Yes, obviously, MOIST, whatever.
Publish date:
August 2, 2015

Hannah forwarded me a press release this week in which an underwear company surveyed 500 women on the top words that make them uncomfortable. The winners turned out to be: flap, curd, chunky, panties, squirt, and (duh) moist.

Is it just me or do most of these just sound like women are grossed out by their own vaginas? I mean, even curd and chunky could apply to a vagina in a state of disrepair, which admittedly can be gross, but hey, yeast happens.

I really don't get the dislike for the word "panties," either. Some women seem to find it infantilizing, but I can't really think of anything else I would want my panties called during sexy time. "Underwear" feels too frumpy, and what else is there? Underpants? Drawers? Skivvies? Those would just make me laugh.

Here are some more of the top 40 words women found grossest, grouped into ones I don't get vs. ones I do:

Not Gross Words


Yolk: Don't get it.

Gurgle: Meh.

Smear: Makes me think of food.

Orifice: Again, why so grossed out by sex?

Fetus: Poor little fetus. Your eyes don't even work yet. :(

Munch: Nom nom nom

Queasy: There is something to the cacophony of it, but realistically not that gross.

Vomit, Jowls, Dripping, Roaches: These are all gross or potentially gross things that are not particularly gross words.

Slurp, Agenda, Cutlet, Damp: No, no no.

Vaginal, Scrotum: They're just BODIES, people!

Fluid: Too many totally normal contexts in which to use this word. Just sounds science-y to me.

Painterly: WHAT?

Obnoxious: Again, WHAT?

Raw: Mmmmm, oysters.

Snout: Think of a little pig snout. Adorable!

Squishy: On the same level with moist. Get over it.

Coitus: Again, science, bodies, chill.

Actually gross words:

Phlegm: Yes, this is a gross word for a gross thing.

Maggots: I will accept this one. Maggots are gross.

Viscous: It's a little clinical, but I'll give it to them.

Bulbous: YES! Not sure why.

Pustule: Yes, and obviously. And also "pus" in general.

Fester: Yup.

Secrete: Nobody's ever secreted anything non-gross.

Clogged: Only because it makes me think of a bunch of gross old wet food in the kitchen sink drain.

Mucus: Gross word for gross thing.

Slacks: Not a gross word, but it stays because what a horrible synonym for pants.

Yeast: I know I said yeast happens, but the word itself is sort of evocative.

Fetid: Yuck.

They also missed my all time grossest word: sebum. What words skeeve you out that did or didn't make the list?