts-and-kinksters caucus of the readership, I applaud.

    *bows* thank you, thank you, I try. ;D

    I’ve been trying to outdo the day I got the comestain ever since. I can’t be bothered to actually be social and get laid, though. :\

  74. May 1, 2007 at 11:24 am

    I think it helped that I, for some time, dated a woman who did sexual health counseling and the like. I don’t think I’ve ever been quite as flattered as I was when a female friend in college called me up and asked me about her cottage-cheesey, bready-smelling discharge, because I was the first person to come to mind.

    Also, I’ve suggested to my significant other that she might want to try a menstrual cup, as they sound like a more elegant solution to handling one’s menstrual flow, but she’s not keen on the handling that it would entail. I’ve heard good things from people who use them, though.

  75. zuzu
    May 1, 2007 at 11:27 am

    I rather like my Diva Cup. It took a little getting used to, but now that I’ve gotten the hang of inserting it, it makes my periods much less messy. Because if you’ve inserted it right, there’s no soaking through the thing.

    Plus, no more tampons for my dog to eat out of the garbage.

  76. arrogantworm
    May 1, 2007 at 11:51 am

    How much sharing and oversharing? Not much sharing, I’d have to say. Last time I tried sharing all I got was a ‘that’s so wrong’ with multiple head shakes. One of my employers was complaining about razor burn in the genital regional, so I felt compelled to chime in with ‘I hate getting my clitoris caught in my pant’s zipper’, or something along those lines. I figured it would’ve happened to her at least once, but apparently not. So much for commiseration.

  77. Thomas
    May 1, 2007 at 2:39 pm

    AW, work is a very different set of circumstances. It’s not “public” like spaces full of strangers. It is a place where everyone interacts for a reason and has to keep doing so; and where sexual minorities or dissidents face discrimination. So, for example, while I am completely open about being a sadomasochist here, and to friends and family, and will talk about it at the food court at the mall, I am out to exactly one person in my workplace.

  78. arrogantworm
    May 1, 2007 at 4:35 pm

    Thomas,

    When the comment was made it was when I was working as a home health aid for a friend of mine through the state, otherwise I wouldn’t have said anything. I seem’to’ve gotten confused on ‘public’ and ‘private’ though, sorry.

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