Why I Hate the “V” Word
I’ve never liked the word vagina. I can’t say the word without cringing. The sound of it bothers me and it gives me associations of clinical use, medical textbooks and something asexual.
If we look at the etymology of vagina, it means “a sheath for a man’s sword.” The word does not exist with a definition or origin entirely of its own; it is defined by its relationship to others. Specifically, to men.
This is an extension of an archaic life of women; where they used to (and some still do) not exist and have a purpose other than that defined by those around them.
I like pussy. I like cunt. Pussy feels onomatepoeically correct. It’s soft, sensual and it even sounds wet. Cunt is great when used in the heat of heavy-duty fucking and wild, dirty talk. It suggests something harder, more deeply penetrating and fierce.
Word usage either offends or feels appropriate depending on how we own the words. I remember when I first heard Eddie Murphy in Delirious and Raw. He used and owned the word fuck in a way I’d never heard before. He owned that word so totally, so completely, that the word felt beautiful. It wasn’t harsh at all.
When people use these words haltingly they sound awkward and inappropriate. If you can’t say the word with meaning, then don’t use it. If you get to a place where you can wrap yourself around these words and know them intimately, they’ll feel like poetry. They’ll sound like poetry.
I also despise cutesy words like “willy,” “weenie,” and whatever that ridiculous word is that Oprah calls her pussy. Using childish words further distances people from their own desires, masking their own primal urges and an adult ownership of their sexuality. The word “cock” sounds like what it is: a gorgeous instrument of penetration.
Is it really so abominable to use “dirty” words? What makes them dirty? The definition of vagina makes it a far more abominable word to me than saying “pussy.”
I would never ask someone to “Please insert your penis in my vaginal canal now.” I would however, pull him by the hair, grind my face into his neck and brush my lips against his ear and purr “Fuck me.” Which offer would you rather take me up on?
The image above is an 18th century engraving by Charles Eisen of a woman lifting her skirt to defeat the devil and protect her village. This theme appears throughout history, of women revealing their genitals and them having the power to ward off evil, stop wars, win wars and confer protection.
Catherine Blackledge, in her book The Story of V, tells of a Catalan saying: “La mar es posa bona si veu el cony d’una dona.” Which translates to “the sea calms down if it sees a woman’s cunt.”
Now you know what to do the next time you want to win an argument.
Own these sexy words and reclaim them. Words can be powerful tools to open us.