Why We Study Slang for Genitalia

At Good Vibrations, we’ve long known that different people have different comfort levels with and reliance on slang and euphemisms for our pleasure bits.

For everyone who doesn’t feel comfortable with so-called “dirty words,” there’s another person for whom scientific language is alienating and unsexy.

Sometimes sex education happens much more successfully when we can figure out a person’s preferred language for erotic anatomy. It’s one of the reasons I including euphemism listings in Exhibitionism for the Shy — so people could get familiar with their own preferred words and find out whether their partners’ differ. That makes erotic talk more fun and hot, too. And one of our very first Masturbation Month activities was a euphemism list for masturbation terms, which resulted in one of my favorite ever phrases: tossing the pink salad! This history reminds us that even in conservative eras, people have been thinking, talking, and writing about sex for a very long time.

Check out the Vagina Chart and the Penis Chart, created by TimeGlider using the Green’s Dictionary of Slang by Jonathon Green.

(via io9)

Dr. Carol Queen

Carol Queen has a PhD in sexology; she calls herself a "cultural sexologist" because her earlier academic degree is in sociology: while she addresses individual issues and couple's sexual concerns, her overarching interest is in cultural issues (gender, shame, access to education, etc.). Queen has worked at Good Vibrations, the woman-founded sexuality company based in San Francisco that turned 35 years old in 2012, since 1990. Her current position is Staff Sexologist and Good Vibrations Historian; her roles include representing the company to the press and the public; overseeing educational programming for staff and others; and scripting/hosting a line of sex education videos, the Pleasure-Ed series, for GV’s sister company Good Releasing. She also curates the company's Antique Vibrator Museum. She is also the founding director of the Center for Sex & Culture, a non-profit sex ed and arts center San Francisco, and is a frequent lecturer at colleges, universities, and community-based organizations. Her dozen books include a Lambda Literary Award winner, PoMoSexuals, and Real Live Nude Girl: Chronicles of Sex-Positive Culture, which are used as texts in some college classes. She blogs at the Good Vibes Magazine and at SFGate's City Brights bloggers page and contributes to the Boston Dig. For more about her at carolqueen.com.

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