WARNING: The following posting contains information and cheap jokes about sex. If you think sex is yucky or impolite or just generally don't think sex is anything you'd care to hear about right now, thank you very much, go here. If, on the other hand, you think sex is something you'd maybe like to read about for a while, especially if the dirty stuff is camouflaged with jokes so that it appears to be mainstream entertainment content with redeeming social value in case your spouse comes into the room and shouts, "What are you doing!", well you've come to the right place. Because here, I've got the answer, which is: "Nothing! I'm not doing anything! Look! It's jokes, not sex! Honest!"
Because every Friday is Sex Day here at Functional Ambivalent, even days like today when it feels a lot like Saturday morning, which it is, technically. Fridays, lately, have been a bitch. So Saturday morning Sex Day it will have to be for a while, whether you like it or not.
I once spent an afternoon in a church filled with women who were chanting, "Vulva! Vulva! Vulva!" This was years ago, back when I was a magazine writer in California. An editor and friend named Anne Colby -- who had fun torturing me in loving, nurturing ways -- invited me to join her in attending a Worship of the Goddess service in Santa Monica. In a church filled with maybe 500 women, I was one of about five men. Whereas I would normally think of odds like that as an opportunity, I sensed instinctively that this particular male-female ratio was a problem.
I stood very politely in the back of the church while woman after woman stepped up to the lectern and railed against the male-dominated culture of violence and conquest that so dominated, presumably, Santa Monica. They didn't rail against men, really, because they seemed to accept that men were, in some way, inevitable. Mostly they didn't like the result of men, which they concluded was things like war, unfulfilling sex, and professional football. I made no eye contact with the other men attending, fearing that one of the beefy women surrounding me would interpret the look as sneering, at which point we would surely be ripped to shreads.
Anyway, at some point a very serious college professor from somewhere like Save the Redwoods Self-Actualizing College-Without-Walls got up and began to talk joyfully about the liberating effects of talking dirty. Actually, she didn't say "talking dirty." She said something like "putting voice to your womanhood." But I'm no moron, and I know smut-talk when I hear it, especially in church.
"Say it with me," she shouted from the lectern. "Say it out loud and with pride: Vulva!"
I didn't say it, but everyone else in the room kind of muttered, "vulva."
With the calm patience of a third-grade teacher, she shook her head and urged us to say it louder. And louder. And repeatedly. And louder still so they could hear it out on the violence- and conquest-infested streets of Santa Monica.
"Vulva! Vulva! Vulva!"
I have never been so uncomfortable in my life. My editor AnneColby looked at me and laughed so hard I thought she was going to fall over backwards.
There is, without question, a Cult of the Vulva out there and it is not, surprsingly, made up entirely of teenaged boys. It's made up of the kind of women who packed that Santa Monica church, women who assert their femininity not by cutting throats in the corporate world or raising their children to be Nobel Prize laureates, but by calling attention to something that I, personally, think the world already knows: They have vaginas.
Perhaps it isn't fair to generalize from my own, personal experience, but hardly a moment goes by when I, personally, am not aware that women have vaginas. You'd have to go back a long way to a moment when you could have asked me if women had vaginas and I would have said no. At least to high school, when my answer would have been something like: "Not that I've seen."
Nonetheless, there are women who get some kind of affirmation from the fact that they have utterly typical genitalia. I say, loud and with pride: Alright, I guess, if it's really important to you.
Which it apparently is, at least to Lauren Sinnott, who makes a line of "fine purses and magickal (sic) bags" which she calls Velvet Vulvas.
More than a sumptuous Renaissance bag, the Velvet Vulva represents in three-dimensional form the sacred portal to the feminine temple. Each has sumptuous fabric labia and a beautiful button clitoris. A Velvet Vulva might become your everyday bag; it might always stay on your altar; or it might be acquired for special occasions. (One of the first Vulvas I made was part of the bridal trousseau of a close friend of mine.) Naturally, what you put in your Velvet Vulva can have tremendous symbolic and magickal significance.
I haven't included a link to her website, artgoddess.com, because it's incredibly buggy and has crashed my computer three times in the last fifteen minutes. Go there at your own risk. Even if the technology works, you will be subject to a Casiotone version of the Cinema Paradiso theme that will make you want to die.
I have a policy here at Functional Ambivalent that I do not include pictures in Sex Day postings. That's because I'm concerned about the delicate sensibilities of you, my loyal reader, who might be perfectly comfortable reading about things like, for example, old people having sex in nursing homes, but do not want to be confronted by actual photography of that kind of activity.
I'm going to break that rule because you need to see these Velvet Vulvas to believe them, and I can't in good conscience send you to Art Goddess to see them, because when you're done you'll hate me. No one wants to be subject to the long and frustrating process of watching a computer reboot in the middle of Sex Day. So over there to the left somewhere is a thumbnail photo of a Velvet Vulva, which will get larger if you click on it.
Who among us would not wear this handbag with pride? I ask you: Would we not be a freer and more peaceful society if we were regularly confronted with women digging deep down into a cartoonish vagina in search of change for the parking meter? Consider the image of a woman, rushing to get to work, stuffing her Velvet Vulva with tampons to get her through the day. There's something so...well, symmetrical about it.
And, just in case you don't want a Velvet Vulva purse, you can buy a Velvet Vulva toy bag to keep your vibrator in, or even a Velvet Vulva sleeping bag to keep you warm when you're backbacking.
If, for some completely unfathomable reason, you want to put on a vulva puppet show, you're in luck. The House o' Chicks has a full line of vulva puppets that are not, as you might have guessed, tools to allow pissed-off spouses to terrify and confuse their husbands when they wake up from a long night of playing poker with the boys.
No shit, guys. Really. I woke up on the floor of the garage and, you know, I'm coming-to, and I opened my eyes and...right there in front of my face...there's this giant pussy. And it's yelling at me.
No, the purpose of the vulva puppets is to help women communicate.
Now, just for second before I go on, I want to point out: You can't make stuff like this up
Vulva puppets, in the words of the House o' Chicks website copywriter, help women share:
Share your own story about awakening, desire, love, birth, recovering, bleeding, menarche, mizuage, quincienerra and menopause...Celebrate your spirit with your sister, mother, daughter, wife, family, lover and especially yourself.
Yes, by all means: Buy a vulva puppet and use it to celebrate...with yourself!
Of course, if puppets aren't good enough, you can go here to see a not-at-all-embarrassed-looking woman dressed up in a complete, entire vulva costume.
What if you, a regular person, want a vulva puppet or Velvet Vulva but don't have the $300 or so it will cost to get one manufactured by a professional? Fortunately, you live in the greatest country in the world or, if you don't, you've at least got net access so you can find solutions on the always trustworthy Worldwide Web.
For example: Do you have a dollar bill in your pocket? Take it out and go here for instructions of how to make an origami vagina. Or, if you prefer, an origami pair of breasts.
But we're talking vulvas here, and once you've felt the silky texture of a professionally made vulva purse or whatever, mere crumpled paper will not suffice. No no no.
Fortunately, for the vulva hobbyist wannabe on a budget, there is All About My Vagina, a website devoted to one girl's obsession with her down there. (Sorry guys. No pictures.) Sarah, who runs the site, is a clever writer and seems remarkably rational for someone who has a website devoted to her vagina.
One of the most useful things I think I can do with this website is to write about my own vagina, and admit to everything on this site. I find that more context for my own vagina makes me feel more secure; the more I find out about other people, the less I worry about being weird, and the happier I am about my own unique vagina.
Well good. It's nice she's happy about her vagina. I can imagine her sitting quietly in a coffee shop, smiling to herself.
"I'm sorry. I don't mean to interrupt but you're smiling so beatifically. I was just wondering: What is it that makes you seem so at peace?"
"I'm happy about my vagina."
To help women come to grips with their own vaginas, Sara has included instructions on how to sew what she calls a "lucky vulva coin purse." And it's really quite lovely.
The Lucky Vulva Coinpurse has a zipper where the vaginal opening would be, to keep your treasures securely contained behind a line of teeth. You can keep other bits and bobs in the intralabial clefts—the puffy outer lips hold shut quite nicely. A Lucky Vulva would also be a hot place to store tampons and period gear, condoms, or random things you've always wanted to fish out of a vulva.
I knew a guy who made his wallet out of duct tape. But that's not really the same thing at all.
Have a lovely weekend. Maybe I'll see you somewhere. That is, if I ever open my eyes and get up off the floor of the garage.