Jessica Alba and Her Vagina Raise Some Questions

Sasha Brown-Worsham

The cover of Cosmopolitan magazine almost always features some scantily clad actress or model and 5,000 tips on how to give better blow jobs, but this month it also includes something else: the word va-jay-jay scrawled across Jessica Alba's.

The magazine is featuring the trend toward '70s bush, but it's also revealing something else: the general fear we seem to feel as a culture for just saying vagina (or vulva, as the case may be).

As a writer, I'm a word person and there are certain sexual words I hate to say. These words include "panties" (shudder); "making love" (retch); "lover" (AGH); and "cum" (just say orgasm, peeps!). I used to hate the p-word for vagina, but it's growing on me lately. But I'm not a huge fan of euphemism in general. If the word is penis, then say penis.

Or, as they said in Bust magazine:

"Would a men’s magazine ever refer to the penis as a pe-nay-nay (under a photo of George Clooney)?"

I'll be the first to admit, "penis" and "vagina" are really too clinical to sound sexy. Vagina is actually used incorrectly at least 90 percent of the time when what you're actually trying to say is "vulva" (also a hideous word).

But let's face it, "va-jay-jay" sounds like we are 12 (sorry Oprah!). The word first came into our lexicon from an episode of Grey's Anatomy, but has stayed largely due to Oprah's adoration of it.

I just love cutesy, schmoopy words that make our genitals sound like itty bitty fur buddies instead of pleasure vehicles. So, in the interest of keeping the bedroom interesting, I will provide a little cheat sheet of alternative words for our privates:


Sometimes laughing in bed is fantastic. Use these words if you want to crack up or lighten the mood after a fart or some other embarrassing sexual incident:

  1. Hoo-ha
  2. Cootchie
  3. Schlong
  4. Tatas
  5. Beaver


If you and your man dig baby talk and call each other schmoopy nicknames, cutesy might be for you! Here are a few:

  1. Wee-wee
  2. Cookie
  3. Pee-pee
  4. Little man in the boat
  5. Love pillows


You want to feel like you are in a porn movie, bleach your hair (bonus for black roots), extend your fingernails with some variation of a French manicure, and use these words:

  1. Pu--y
  2. Co-k
  3. Ti-s
  4. S-atch
  5. Di-k


If the idea of being in bed with your gyno excites you, then use the following words to get off:

  1. Penis
  2. Vagina
  3. Vulva
  4. Clitoris
  5. Scrotum

There are so very, very many more. I could go on and on. But the real question is: Who are you? Are you cutesy? Are you dirty? Or are you, like most of us, a little bit of everything?

Do you use va-jay-jay? What do you use?


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