Talking Genitals – do you talk about it?
Warning: as you’d expect, this piece contains language that refers to vaginas.
Give me a few hours to marinate in cocktails with my women friends, there will always be swearing, sex and magic discussed. Our characters grow into tv sit-com size, quotes fly around the room from sex in the city ‘If I had a son I’d teach him all about sex’. Remembered words from Eve Ensler “I bet you’re worried. I was worried. I was worried about vaginas. I was worried about what we think about vaginas, and even more worried that we don’t think about them.”
I figure if I can comfortably discuss many words for my vagina, I have the vocabulary to discuss important issues with my doctor or my feelings with my partner or close friends. I have a range of women friends, with a variety of names for their female anatomy: Lady bits, little flower, fanny, front bottom, cunt, vagina, yoni, hoo-hoo, privates, un-nameable, thingy; I’m sure you can add to the list if you wish to. Talking openly about sex and our bodies means we can talk positively about our sexual health and body image.
It is our job to educate our children and create safe spaces where we can talk freely and playfully about sex and bodies. These conversations modelling awareness of our bodies creates a witness of authentic experience. Shining a light on these words means they are not hidden.
I have searched to find a positive quote about penises and have struggled to find anything that is not full of innuendo or aggression. Boys need the freedom of words, as much as girls. Loving their flaccid penis is as important as taking care of their erections. Mothers, Fathers, carers and families have a responsibility, the language for all body parts needs to flow in to our childhoods as naturally as food and water. Nourishing our physical form with our vocal acceptance of it, write loving words on your skin, name yourself. Claim every inch.
“The human body is the best work of art.”
― Jess C. Scott
“In our world, divide and conquer must become define and empower.”
— Audre Lorde
What happens next?
Be mindful, pick any body part, your feet, your hands focus in on its story, listen. What is the history that lies beneath the scar? Allow your mind to sit in the ache of your stomach and listen to the reason why. Get Post-It notes for each part of your flesh and write its story. Your body speaks, every moment of every day.
Do not assume you know which conversations your fellow humans wish to have, or which boundaries they are leaning on. Witness change in the bodies around you as they unfold to tell their tales.