The Sensual Vulva

The Sensual Vulva

(CW for c*** and p****)

 

 

Petition to allow “vulva” to be a sensual word.

Not necessarily a sexual word. A vulva is a normal part of the anatomy, and we don’t need to sexualize it in all contexts. The vulva is something that can get hurt, or be painful. It can have medical needs or aesthetic appreciation. Children can have vulvas. Asexual people can have vulvas. I don’t need us to sexualize it. But the word vulva should be allowed to be sensual.

 

We feel so uncomfortable with that word. Vulva. We say pussy or cunt. We have twat, coochie, slit, private parts, pee pee, “down there,” kitty. Whatever. Anything to avoid saying “vulva”. But we don’t have nicknames for many other parts of our bodies*. We say neck, back, ear, lips, feet, stomach. They can all be sensual – why can’t vulva?

 

Lips are a great analogy. Lips can be sensual! “Use your lips on me”, “she kissed me on the lips!”, “I love your lips”. But we know they’re just a regular part of the body. Kids have lips. If your coworker’s lipstick is smudged, you’d probably tell them. You can get a split lip, or bite your lip, or get food on your lips. They’re not embarrassing, and “lips” is a word we feel comfortable using both in non-sexualized, every day speech, as well as in sensual or sexual contexts.

Vulva.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I know step one is teaching people that it’s a word at all. Most people don’t grow up hearing it or saying it, so giving people information about their bodies is the most important part of the process. That’s what yesterday’s post was all about. But once we have the language to describe ourselves? We should use it sensually.

 

 

I’ll be completely honest – “vagina” still isn’t the most sensual word to me. I’m working on that. But one of the reasons that I feel like saying “vulva” is so important is because when we talk about that set of genitals, we do only think about the vagina. Penetration is the most highlighted feature. Sometimes we talk about the clitoris as well, but the vagina is the place for a penis to enter, and that’s what kind of sex is most often seen and talked about. But the vulva is an entire region that deserves attention during sex and masturbation. The entire vulva can be sensual, and should be explored and celebrated.

 

I totally dig that for some people, “vulva” has been irrevocably medicalized. There’s no way back for that word. It might cause the same kind of grimacing distaste as hearing “pussy” does to me. Blech. But raising children using that word is going to be important for the future. Not only are they going to learn the correct labels for their body, making it easier to communicate when they have questions or need help or begin exploring themselves, but also they’ll become adults with that word as a sensual possibility. An option. That’s somewhere adults can go as well. If it does feel too medicalized, that’s fine. I’m not here to proscribe what language you “should” or “can” use with a partner or in your mind. You should use whatever language makes you comfortable, and excited about your or your partners’ body!! Just talk about it!

But if you’re not horrified by the word “vulva”, I’d like to encourage you to try using it sensually. Try saying it to your partner, if one of you has that set of anatomy. Give it a shot, get used to it, adopt it. Any of the above.

“I’d like you to lick my vulva.” “Can I suck on your labia**?” “Mmmm, I love the way your vulva smells.” “I love the way your vulva tastes.” “Where on your vulva do you like to be touched?”

Allow words to be sensual. Just because they’re anatomical terminology doesn’t mean they can’t be sexy.

 


 

*I have similar feelings about the word “breasts.”

**Labia is a *great* word. Okay? GREAT.

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