Friday, March 4, 2011

Vaginal Metaphors- Criticism and Review*

[trigger warning: rape after "The Match". Please enjoy this delightful otter instead]

I'm a fan of similes and metaphors. I use them all the time. It's my thing. Unfortunately, similes and metaphors can be a bit like using a rocket launcher in an enclosed space, it'll get the job done, but you're going down, too. And you'll forever be remembered as that idiot who used a rocket launcher in a bathroom.

Today, I'm addressing metaphors for virginity preservation. They are legion, and they are, to a one, Teh Stoopid.

The Present

Your vagina is a present and no one wants a regifted present. Any sexual activity, including kissing, is like unwrapping the present. You can't ever get that wrapping paper to look as nice again.

First of all, I'm sure a collector of first edition books would be thrilled to get a book somebody else owned. Secondly, people are not objects and your breasts feel the same no matter how many people have touched them.

Thirdly, this displays a rather appalling lack of manners. Sure, I like wrapping presents and I like unwrapping presents, but wrapping is only there to give you an extra moment of "oooh, what could this be?" If someone hands me an unwrapped gift, I receive it with no less enthusiasm, and anyone who does deserves an angry badger stuffed down their pants.

Really, I wonder if these people realize they are implying that first time sex is the only sex worth having. I mean, even if you're married, that gift is unwrapped. It's pointless and unspecial now.

*****TMI ALERT******

You're about to learn something about me you may not wish to know.

*****TMI ALERT******

First time sex is never the best sex, and I'm not even talking about virginal sex, which tends to be awkward, embarrassing and involves a lot of "oh, sorry about that". For example, I've read enough erotica to know nipples are supposed to be where it's at. Maybe I'm a freak of nature, but my nipples aren't that sensitive. You know what is? My collarbones. You know how I found that out? (It's not like touching my own collarbones does anything for me, though I can tickle myself.) By making out with a guy who had a thing for chomping on collarbones. If not for that dear, dear man, I may never have known that.

And that's why first time sex is never the best sex. It takes time and experience to figure out what works for you. Sex is like a book printed 200 years ago: it's only getting better with time.

The Cow

Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? Because women aren't farm animals and sex is not the point of marriage, or it shouldn't be, anyway. I'm sure that might work out for a few months, but eventually you'll have to talk to one another. You might want to have something in common other than a raging libido. Just a thought.

The Cookie

This is a favorite of Mormons. A group of children are asked if they would like a cookie. Being children, they agree enthusiastically. Then a plate of crumbled, soggy cookies is brought out and those children are told that if they have sex, they're like those cookies- inedible. I'm not sure why anyone would wish to be attractive to cannibals, but whatever.

The vagina is not a cookie. The penis is not a cookie. They do not get worn out or crumbly or soggy or loose. Breasts do not develop permanent hand prints if touched too much. Neither do asses. Even if they did, why would having lots of sex with one person be different in that matter from having lots of sex with lots of different people? C'mon now.

The Match

This applies to making out before marriage, but may be the most disturbing of them all. Why light a match if you don't intend to start a fire? (To light a candle, to provide a brief moment of light, to light fireworks?) Why make out if you don't intend to have sex?

If you think about this for more than 5 seconds, you realize how very steeped in the rape culture this analogy is. Think about this for 10 seconds and it gets frightening. Kissing leads to touching and touching leads to sex, so don't kiss anyone if you don't intend to fuck them right there on the spot. All kissing must lead to sex. All kissing, touching, making out is only a prelude to sex, so don't start anything you don't intend to finish.

Look, I know you said "no" when he ripped off your pants, but you were kissing him. You let him touch your breasts. Why would you light a match if you don't intend to start a fire? Slut.

Yeah, that got rapey right quick, didn't it? That's because obsession with virginity is all part of the rape culture. The one you're living in right now. Cows and presents and cookies? Those are all devices of the rape culture, too. Just so you know.

*Someday, I'm going to get a PhD. This will be the title of my thesis.


  1. Okay, let me throw out a quick memo to anybody who's even distantly associated with a youth group.

    Don't rely on disgusting metaphors to discourage teens from having sex. Even at fifteen, which was vastly more impressionable than I've ever been since, I found myself frowning in dissent at the pre-licked lollipop metaphor for premarital sex. I can't remember if I spoke up (pray that you never have anyone like me in your youth group), but the level of bullshit involved was glaringly obvious.

    Seriously, there are perfectly good reasons to wait for sex, and to approach it cautiously if you're going to do it. Why fall back on this crap?

  2. so...

    my dad isn't some sort of god, but i seriously thank the universe LITERALLY every time this subject comes up that he's AWESOME about sex.
    my mom's... well, until she got married again, she was a prude.
    BUT - my mom is a OB/GYN Nurse Practicioner.
    i was mortified when she came into my 8th grade class to teach sex ed. she was VERY thorough. Mixed class, so we all got ALL the info. she pointed out that one should use a condom/dental damn for oral sex. and one of the girls said “GROSS!”
    my mom replied "oh, honey, they come in flavors"

    when i 3, my mom got pregnant. and bought "How Babies Are Made" - a MOST graphic [in all sense] book about reproduction. as in, pics of all the organs, pics of PIV, detailed pics of fetal development, week to week...
    when i was 12, my dad spent a good HOUR with me, a cucumber, and lots of condoms. [for some reason, he didn't do it with my middle-little sister. Probably bcuz my mom threw a FIT – like she had any RIGHT, after that “they come if flavors” embarrassment...]

    when i was 15, two things happened. on my birthday, i had voluntary sex for the first time. with condom and foam. 2 methods. I wanted 3
    as soon as my b/f left, i called my dad and told him about it. he told me, years later, that he almost fainted and it took every ounce of his willpower NOT freak out. but he didn't, and it was good - i could confide in someone i trusted [i didn't give DETAILS, other than "well, i LIKED it] but i wanted reassurance that the condom/foam was PROBABLY good; i wanted him to help me get a hormonal type of BC. He said yes... then
    about a week later, my mother came home after a 12-hour shift, and she said "i just delivered an 11 year old. not that you're having sex, but want a NorPlant?"
    i was ECSTATIC.

    between them, my parents [who mostly didn't communicate] did a DAMNED good job, teaching me how to be as safe as possible. my mom never managed to get past her then-distaste for sex [or whatever it was. I think that she just didn't like sex and found it “dirty”. Now that she's had good sex, she's much cooler about it.] and it was sometimes weird – she got me the norplant, told me it was MY body, and to never let anyone do anything i didn't want, that i was obligated to myself to keep myself safe and "happy", and oh by the way remember that multiple orgasms are what God gave us to make up for child birth, followed by the "but it's gross and dirty and don't until you want kids.” whiplash...

    but that wasn't about "a precious gift to give" bullshit - it was about my mom's REALLY REAL issues with sex. we never EVER talked about virginity in any form other than strictly clinical, as in WHAT virginity IS. she told me "virginity is the state of never having voluntarily had intercourse. no one can TAKE your virginity. it's yours until YOU decide that you don't want it. and so you get rid of it. you don't "give it" to someone, it's not a THING, it's a STATE. a hymen does not a virgin make - i lost my hymen falling off a horse when i was 14. it's about HOW YOU FEEL."

    my parents, weirdly, kept telling me the same things - i mean, entirely through serendipity, because gods know they weren't TALKING to each other about it. or at ALL.

    i got SOOOOOOOOOOOO fucking lucky. my parents failed me in many, many ways - but when it came to sex, they were awesome.

  3. Basically, the only one you missed from the abstinence ed crazy train, is the rose.

    Oh the beautiful perfect(snerk)rose, symbol of women's sexual organs, being passed around and sadly torn apart. Such a poetic, melancholy metaphor for how your vulva, labia and vagina totally fall apart after you have sex a few times (this is why married couples are so miserable).

    Except...roses are indeed perfect flowers, which means that they have both male and female reproductive parts ALL IN ONE GODLESS BONTANISTIC ORGY OF SIN!

    This is why no-one will ever let me bust into their abstinence only classes.

    And yes, zomg yes x 1000000000-- the fetishization of female virginity is so rooted in rape culture and misogyny, and also not a little homophobia, I think.

    I mean, getting your dick near a vagina that has had another dick in it is like touching two dicks together, amrite? That's totally gay.


  4. Back in my delusional (Christian) days, I listened to a lot of talk radio (nausea-trigger warning for Focus on the Family). There was a lot of talk on this subject, as well as the whole "Fathers should arrange courtship and marriage for their daughters" pre-Quiverfull routine: Even at my most delusional, I questioned all of this. Sex is NOT an instinctive function beyond the most primitive level. It's a relational skill, and it is not only possible, but PREFERABLE, to get better at it. I always pitied the individuals (the women in particular) who let themselves get talked into "saving it for marriage." Simply stated, I always wondered What if the guy doesn't really know how? Any doctor can attest that plenty of young married women complain about "terrible pain" during sex and inability to become pregnant, only to learn that lo & behold, the clueless husband was penetrating the urethra (yes, OUCH indeed). "Saving it for marriage" leaves a woman's sexual welfare in the control of someone who may be extremely selfish, pathological, or simply ignorant. And let's be blunt here: The whole virginity fetish is about "tight envelopment" and little else. Which is why you see 10-year-old girls in Africa dying after childbirth from fistulas and ruptured internal organs. All for the sake of giving some guy the sensation he craves. Disgusting barely covers it. Thanks for this post.

  5. ???

    here i thought that the fetishization of virginity came from A) a fear that if a woman has had sex with someone else, you'll never be as good as that someone else; and B) fear of STIs and etc. [because men can't be expected to be smart enough to use condoms, because all men "hate" condoms, and it's better to have sex with the youngest available virgins so you don't get STIs than it is to use a fucking condom]

    you want "tight", you want a woman who does her Keigels. that's DIFFERENT.

    but, i admit that i understand NOTHING about the ab-only "purity" BULLSHIT culture. exceot that they're sick and hate girls and women.


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