Men Have Torpedos; Women Have “No-No’s”
By Raissa Mbassa
Have you ever thought about slang for our privates?
Some of my guy friends call theirs a “pocket rocket” or a “torpedo.”
Let’s see, a rocket is an incendiary weapon, while a torpedo is a tube-shaped bomb that’s fired underwater. Both cause tremendous destruction to whatever they’re aimed at.
It’s all painted in glorification. Victory. A magic stick of supernatural powers. A man’s best friend.
Female “privates” are more about delicateness and purity. The vagina is a pearl. Valuable and protected inside an oyster’s shell. Oysters create pearls as a defense mechanism, suggesting they are something to protect, to defend, and to hide deep.
Or, the vagina might be called a lady garden. This is not just any garden, but a beautiful one, which must be handled with care and nurturing.
So, it’s no wonder that guys sit with their legs spread open, as if there might be a trophy between them, while women keep their legs together, their privates hidden. Maybe padlocked.
Growing up in Africa, my mom taught me to call my vagina either ‘no-no’, ‘down there’ or ‘privates’. My brothers called their penises ‘zizi’ (a slang word for penis in French).
“No-no” could mean many things. No, don’t touch it. No, don’t look at it. No, don’t play with it. No, don’t experience it. No, don’t have fun with it. No, don’t have pleasure with it.
As a girl who was taught the first 18 years of her life that her vagina was a no-no I might be more reluctant when it comes to experiencing new things with my partner, or I might be more embarrassed to be naked. Or I might learn that my vagina and sex are bad.
But even American girls often called theirs, “down there” suggesting something unacknowledged and unspeakable.
It’s all one more reason why we women experience more sexual dysfunction than men. It’s one more way that we are taught that there is more shame in our sexuality.
I can’t help but dream of a day when things will be different.
Posted on August 27, 2014, in feminism, gender, men, psychology, sex and sexuality, women and tagged feminism, gender, men, psychology, sex and sexuality, slang for penis, slang for vagina, women. Bookmark the permalink. 48 Comments.