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Gash Backlash
June 22, 2012 5:00 AM   Subscribe

Femfresh is a product designed for making one's ladygarden more fragrant. Yet despite the success of their TV ad campaign, which took euphemisms for one's velvet glove and spun them into a fifties song (previously), their Facebook page is seeing a backlash from users who believe that vaginal deodorants are unhealthy, unnecessary and sexist and that euphemisms for the sticky bun are infantile. [NSFW content in links, Facebook page may require login to view]
posted by mippy (139 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
I can do without this entire thing.
posted by datter at 5:02 AM on June 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


I'm going to call it "the mother of all souls" from now on. As in, "Femfresh is a product for deodorizing one's mother of all souls."
posted by feets at 5:04 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Your vagina is a Victorian lady? Well, better that than your penis being Ronald Reagan.
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:05 AM on June 22, 2012


"Gash" is more of a dysphemism than a euphemism.

The more you know...[cue star]
posted by Renoroc at 5:05 AM on June 22, 2012 [8 favorites]


Well, I'm going to have that song stuck in my head all day. This is that "Mow the Lawn" razor ad all over again.

Stop writing ear wormy songs about lady bits, advertisers!
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:13 AM on June 22, 2012


Also, has their Facebook page been exiled into the void, or is it just me?
posted by feets at 5:13 AM on June 22, 2012


I find this entire thing hilarious and have been thoroughly enjoying every reponse. Though Femfresh are rank amateurs in euphemisms compared to the average romance novelist.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 5:14 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


[fixed Facebook link ]
posted by taz at 5:18 AM on June 22, 2012


Also, it says that the "Love Your Vagina" song was by Femfresh, but it seems to have been the promotion of a menstrual product company (Mooncup) ...
posted by feets at 5:19 AM on June 22, 2012


Smells Like Teen Spirit
posted by Skeptic at 5:22 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


euphemisms for the sticky bun are infantile

The euphemisms tend towards either infantile, or just plain hostile. The worst are both.
posted by Forktine at 5:23 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Gash" is more of a dysphemism than a euphemism.

I once read something that referred to a vagina as an "axe wound." Compared to that "gash" is practically a term of endearment.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 5:26 AM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Feministing thinks "yoni" is "made-up"? That's....surprisingly ignorant of them.

I think in Pulp Fiction they used "Holiest of Holies." I've started using that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:30 AM on June 22, 2012 [12 favorites]


Meanwhile, back at the Rubber Rose Ranch...
posted by hwestiii at 5:32 AM on June 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is this the one thread where everyone would agree that a link to Bill Hicks's marketing rant is appropriate?
posted by TedW at 5:37 AM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well, better that than your penis being Ronald Reagan.

Dick Nixon, surely.
posted by ersatz at 5:38 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


While one might argue there are bigger, more important feminist struggles to be fought than pointing out futile consumerist self abuse such as this to uncomprehending sheepage, I can't help but feel offended that men have been left out. As have other body parts. Why is there no SackSure? Glans Garden? Perfumapole? Crack Cologne? Whole new product categories can be innovated.
posted by The Salaryman at 5:44 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]




The euphemisms tend towards either infantile, or just plain hostile. The worst are both.
posted by Forktine


I rather like "little boy in a boat".
posted by 445supermag at 5:46 AM on June 22, 2012


Dick Nixon, surely.

Millard Fillmore, shurely.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:48 AM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Bulkaroktonos: I once read something that referred to a vagina as an "axe wound."

I've heard this too, except it was suffixed with "in a bear's back", which somehow gave it more legitimacy, as if it were a mythological figure or a star constellation.
posted by hanoixan at 5:50 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I read the company name as "FarmFresh," and I felt that was taking organic gardening a little far...
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:52 AM on June 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Millard Fillmore, shurely.

Not a herbert hoover?
posted by pracowity at 5:56 AM on June 22, 2012


Millard Fillmore, shurely.

I had a short list including "Poke" and Pierce, but looking at all the presidents' names ... there sure are a lot of guys who might be penises.
posted by uncleozzy at 6:04 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


First, "gash backlash?" That's really annoying me. Not cute or clever at all. And women don't "believe" this stuff is harmful. It definitely is.
posted by agregoli at 6:06 AM on June 22, 2012 [18 favorites]


I found out that "flange" is a euphemism in Australian English a few months after training a room full of Aussie Navy personnel about the appropriate joining of flanges on some equipment my company makes.

Don't even get me started on what happens when they leak.
posted by olinerd at 6:11 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I hope they never hear 'Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo' by the Bloodhound Gang.

Because I doubt the term 'ham wallet' would go down too well.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 6:14 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Their facebook page must be down, despite taz's fixing; clicking it just takes me to my own page. Oh well.
posted by rtha at 6:16 AM on June 22, 2012


While one might argue there are bigger, more important feminist struggles to be fought than pointing out futile consumerist self abuse such as this to uncomprehending sheepage, I can't help but feel offended that men have been left out. As have other body parts. Why is there no SackSure? Glans Garden? Perfumapole? Crack Cologne? Whole new product categories can be innovated.

Actually, until the temperature/humidity drops in these parts a deodorant for my testicles might actually result in a noticeable improvement to my sex life.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:19 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


First, "gash backlash?" That's really annoying me. Not cute or clever at all.

I was enjoying the irony of stuffing a post about how euphemisms, and dysphemisms, are bad with a few choice ones. I've heard women occasionally refer to their parts as a 'gash' or a 'fanny', so maybe it's time to reclaim the term? (My favourite dysphemism is 'kebab', because that is one place you do NOT want chilli sauce.) I'm surprised to see 'vadge' in US Cosmo, because that's seen as a bit vulgar and insulting here.

It was my understanding that these products are a fast-track to getting thrush - magazines always cautioned against using them.
posted by mippy at 6:19 AM on June 22, 2012


If this post is just a vehicle for discussing slang terms for the vagina, that's prettty lame.
posted by agregoli at 6:21 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, it's for discussing a company that only uses slang terms for the vagina when marketing vagina-cleaning items to women, presumably grown-up women.
posted by mippy at 6:39 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Well, the word itself makes some men uncomfortable.

I'm sorry
posted by Dr Dracator at 6:41 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Axe Wound" as euphemism makes an appearance in the 1939 Greta Garbo movie Ninotchka
posted by minifigs at 6:43 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hmmmm. It's not like companies that make products for vaginas have been tradtionally non-eyerolling. I guess I'm not surprised or outraged.
posted by agregoli at 6:50 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


My favorite euphemism has always been 'vagina.'
posted by shakespeherian at 6:52 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't tell from the picture...is that a roll-on?
Seems like SNL did an 'ad' many years ago for a feminine hygiene roll-on deodorant that not only was refreshing, but also was 'fun to use'.
posted by MtDewd at 7:01 AM on June 22, 2012


I've always believed that entire point of Not The Nine O'Clock News' Gerald The Gorilla sketch was to use the word 'flange' on prime time TV
posted by DanCall at 7:08 AM on June 22, 2012


Seems like SNL did an 'ad' many years ago for a feminine hygiene roll-on deodorant that not only was refreshing, but also was 'fun to use'.

Are you maybe thinking of their Woomba parody?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:10 AM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Florence King wrote in Southern Ladies and Gentlemen about a Good Ol' Boy who stared incredulously at the feminine deodarant display at the drugstore and asked her: "What's wrong with pussy?"
posted by brujita at 7:16 AM on June 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Sticky bun?"
posted by zarq at 7:16 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


"Sticky bun?"

Would you like cinnamon or cream cheese frosting?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:22 AM on June 22, 2012


As a man, I'd feel insulted if people were always using ridiculous euphemisms for my tallywhacker.
posted by straight at 7:23 AM on June 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


A couple of years ago I got a lot of flak for objecting to the widespread use of the term douchebag and its variants.

As well you should, lol. The PC variation is "juicebox" but really you are saying the same thing.
posted by mrgrimm at 7:27 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Linux variation is 'shoehorn,' don't know why.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:28 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Many years ago, in the oldy times before online porn, I wrote recorded phone sex for a large entertainment conglomerate. The company I worked for had a list of approved euphemisms for genitalia, all which seem rather tame these days. We would have been happy to use the word gash instead of "welcoming flesh pot".

But to be honest I find the whole argument just silly. I am, I suppose by age, a second wave feminist, but I don't see how getting up in a hoo hah over this really helps women.
posted by Isadorady at 7:29 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: " Would you like cinnamon or cream cheese frosting?"

That might taste weird with pork filling. See.
posted by zarq at 7:30 AM on June 22, 2012


Axe wound and fish taco are the two most ridiculous that I remember from junior high (long ago).

I like pussy fine. Do women?
posted by mrgrimm at 7:30 AM on June 22, 2012


As a man, I'd feel insulted if people were always using ridiculous euphemisms for my tallywhacker.
RENEE: You have a nice weenie.

GALLIMARD: What?

RENEE: You have a nice penis.

GALLIMARD: Oh. Well, thank you. That’s very…

RENEE: What—can’t take a compliment?

GALLIMARD: No, its very…reassuring.

RENEE: But most girls don’t come out and say it, huh?

GALLIMARD: And also... what did you call it?

RENEE: Oh. Most girls don't call it a "weenie," huh?

GALLIMARD: It sounds very -

RENEE: Small, I know.

GALLIMARD: I was going to say, "young."

RENEE: Yeah. Young, small, same thing. Most guys are pretty, uh, sensitive about that. Like, you know, I had a boyfriend back home in Denmark. I got mad at him once and called him a little weeniehead. He got so mad! He said at least I should call him a great big weeniehead.

GALLIMARD: I suppose I just say "penis."

RENEE: Yeah, That's pretty clinical. There's "cock," but that sounds like a chicken. And "prick" is painful, and "dick" is like you're talking about someone who's not in the room.

GALLIMARD: Yes. It's a... bigger problem than I imagined.

RENEE: I - I think maybe it's because I really don't know what to do with them - that's why I call them "weenies."

-- David Henry Hwang, M. Butterfly
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:32 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like pussy fine. Do women?

In my experience, no. I don't think I've ever met a woman who likes that term. I've met women that use everything from vajayjay to vadge to cunt but never pussy. Obviously, I'm sure there are some, but I don't think there are many of them.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:33 AM on June 22, 2012


I don't think I've ever met a woman who likes that term.

That's interesting! I don't think I ever dated anyone who didn't use that term themselves.

Could be cultural, though.
posted by zarq at 7:38 AM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can't we all just agree on "Happy Place"?

Why is there no SackSure? Glans Garden? Perfumapole? Crack Cologne?

It's called "Axe".
posted by MikeMc at 7:38 AM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I just got through reading the masturbation scene in a well known (apparently) steampunk/fantasy book.
The vagina is a labyrinth. It will also summon your mother's spirit.

I don't want to spoil someone's hash, but as a euphemism... I was thrown by "labyrinth".
posted by Mezentian at 7:51 AM on June 22, 2012


I was thrown by "labyrinth".

I'm not sure if I should go with "babyrinth" or "labiarinth."
posted by uncleozzy at 7:55 AM on June 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


A couple of years ago I got a lot of flak for objecting to the widespread use of the term douchebag and its variants.

Well, I never cared for the expression but I find mention of it and your post about it rather beside the point here. Or there, actually. As one who can remember when such appliances were commonly on display in small town drugstore windows, I always found that most people born after, say, 1975, had no idea of what they were when they used them as a term of disparagement for doofi in general or particular. In my experience, a lot of such people seem to use the term with enema bags in mind. Which is not quite as pithy a putdown to pronounce.
posted by y2karl at 7:59 AM on June 22, 2012


I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but speaking as a man who's a fan of lady parts, as long as everything's healthy and clean down there we don't care what it smells like. We're just really, really happy to be invited.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 8:02 AM on June 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm not sure if I should go with "babyrinth" or "labiarinth."

I'm gonna go with the latter, since the former is suggestive of babies with mazes and internal organs and, no I have no real idea how belly buttons and why, but it seems horrible to me and Greek Myths don't work well with that. Beacause: EW!
posted by Mezentian at 8:05 AM on June 22, 2012


I need to send this to all my male congressmen in Michigan..because as all of you must know by now...they cannot say the word VAGINA.
posted by Kokopuff at 8:13 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


While one might argue there are bigger, more important feminist struggles to be fought than pointing out futile consumerist self abuse such as this to uncomprehending sheepage, I can't help but feel offended that men have been left out. As have other body parts. Why is there no SackSure?

No need to be offended for there is Freshballs (these folks advertise pretty heavily on SiriusXM)
posted by The Gooch at 8:22 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


For some reason, Labrys Rinse now comes to mind as a brand name for a 'feminine hygiene deodorant.'
posted by y2karl at 8:25 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but speaking as a man who's a fan of lady parts, as long as everything's healthy and clean down there we don't care what it smells like. We're just really, really happy to be invited.

I am never invited, just urgently summoned.

The "invitation" analogy always bugged me. It's not a secret club that one has to work to get into. If you're there, it's because she wants you there, partially for her own selfishly healthy reasons.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:31 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't see how getting up in a hoo hah over this really helps women.

Kokopuff ^^^^ just beat me to it. This sort of issue raises further attention to the ridiculousness of the gender/sex policing going on in "the patriarchal system," more specifically the U.S. state legislatures recently.

You, a self-described feminist, have probably already thought considered the word "vagina" and its usage at least a little and probably aren't going to change your mind much.

Someone somewhere on the other side, who (purely speculatively) hasn't thought much about the word "vagina" other than, like Michigan congressmen, in thinking that it's "dirty," might change his/her mind (or actually develop a position.)

Associating error in thought ("hey, vagina isn't a dirty word") with the people proposing that nonsense also discredits their other positions ("hey, maybe women should be able to get birth control more easily")

Like most things these days, it's a PR battle of politically philosophical proportions. Meaning yeah, mostly tempest -> teapot.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:31 AM on June 22, 2012


The "invitation" analogy always bugged me. It's not a secret club that one has to work to get into. If you're there, it's because she wants you there....

...And, thus, she invited you there.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:36 AM on June 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


There's some poetry here, largely in limerick form, that's sadly going unwritten...
posted by LordSludge at 8:37 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think I've ever met a woman who likes that term.

...

I don't think I ever dated anyone who didn't use that term themselves.

Yeah, ditto. US Midwest + West Coast here. "Pussy" has always been pretty much universal. The adult version of "aw, poor baby" for some of my female friends is "aw, does your pussy hurt?"

I object to the use of it as a pejorative (e.g. "what a pussy"), but for sexytime talk, I'd say "cock" and "pussy" are my default go-to terms for those parts.

How else are you gonna say, "mmmm, is your pussy wet?"

...

Not to speak for Bulgaroktonos, but perhaps he/she was referring to the use of "pussy" in biological discussions or women's health issues, where it's inappropriate, of course.

... well, um, I guess not ...

I've met women that use everything from vajayjay to vadge to cunt but never pussy.

?! To me, "vadge" is the most disgusting ("hoggy vadge" takes it to another level). I can only say that surprises me. I mean, "vagina" itself is basically slang (or metonym) for the full external female genitalia (which I suppose is technically the "vulva"?). The term "pussy" encompasses the pleasure parts--clit, labia, vagina, and whatever else is going on down there. (Honestly, I have no dog in this cunt. I'll use whatever term is acceptable, but you have to give me at least one. ;)

Anyway, my wife uses the term as has every women I've ever had sex with or talked about sex with. I actually posed the question as a joke, but I am curious to hear what other women think.

I think the fact that the (quite excellent) big euphemism list does not include "pussy" is a sign that it is the accepted default slang, no?
posted by mrgrimm at 8:52 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Simon Callow explains it all.

<PLUMMY_ENGLISH_ACCENT> waGEEna </PLUMMY_ENGLISH_ACCENT>. See, was that so difficult to say?

---

Not personally familiar w/ Femfresh products, but I am familiar w/ Sweet Spot Labs. The thing I have learned about a woman's body chemistry from SSL is that the <PLA>waGEEna</PLA> is healthiest when within a certain pH range. When the pH is where it needs to be, yeast infections and unenticing odors don't develop. Rather, a woman's "sweet spot" self regulates as nature intended and keeps itself healthy and fresh.

AND FRAGRANTLY DELICIOUS!

Problem is we live in a world of less-than-ideal diets and restrictive clothing and antibiotics in the water and yadda, yadda, yadda. Douching is (from what I can tell) ALL-THE-WAY-BAD and unnecessary and can throw the waGEEnal pH all out of whack. And when a human bodily system gets outside it's normal homeostasis range, things get out of sorts. The vagina is no different.

SSL's products aren't so much designed as "deodorant" in the sense of a perfume to cover up some supposed unenticing odor. Rather, they're designed to be cleansing and nudge the sweet spot back into it's proper pH. When it's where it needs to be, the vagina becomes naturally rather hostile to all sorts of unwelcome bacteria etc.

Yes, SSL sells grapefruit/etc-flavored. But I'm not looking to taste grapefruit when I'm going down on Mrs. PBZM, I wanna taste healthy, natural Mrs PBZM. So SSL also sells "unscented", and that's the stuff we keep on hand in the household.

BEST! STUFF! EVER!

Look at the SSL front page, right side. There's an animated gif of a happy couple, picnic al fresco on some vineyardish-looking hillside, kissy-frisky, meaningful eye-contact... and then guy slides his lady onto her back, slides down and makes with the "I'm a go down on you right here, babe. Sit back and enjoy the sun!"

That may be the best, most sincere advertising gesture I have ever seen. NO, don't use sex to sell cars and video game controllers; use sex to sell stuff that make sex naturally healthier and tastier.

And yes, they make on-the-go wipes, in case you ever find yourself out on a warm, sun-dappled vineyard hillside with a congenial someone eager to go down on you out in public with no on but the hawks to see, and you wanna take a moment to "sweeten up" w/out having to take a full-on shower first.

Yes, the coy "can't say waGEEna in the advertising" thing is fairly lame. But as someone who likes women and LOVES cunnilingus, I wanted to toss some props out there re: the actual product.

Because this stuff is up there with beer and democracy as far as inventions-PBZM-is-really-jazzed-about.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 8:54 AM on June 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Femfresh is a product designed for making one's ladygarden more fragrant. Yet despite the success of their TV ad campaign, which took euphemisms for one's velvet glove and spun them into a fifties song (previously),

Wait, I am confused. FemFresh is owned by Church & Dwight. Moonucup, which did the Love Your Vagina song linked to in the (Previously), is owned by Mooncup Ltd. Are you saying that Mooncup Ltd is owned by Church & Dwight? because that would be news to me.
posted by DarlingBri at 8:54 AM on June 22, 2012


I quite like cooter because it sounds hilarious to me.
posted by elizardbits at 8:55 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


I quite like cooter because it tastes delicious to me.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:56 AM on June 22, 2012


Femfresh were the target of a large social media backlash on Thursday over their decision not to use the word 'vagina' in their advertising.

Can anyone confirm this fact that Femfresh didn't use the word "vagina"? From the links in the post, all the images I see have the word "vagina" right between "lala" (never heard that one before) and "froo froo" (nor that one).

This ad image here is the one used in all the articles.
posted by mrgrimm at 8:56 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Why is there no SackSure? Glans Garden? Perfumapole? Crack Cologne? Whole new product categories can be innovated."

"...a deodorant for my testicles might actually result in a noticeable improvement to my sex life."




The Salaryman, Bulgaroktonos, if you're not into Axe or Freshballs, then there's Manjunk. Not to worry guys, the personal hygiene industry has got it...er...covered.
posted by BlueHorse at 8:57 AM on June 22, 2012


elizardbits: "I quite like cooter because it sounds hilarious to me."

See, I always think of this when I hear that word.
posted by zarq at 8:59 AM on June 22, 2012


...Wait, here's a thought.

I was initially going to respond to mrgrimm to say that what term I used was highly conditional depending on who I was talking to - with my doctor, I'd use "vagina" (or "vulva," "clitoris", or "cervix" as appropriate), but with friends, I'd probably use some lighthearted slang term of my own devising ("Can you believe this skirt, it's got a slit up to her hoo-hoo" or "so yeah, I went to that nude beach, but I only went topless because ain't no one gets to see The Holiest Of Holies").

And maybe that's what the ad was going for in using slang terms themselves, to give the ad a whole "you're not listening to an ad, you're hanging out with your gal pals talking about this stuff" vibe.

Except I can't think of a single time that any of my actual friends and I ever casually sat around talking about feminine hygiene, except to make fun of products like this.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:00 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, that was my mistake - the Mooncup ad ran on telly over here and I got them confused. You can indeed say 'vagina' in ads over here - Canesten do in their thrush treatment ads.

mrgrimm - apparently they edited to add 'vagina', according to a Facebook comment. (The bus shelter ad I pass says 'woo-hoo your froo-froo'.) Also, 'pussy' is or was more of an American thing, which might be why it's missing from the Feministing list. It also seems one of those men-talking-about-women kinda words - I've never heard any of my female friends mention their 'pussy'.
posted by mippy at 9:01 AM on June 22, 2012


I quite like cooter because it sounds hilarious to me.

Cooter makes me think of "crazy cooter" and there's not much more of a turnoff than the dukes of hazzard and/or CB radio.

Ah, zarq, you must have grown up next to me.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:01 AM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Australian Kevin Bloody Wilson has weighed in on this topic with his predictable sensitivity to the nuances of local dialect. In this case, Canada.

NSFW or Home or probably Starbucks either
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twI5XVCgo6c&feature=related
posted by mule98J at 9:02 AM on June 22, 2012


then there's Manjunk.

There's also Sphincterine, which I shall not be googling from work.
posted by elizardbits at 9:04 AM on June 22, 2012


elizardbits: "Sphincterine"

Sphincter. Nectarine.

This can't end well.
posted by zarq at 9:06 AM on June 22, 2012 [6 favorites]


Except I can't think of a single time that any of my actual friends and I ever casually sat around talking about feminine hygiene, except to make fun of products like this.

Well no but at least among my girlfriends, vaginas do come up conversationally and euphemisms for vaginas are often part of that conversation. (Lately, my preferred name is Wonder Kitty because it is awesome.)
posted by DarlingBri at 9:07 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


That's kind of my point, DarlingBri (which I failed to make) -- that the ads were trying to be all girlfriend-chummy, but they're being girlfriend-chummy about a topic which my own friends and I don't chat about anyway -- so the ad just comes across as silly and demeaning.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:09 AM on June 22, 2012


Lately, my preferred name is Wonder Kitty because it is awesome.

Only because you have not yet heard PARTY PALACE.
posted by elizardbits at 9:10 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've never heard any of my female friends mention their 'pussy'.

I promise not to beat this bush any more, but a quick search on Google will show you that plenty of women use the term.

Itchy Pussy

Sphincterine

Immediately sung to the tunes of Vaseline ("when you're stuck like glue ... Sphincterine!") and Glycerine ("don't let the days go by ... Sphincterine.")
posted by mrgrimm at 9:13 AM on June 22, 2012


see also: led zeppelin's "tangerine"
posted by elizardbits at 9:15 AM on June 22, 2012


PARTY PALACE sounds like you're charging for admission off the Daytona strip. Wonder Kitty sounds like a particularly soft and furry super hero!

Coincidentally I was just re-reading Fanny Hill, and was giving serious consideration to making a list of euphemisms for vaginas used in that book. Because there are hundreds, and I've yet to note one repeated. It's terribly impressive!
posted by DarlingBri at 9:16 AM on June 22, 2012


PARTY PALACE sounds like you're charging for admission off the Daytona strip

yes, also there is skeeball
posted by elizardbits at 9:17 AM on June 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


Except I can't think of a single time that any of my actual friends and I ever casually sat around talking about feminine hygiene, except to make fun of products like this.

Next you'll tell me you don't all sit around discussing what kinds of yogurt make you poop best, either. TV HAS LIED TO ME.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 9:19 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Teenage girl slumber party nude lesbian pillow fights are also pretend.

oh the injustice
posted by elizardbits at 9:20 AM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


yes, also there is skeeball

I can't begin to describe the hysterical mental images I have now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:21 AM on June 22, 2012


No, no, go on....
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:29 AM on June 22, 2012


One more time: SPECIAL PH SOAP FOR THE VULVA IS ACTUALLY A GOOD IDEA!

To wit: The problem with soap and douche is that it’s more basic than acidic. Some major brand bar soaps can have a pH of up to 9-10, making them much closer to bleach than a tomato. So, you rub this basic substance all over your vulva and it literally murders all the Lactobacilli, leaving your vulvovaginal tract open to opportunistic, infection causing microbes, such as candida (which is responsible for yeast infections) and ultimately making your vagina smell not so fabulous.

So the washes that FemFresh is selling, no matter how ineptly marketed, are actually useful, because they let ladies wash their vulvas without bringing on the candida!

Also, the ad campaign was pretty stupid ("froo-froo"???) but the basic message ("whatever you call it, love it") is body-positive. The mobs with pitchforks might be better amassed in front of Summer's Eve...
posted by feets at 9:29 AM on June 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


@elizardbits I'm sorry, but I keep thinking that everything you post in this thread is somehow eponysterical.
posted by modernserf at 9:34 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


CLOACA JOKE
posted by elizardbits at 9:36 AM on June 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Itchy Pussy

Feel free to scratch your snatch.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:37 AM on June 22, 2012


mrgrimm - I'm saying it's not common in the UK so much. Fanny or fanjo, maybe. Pussy less so.

What's Summer's Eve?
posted by mippy at 9:37 AM on June 22, 2012


I think the fact that the (quite excellent) big euphemism list

"Gutted Hamster"???!!! What fucking serial killer in training came up with that one?
posted by MikeMc at 9:38 AM on June 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


We're just really, really happy to be invited.

I'm liking the idea of an engraved, froufy invitation on fine stationery as an invitation to coitus.
posted by Mcable at 9:38 AM on June 22, 2012




What's Summer's Eve?

It's a brand of feminine hygiene products - douches, washes, and deodorant sprays mainly.

Their own slogan, apparently, is "Hail To The V". Which sounds just plain dippy.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:44 AM on June 22, 2012


I feel like the biggest, most offensive thing in this post is the lack of the serial comma. "unhealthy, unnecessary, and sexist".
posted by kafziel at 10:00 AM on June 22, 2012


Peachfish,
...from Even Cowgirls Get the Blues

Any savory allusion that's not overly cute works for me. I am sort of turned off by Vagina, except in a, you know, more or less non-erotic formal discussion.

Va Jai Na. It doesn't roll trippingly off the tongue. Okay, I didn't mean it that way.
posted by mule98J at 10:00 AM on June 22, 2012


My women friends and I use all sorts of euphemisms,including, and most often, pussy. And yes, we do talk about "it".
posted by Isadorady at 10:06 AM on June 22, 2012


I think you might be on the edge of unhealthy if regular soap causes your vaginal health to change, but YMMV. I always advocate witchhazel for uncomfortable PH changes, which is found in Prep-H wipes. Works far better than any goddamn poison Monistat cure.
posted by agregoli at 10:20 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Teenage girl slumber party nude lesbian

what the fuck?
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:25 AM on June 22, 2012


Of all of the things that I am grateful to my mother for, her "feminist hygiene rant" ranks way up there. Form a young age, with just the slightest provocation from a Summer's Eve print ad, my mom would launch. "If it was supposed to smell like a fuckin field of berries, it would smell like a fuckin field of berries". I would then be regaled by the many ways in which these products were harmful (not just thought of as harmful, but actually damaging to the ladybits).

Years later, after I came out, we would regale each other with ideas for "Gentlemen's Hygiene Products" such as refreshing ball mist, masculine napkins, and "Taint there no more" (a deodorizing spray, for both fore and aft). I miss my mom quite a bit, and it really saddens me that so much of what we were talking about in the 70's is still on the table today.
posted by PranaBoy at 10:41 AM on June 22, 2012 [7 favorites]


we would regale each other with ideas for "Gentlemen's Hygiene Products" such as refreshing ball mist, masculine napkins, and "Taint there no more" (a deodorizing spray, for both fore and aft).

Please tell me you've seen the Colbert Report episode where he poked fun at Summer's Eve by talking about how there should be male hygiene products like "Autumnal Afternoon Pine Fresh Dick Scrub" and "Cucumber Ball Dip".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:46 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


what the fuck?

It is another word for "naked".
posted by elizardbits at 10:47 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Or we could borrow from plants and just use "flower" for both sexes? I mean there's Georgia O'Keefe, and btw, male plant flowers have sperm, so it works.
posted by Listener at 10:56 AM on June 22, 2012


It is another word for "naked".

See and here I was assuming you were talking about pantyhose.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:00 AM on June 22, 2012


I think you might be on the edge of unhealthy if regular soap causes your vaginal health to change

No, I think it's regular soap usage that's unhealthy.

"If you use soap to clean your body, you should limit its contact to your skin."
posted by mrgrimm at 11:10 AM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Uh, that's why I said your mileage may vary. Used soap my whole life, never had a problem. Regardless, I don't believe anyone needs a special soap for their lady parts.
posted by agregoli at 11:16 AM on June 22, 2012


Speaking of euphemisms, the word penis is itself a Latin euphemism meaning "tail". Vagina is a Latin euphemism meaning "scabbard" or "sheath"; in Caesar's time it was pronounced something like "waa-gee-na" (hard g as in "good").
posted by Davenhill at 11:23 AM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


As long as people practice basic hygiene I don't see why this is necessary. Genitalia should smell like genitalia, not a mountain fucking breeze or whatever.
posted by jonmc at 11:26 AM on June 22, 2012


in Caesar's time it was pronounced something like "waa-gee-na" (hard g as in "good").

Bah. Classical Latin pronunciation is a practical joke played on classics students by malicious professors. They tell you to pronounce something so that you sound as silly as possible, but when you complain that it sounds silly they tell you that you're not really doing it right.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 11:33 AM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


This is not something that will be favoured by the gentleman and lady who prefer the heady aroma of raw cunt. Really. Is there no taste and decency left in this miserable world?
posted by Decani at 11:37 AM on June 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


Honestly, I have no dog in this cunt.

At this point, I am slain with laughter.
posted by rewil at 11:37 AM on June 22, 2012


You know, sometimes I think I got lucky in the fact that my mother was way, way too squeamish to have these kinds of "dealing with your ladybits" conversations with me - because that otherwise spared me a hell of a lot of fucked-up messages. I did have to cut loose something from the church youth group, but other than that, I never had a hang up about the size of my breasts, my period, my weight, feminine odor, or any of that crap.

It's only in the past few years that I realize how lucky that made me. I was at a party some years back and a young woman told me she "did a survey" every time she was in a conversation with women - when a guy was about to go down on you, she asked them, what was the exact thought that ran through your head?

Before I could answer, she said that every woman she'd talked to, it was either a fret about how they smelled or tasted. I was the very first person to report that the thought that went through my head was usually something like "yeeee-HAWWWWWW I'm gonna get lucky!"

That just means that too many women are too busy worrying about something they don't even need to worry about to fully enjoy sex. And I wish I knew why, because that's heartbreaking.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:45 AM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


EmpressCallipygos: " That just means that too many women are too busy worrying about something they don't even need to worry about to fully enjoy sex. And I wish I knew why, because that's heartbreaking."

We are immersed in negative messages about women and human body image in our culture. You were lucky. But it's worth noting that it doesn't take a parent to convey them. They're picked up by people reading and watching all sorts of media and perpetuated through peer pressure and acceptance of the status quo.

From unhealthily thin "waif" models that adorn magazine covers and fashion spreads, to nearly a hundred years worth of advertisements for feminine hygiene products that promoted the idea that basic female biology was an inappropriate topic for polite company and something that should only ever be referred to euphemistically. Look at how network television treated pregnancy and intimacy for decades: they tried to cover it up.

We do ourselves and our children a grave disservice by not being honest with them about basic biology: How our bodies work. What is normal and not. What to expect when you hit puberty. With knowledge, such things become mundane and lose their potential to be psychologically traumatic and leave scars.
posted by zarq at 12:13 PM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


male hygiene products like "Autumnal Afternoon Pine Fresh Dick Scrub" and "Cucumber Ball Dip"

SparkleCock. Can also be used for the surname of a character in Game of Thrones.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 12:35 PM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


The euphemisms tend towards either infantile, or just plain hostile. The worst are both.
posted by Forktine

I rather like "little boy in a boat".


Is that anything like Little Feat's "Fat Man in the Bathtub"?
posted by the sobsister at 12:54 PM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I have no dog in this cunt.

At this point, I am slain with laughter.


Damn autocorrect.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:56 PM on June 22, 2012


Why is there no SackSure?

No need to be offended for there is Freshballs


RESPECT DA BOYS

This is a decent idea. There is not much in the world that smells worse than ball sweat. Good luck with that marketing, though.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:58 PM on June 22, 2012


My wife calls it her "pretty place".
posted by double block and bleed at 1:13 PM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


the basic message ("whatever you call it, love it") is body-positive

The basic message is that you smell and you're unattractive as you naturally are, so you need to use this crap.

To quote MST3K: "Shame fuels the economy. Where there's shame, there's a need. Our product fills that need."

Unfortunately, the Facebook page seems to be down. I wanted to post something like, "I love my body because I know it's good enough just the way it is."
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 1:36 PM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


see also: led zeppelin's "tangerine"

for some reason I read this as "the lemon song" and thought "sphincterine" and then oh, no no no no no no no no no no no.
posted by mrgrimm at 1:49 PM on June 22, 2012


I'm not so wound up about what an ad company calls my girlparts as I am about more advertising telling women they need to smell, and be, different.

You need to weigh a certain amount; not too little, not too much.
Your breasts are the wrong size and shape.
You need to shave lots of body parts. It used to be legs and underarms; now it's also arms and genitals. Please think about the term dry lubricant, and look at where hair grows. Before you ask a woman to shave her private bits, shave your own. Hello ingrown hairs. Nice to meet you, chafing.
You should have your eyebrows waxed.
Your hair should be a different color, length, texture, curly or straight.
Your hair should be pinned up, have clips, hairband, no hairband. Scrunchies are out, even though they work quite well.
Your lips should be a different color.
Your eyes should be a whole lot of different colors.
Your fingernails should be a different shape and color.
You should have your ears pierced, and wear all different sorts of baubles.
You should or should not wear thong or other styles of underwear.
You should wear this kind of bra, whether it is comfortable or not.
You should wear particular styles of clothing, and replace your wardrobe pretty much continually.
You should accept clothing without pockets, and/or that constricts your movement.
You should wear this color, because it's on trend.
You should wear these crippling shoes, and buy shoes continually.
You should look like that photograph that's been photoshopped to the max, so you can never look like the photo, but you must beggar yourself trying.

Then we can start in on how people want women to be required to allow another being to grow inside their bodies, even if it may injure or kill the woman.

Clean vagina smells the way it's supposed to smell. Likely there are pheromones involved. It's my body. I'd a lot rather work on being strong and physically fit than work on making my vagina smell like an advertiser's version of pretty, esp. since the chemicals in vagina deodorant are irritating and harmful. Please leave my body alone. Maybe you could work on products so that (some) men would feel less need to scratch their testicles, and to convince (some) men that a little extra soap and showering would make certain events lots more fun. feh. I get all ranty about advertising. We not only don't need a huge amount of what's on offer; a lot of it is bad for us.

For the record, I find the terms vagina, girlparts, and girlybits to be quite useful. I love the terms hoohoo and cooter as mildly slangy and endearing. When I talked to my teenage son about sex, I called a vagina a vagina and a penis a penis. Now he's a grownup, so we don't talk about our genitals much.
posted by theora55 at 2:41 PM on June 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


We do ourselves and our children a grave disservice by not being honest with them about basic biology: How our bodies work. What is normal and not.

That's because most of us have NO IDEA what is normal. The reality is that the average sexually active straight man has seen more un-airbrushed female genitals than the average women, who has seen none except maybe her own.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:19 PM on June 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


DarlingBri: "We do ourselves and our children a grave disservice by not being honest with them about basic biology: How our bodies work. What is normal and not.

That's because most of us have NO IDEA what is normal. The reality is that the average sexually active straight man has seen more un-airbrushed female genitals than the average women, who has seen none except maybe her own.
"

This goes both ways, to some extent.

I haven't seen a lot of erect penises aside from the porn that I've watched. If I use a pornstar's baseball bat sized penis as the example of how I should be endowed, I'm not likely to have a realistic idea of what normal is supposed to look like. The average sexually active straight woman is more likely to have a better idea of what the real mean and range are than I am.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:52 PM on June 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also: a vagina, by any name, should smell (and taste!) like a vagina in all of its musky pheromone-soaked wonderfulness. Don't believe anyone who tells you different.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:56 PM on June 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


This goes both ways, to some extent

Did someone deny that? Is it a contest? Are we updating a scorecard?
posted by DarlingBri at 6:10 PM on June 22, 2012


> "My wife calls it her "pretty place.""

In an interview, the late Dixie Carter said that husband Hal Holbrook called it her "pretty." Very sweet.
posted by Anitanola at 8:19 PM on June 22, 2012


This stuff seems like the surest route to a UTI that I can think of.
posted by jrochest at 11:47 PM on June 22, 2012


FemFresh's Apology
posted by AzzaMcKazza at 2:51 AM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


DarlingBri: "This goes both ways, to some extent

Did someone deny that? Is it a contest? Are we updating a scorecard?
"

I wasn't trying to imply that it was a contest. If it were a contest, men would lose, hands down. It's obvious that women face far more social pressure to conform to impossible goals than men do.

I was merely trying to describe one of the few parallels between the social pressures that women and men face to draw a corollary with your comment, which introduced me to an idea that I had never considered from a woman's point of view.

I'm sorry that I came off as trying to diminish the sexism that women face. That wasn't my intent at all.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:19 AM on June 23, 2012


It's rare for a week to go by when I don't hear something on the TV or radio that makes me unironically appreciate the frank social commentary of Majela ZeZe Diamond more. She's saying the same message in plain language.
posted by Gable Oak at 7:07 AM on June 23, 2012


Are you maybe thinking of their Woomba parody?
Link to SNL Woomba video.
posted by blueberry at 2:35 PM on June 23, 2012


Thanks, double block, for clarifying.
posted by DarlingBri at 2:51 PM on June 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yo...if chocha is good enough for Missy Elliot, it's good enough fer me.
posted by moneyjane at 2:51 AM on June 24, 2012


I was all ready to be outraged (and I still think this product is unnecessary), but their apology is pretty awesome.
posted by torisaur at 6:38 PM on June 24, 2012


....Erm, I'm not quite sure we agree on the definition of "awesome."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:22 AM on June 25, 2012


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