One of the most offensive things that fellow gay guys do is whine about the vagina. They like to pretend it's some sort of scary, flappy goblin so outside the realm of understanding that they need to make a hilarious joke of it, and act as if the female anatomy with which they’re so incredibly unfamiliar is also offensive and disgusting.
News Flash, gay men: It’s not gross. Vaginas are fine. #leavevaginasalone
I have never had sex with a woman. It is not impossible for that to happen, but I’d rather it not. I like looking at naked guys. I like beards. I like butts. I like to kiss my boyfriend on the mouth (and sometimes on the butt!). I think penises are interesting, too, but I still maintain that a woman’s body is intrinsically “prettier” than a man’s, primarily for its curves, peaks and valleys, which is probably why more artists historically preferred drawing a naked lady over a like, some old guy’s shriveled, puny balls.
Some gay men might find it downright ghastly that I'm not repulsed by women's bodies and don't pop a B every time I see a limp dick posted on some art-porn Tumblr. I don’t, in spite of the fact that a lot of gay guys would like you to think we’re all promiscuous, always-erect sex machines.
True, the cleave-lines of a lady’s bosom do nothing for me and I’d rather look at the P than the V, to be honest. But -- and this is important! -- that is not grounds to fear the vagina, or to treat it like a furious, cross-eyed demon. The vagina is a lovely thing! And also, gay guys, you came out of one, remember?
With that being said, I still don’t pretend to know anything about vaginas. Seriously, if there was a course in Not Knowing About Vaginas, I’d be the Professor (and I would never assign homework, you guys!).
In fact, I don’t remember learning much of anything during health class in junior high. Maybe I missed the day they taught everything about the ol’ chowderhouse (that’s my nickname for the vagina, which is further proof of just how much little I know, because your genitals are not at all like ...a restaurant where they sell soup, I think?). But it’s true -- I know zilch, which is why my best friend, Jackie (who has a chowderhouse of her own, incidentally), has helped me shed light on the situation.
First, she’s taught me that girls have three holes: two for bathroom-things and one to “hold” stuff. I realize that that the third is precisely where a penis or vibrator will go, and in case of an emergency, probably fresh fruit and stamps and batteries. There I go again! See what I mean? I don’t know if any of those things actually fit inside the vagina because my limited understanding dictates that it’s a sort of upside-down fanny pack with a very, very small zipper. And that it’s neither removable, nor has the ability to float “outside the body,” as I once admitted to Jackie, who promptly kicked me in the nuts, stone-faced.
Another misconception I’ve subscribed to is how menstruation works. I’m almost 30, and it wasn’t until some point in the last five two years that I learned that having a period is a gradual process. While I read every single thing Judy Blume ever wrote, I wasn’t even 10 years old when the very idea of menstrual blood crept into my psyche via Margaret, cowering in the bathroom stall (or was it "Blubber"?).
Needless to say, hooking up with guys wasn’t necessarily aided by my belief that a period meant a woman immediately gushed pints of blood from her chowderhouse (just go with it), only to be sopped up by one maxi pad after the next like a kiddie pool just collapsed. But it certainly didn’t work against the idea.
Also, Jackie has taught me that such a theory is ridiculous, because vaginas are not, in fact, faucet-like, a minor obsession of mine that I maintained in college by applying for real jobs with the e-mail address “firstname.lastname@example.org,” which is just “leaky vag” spelled backwards, although I’d hoped my nickname would throw off potential employers.
Apparently, maxi pads aren’t really a thing, either? I mean, they’re real, duh. But most women prefer tampons...right? Again, this has further stifled my understanding, as has the fact that my unnaturally close relationship with my sister resulted in her “exacting revenge” on me as teenagers by leaving bloody pads at the foot of my bed, as if to say, “BEWARE WHAT I HAVE! I KNOW YOUR SECRETS!”
So the tampon, Jackie has explained, goes in and then it expands. And most women prefer that...right? So it’s kind of like a Swiffer? It’s like you’re putting a Swiffer inside you to absorb all the dustballs, but in this case, dustballs are menstrual blood? Honestly, you guys are amazing because the visual makes me a little faint. (And, also, re: PMS, I don’t know how you do it.)
Don’t get me started on where babies go. I know where they come from: inside the woman’s womb. But here’s where I get lost: Where is that in relation to the fallopian tubes and the uterus? And, also, how far “back” is the baby from your vagina, specifically the part near the opening? Does urine “go around” the fetus? When a man “finishes,” just how far and for how long do his sperm have to swim until one pushes into the center of that glowing orb like in the opening scene to "Look Who’s Talking" -- and, also, are The Beach Boys always playing when a woman conceives? *I could go on here, but for organization's sake, please find bonus questions below.
I don’t claim to know everything there is to know about anything. I try to keep up with the news, and sometimes I can make intellectual arguments in defense of Lana Del Rey. But when it comes to vaginas, I’m stumped. Again, I’m not grossed out by the vagina, nor do I believe anyone should act disgusted by them as a “cutesy” attention-grabbing method for reminding us that you’re gay.
In fact, there were five minutes when I wanted to go to medical school to become an OGBYN, which probably just made you break into a damp sweat (don’t worry about it -- I’ve chosen a much more rewarding path: writing, in which I would be hard-pressed to screw up anyone’s chowderhouse -- at least with my bare hands).
The good news, however, is that, as idiotic as I may be when it comes to womanparts, I will never turn blatantly naive idiocy into reductive whining by treating vaginas like the ghosts in Super Mario World.
Because when it comes to the chowderhouse, I’m just dumb. Just so, so dumb.
Thanks for nothing, Judy Blume.
*Do you shave it all the time? Just how wet is it on the inside? Why can I tell when a woman peed in the bathroom right before me? How does a FUPA “get in the way”? What could “feminine odor” possibly smell like? When you say “yeasty,” you mean ...like the bread? Is “vaginal massage” a thing, and if so, why? Does the tampon string dangle from the hole? Are bikini waxes the worst thing ever, because they look like the worst thing ever and your bravery deserves raptous applause!