It only takes one time. That’s what my mother used to tell me when we had the sex talk in high school. She was talking about getting pregnant. I can’t help but hear those words in my head now when I wonder why we can’t find the perfect word for vagina.
I hear it from women all the time: There’s just no good word for pussy. Except they don’t say “pussy.” They usually say something like “down there” or “private parts.” Because they can’t bring themselves to face it.
I would like to think that it’s because there is just no word that’s strong, beautiful and powerful enough to represent the epicenter of our true selves. But our hearts are pretty remarkable, too, and we don’t hem and haw about what we call them. Look at what your hands can do! Do you ever worry that you’re not giving them the recognition that they’re due? Nope. Be honest—you’ve never worried about what you call your hands.
You aren’t stressing about what to call a pussy because you want to love and honor her the right way. Your hang-up isn’t about verbiage. It’s about your relationship with your vagina.
It only takes one time.
- Your mother smelling your fingers when you were 5 and reprimanding you for touching yourself.
- The a boy on the bus in middle school telling you that he had gone down on a girl and it tasted like sour strawberries.
- Your friend confiding in you that she overheard your boyfriend saying that you cum too much.
- The girl in the movie whose husband told her that her pussy wasn’t as tight and young as it had once been.
- Your insecurity at the beach because you forgot to shave your bikini line.
- Slick Rick rapping, “with your wrinkled pussy, I can’t be your lover.”
- Your buddies goofing off in high school and drawing cartoons of a girl with a curly bush growing out of her underwear.
- Your boyfriend who asked what was wrong because you weren’t close to orgasm yet.
- Your astonishment when you looked at her in the mirror and saw a starfish colored in hazy shades of brown and purple instead of bald pink smoothness.
- The petrifying fear of touching the stitches that you got after childbirth.
OK, So Maybe There Was More Than One Time
But they had you at “sour strawberries.” After that, you were already on a journey that led your pussy astray and sent you putting your fingers in your ears whenever you thought of her.
Is it any wonder that you don’t like any word for vagina? You have trouble even thinking of her without shuddering a little bit, even if it’s only subconsciously. You get a little twinge of shock if someone says her name, no matter which one they use.
Yoni sounds unnecessarily whiny and new-agey.
Vagina sounds kind of clinical and negates the entire vulva.
Speaking of vulva, *shudders.*
If you’re going to be totally honest, vajayjay makes you want to high-five someone, but maybe that’s just because you associate it with getting a free car.
So does it really matter what word for vagina you use? Maybe you should treat her like your first child: wait until she’s born to choose a name that fits. After all, don’t you need to see what she looks like first?
Grab a mirror. Buy a flower. Give her a shout out.
Maybe then, you can introduce yourself: “Hey! My name is Gaby. What’s yours?”
“Good morning, Gaby. My name is pussy.”