Linguistically Speaking is Elena Unger’s sassy little column capturing language as a malleable medium that embodies sociohistorical change. It’s time to think twice about what you are saying, why you are saying it that way, and whether there is a better way to do so…
My vag isn’t built for your sword
PSA: drop vagina and adopt bajingo.
Not only is vagina a disturbance to ears across the globe—think Trump saying China—but its origins are highly objectionable. Initially, vagina was a Latin word denoting a sheath for a sword. Gladius, or sword, was used to describe the penis. Thus, for centuries, the vagina has been linguistically confined in a role of submission and absence. The word suggests that the female genitals are a cover to be pierced and a hollow vessel to be filled, discounting the all-mighty clitoris or any form of non-penetrative vaginal pleasure. Further, the metaphorical framework of sword and sheath—in addition to being sexist—excludes any form of sex sans penis. Sword doesn’t really cut it as an apt metaphor for that hot blonde’s finger…
The solution? Make bajingo the new lingo.
The great debate with ‘penetrate’
Yo, this dude and I fucked last night and I enveloped him so hard.
Sex is often qualified by penetration. Although this is an exclusionary and historically heteronormative practice, penetrate remains deeply entrenched in our sexual vocabularies. It immediately establishes an incongruent power dynamic: there is the dominant player who penetrates, and the submissive actor who is penetrated. What would happen if you flipped this dynamic on its head? What if the dominant player was the one who enveloped, and the submissive actor was the one who was enveloped?
Penises, fingers, dildos, household vegetables (we don’t judge!), and any other sexy little objects are classically deemed the penetrators. They are vested with active power, while the bajingo or butthole, and their respective owners, are made into passive actors. Why should we acquiesce to this framework as the framework?
Renaming sex positions to reclaim some dignity
Say goodbye to missionary and hello to nondenominational sky tits. This rename evokes mysticism and ethereal boob transcendence without implicating the church. A woman on her back, tits to the sky, with no attached implication of praying, sinning, or serving our Father.
As I listen to Lady Doja’s words of wisdom, Moo, moo, moo, moo, moo, moo, moo, moo, yeah, bitch, I’m a cow, the need to expel cowgirl from the handbook of sex positions has never been more clear. Cowgirl, move aside and make room for cow-woman. The problem definitely isn’t you calling me a cow. It’s you calling me a girl.
Finally—and I am truly sorry to any who are attached to the name—doggy style must go. The alternative: nesting coffee tables. Call me a cow all you want, but don’t you dare call me a dog. This HBIC does not walk on all fours (unless assuming an extraordinarily classy coffee table position).
Old euphemisms we need to bring back
Hey there baby, let’s dance the Paphian jig.
This killer phrase dates back to 1656, and certainly deserves a place in modern discourse. The word Paphian is derived from the city of Paphos in Cyprus, which was the cult of Aphrodite.
Thus, dancing the Paphian jig is the perfect nod to the one and only goddess of lusty love.
Shiiiiiit. I took them home last night and we rode the hell out of that Dragon upon St. George.
This one starts with an old Christian story––but just stay with me. Saint George, in a saintly fashion, went to the Pagan city of Silene to tame an evil, community-destroying dragon. His one stipulation? If he succeeded in his dragon-pacification endeavors, everyone would have to abandon their belief systems and become Christian. For centuries, painters have been capturing this scene, and in many versions, it kinda looks like St. George and his horse are mounting the dragon. The phrase was thus adopted as a euphemism for sex. By a twist of pure, delicious irony, St. George’s missionary efforts ended up as nomenclature for fleshly sin.