Talking Genitals – do you talk about it?


Kevin Mcfadin

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, vaginayoni, 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.

Penis awareness

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.


Max Sauco


6 Comments on “Talking Genitals – do you talk about it?

  1. During my childhood, we were taught very little about our bodies except shame. The mere act of “re-arranging” and uncomfortable penile position resulted in being accised of “whacking off”. Kids were branded, humiliated, taunted over such things. Masturbation was never talked about – and if it was, it was considered filthy. Wet dreams resulted in a covert exercise to get underwear/ PJ’s into a laundry cycle already in progress. We should not grow up feeling shame. I went to see a Dr. in my early teens, unable to tell my parents why. Why? Because what I thought was some terrible disease of the scrotum — was in simple fact, hair follicles on my good old ball bag. Thanks you Dr.P. for setting a year of anxiety straight in 5 seconds.
    We’ve got to learn to teach about tgis stuff. We need to stop the shame and the shaming.
    Kids need to learn the teurh about their bodies and the truth about real sex. In this day and age of ubiquitous internet porn, the next generation will get a terribly screwed up idea about themselves and others.
    Talk. About.It. Vaginas are awesome. Cocks rock. Sex between consenting parties is amazing. Ignorance and shame quite figuratively suck!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it is really important to be able to discuss all areas of bodies and minds. We used more medical terms – penis, testicles, vulva, anus…. when our wee folk were learning body part names, as I felt it was important they could be understood by any one. They do seem like cold words though….and I had one pregnant friend who didn’t know where her vulva was! Best alternative word for vagina I have heard has to be portal.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I think made up words or personal words are fine as long as people / children know what the factual words are for their bodies. I don’t think elbow, or thigh are too clinical. Having a lot of my childhood role models exposed as paedophiles, brings home how important it is to be able to talk about our bodies and what happens to them. That and also it’s quite a laugh


  4. This where children are so open and honest, sharing their experience of their bodies with anyone who shows an interest. “Here’s the scab I got when I fell off my scooter; look at my big girl pants; I’ve got a sore belly button.” I wonder if that’s why some adults don’t want their children to know the ‘real’ words, because they know their children will use them, without embarrassment (but making the parent feel awkward!) Then we grow into our teenage selves and start to feel self-conscious and want to be invisible. Not everyone grows out of this phase, I guess. We need to provide our children with the words for our body parts, and they will remind us of the bodily acceptance that we all had at one time in our lives.

    Liked by 1 person

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