The One Word We Won’t Use While Sexting

Sexting is a huge thing. People who are single, coupled up, or married for years are all “guilty” of engaging in naughty text exchanges with the people they like to have sex with. The contents of these messages typically range from the flirty and coy to the extremely graphic, but most sexters aren’t using one key word when texting about female anatomy: vagina.

The preferred word of choice for many sexters, “pussy,” isn’t exactly a great alternative. “Pussy" is not a sexy term for a woman's lady-parts and "there is no socially comfortable word for 'vagina' to be used in sexting,” Julia Reinstein, a sex columnist at American University, told HuffPost Live.

Sure, there are women who love the word “pussy,” but it squicks a lot of us out. It’s not exactly a word that makes me want to jump in the sack with a guy, especially if I’m reading it on the screen of my iPhone. But what are the alternatives? Cunt, juice box (this a thing on Urban Dictionary, I swear), and coochie are way more un-sexy than pussy, so it’s not like there are a lot of great options.

And it’s not as if women are using anatomically correct terms when describing the anatomies of their male partners, though. “I want you to put your penis in my vagina” is the least sexy sext in the world, and I’m fairly sure it’s never been sent by anyone. The key difference, though, is that the stigma surrounding female sexuality makes “pussy” (and vagina) a very loaded word.

For years, we couldn’t even talk about the other functions of our vagina, like menstruating and birthing children, without heavily-veiled references to the vagina. Remember those old douche and tampon commercials from the 90s? You would have never assumed that they were referring to something that you’d put in your body, much less your vagina.

When asked about an alternative for the word “pussy” or “vagina,” Reinstein suggested that people encourage their partners to use the words they prefer. "I really think that there's something for everyone. For some people, 'pussy' works. For some people, other words are going to work, and for some people, they're just not going to get turned on by saying any words for it and that's OK."

Reinstein also said that we should get to work on reclaiming the word vagina, which I wholeheartedly agree with as a very pro-vagina person. I own a knitted vagina, for Pete’s sake. That being said, I’m not sure if I want to extend that to the bedroom. Pillow talk probably won’t benefit significantly from the word's inclusion, and it could definitely make things a little awkward.