Fun fact. Nowhere on a bottle of femfresh does it say the word “vagina”. Or vulva, or labia, or genitals. Which is odd for a product which is specifically designed to clean one’s vagina, vulva, labia and genitals. Instead it claims to be an “intimate wash” for your “intimate area” promoting “intimate hygiene”. Those guys at femfresh are so desperate not to say any of the actual words for one’s lady-junk that they just repeat the word “intimate” over and over again. They say it six times on the bottle.
It’s not just femfresh. Most brands of vadge-soap will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid telling you what they actually are. Pretty much anything contained in the mystifyingly and infuriatingly named “feminine hygiene” aisle will be utterly evasive in its packaging. It’s a fair bet to assume you’re supposed to shove it in or around your hoo-ha, but that’s my no means a safe bet and can lead to disastrous consequences.
Once I accidentally bought a packet of enormous, 70’s style sanitary towels instead of pantyliners because I simply could not tell what anything was on the shelf. The words “sanitary towel” and “pantyliners” are vague and embarrassing enough, but it seems to have got to the point where even those euphemisms are too reminiscent of the dreaded vagina to appear on packaging. What the hell is a “towelette” or a “radiant wipe”? All the boxes just had pictures of daisies or inexplicably smiling white women. The only brave soul which dared imply that there was anything gynaecological about its contents was this box of monster pads. It featured a line drawing of a bum from the side. How bold. They turned out to be the sort that make you feel like you’re carrying a scatter cushion around between your thighs. In the end we ended up covering ourselves in them as armour one drunken evening and seeing how much protection they offered against being pushed against a wall. The results were inconclusive.
Of course, all this is just part of the mission to make people with vaginas ashamed of those vaginas. Whether it be the fact that some of us bleed out of our fun tunnels sometimes, the whole pube debate, or the bizarre myth that female genitals are somehow inherently smelly, there is a lot of money to be made in convincing people that their flaming lips are somehow wrong. I was outraged to discover you can buy a spray for your velvet goldmine, a vaginal deodorant for when you’re just too damn embarrassed about the scent of your crotch. First off, it’s a pretty safe bet that no one can smell your genitals. Second, if you’re using it because a partner is getting up close and personal with your Grand Budapest Hotel and you feel ashamed of the smell, you need a partner who doesn’t make you feel embarrassed, not some shitty chemical spray. And third and most important: if you’re unconvinced, remember that they do not sell a deodorising spray for people’s dicks (I’ve googled it. Extensively.) And I am calling time on this vaginas are fishy bullshit because, people, all genitals are smelly if you neglect to wash them for long enough.
So don’t worry. Wash your vulva, vagina, labia often and with whatever product suits you best. Just chill out when people talk about female genitals, and do your best to make other people feel good about theirs. Because one thing is certain: vaginas are really fucking awesome.