Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Because one pudendal posting is never enough

Cruising the blogosphere, I found this abstract linked on Kidneynotes and originally from the journal Contraception . (Though, I have to say, I always thought the journal Suicide was as provocatively named as one was likely to get. It makes Shakespeare Quarterly or Exemplaria seem positively tame by comparison, eh?)

Title: "Attitudes, Perceptions and Knowledge about the Vagina: the International Vagina Dialogue Survey"

Vagina Dialogue Survey! (I hope they kickback some of those big pharma profits to Eve Ensler!)

Anyways, here's the abstract:

Background The International Vagina Dialogue Survey examined women's attitudes, perceptions and knowledge regarding the vagina. Methods In total, 9441 women (18–44 years) from 13 countries underwent online interviews during April/May 2004. Results The majority of the women thought that vaginal health did not receive the attention it deserves (66%) and that society has too many
misconceptions about the vagina (65%); indeed, 78% agreed that society's taboos surrounding the vagina contribute to women's ignorance. Only 39% of the women had ever read an informative article on the vagina, although 83% would like to read such an article. Although 79% of the women relied on advice from healthcare professionals (HCPs) when choosing a contraceptive. [less than]50% were comfortable talking to HCPs about vagina-related issues. Conclusions A more open and informative approach is needed with regard to the subject of the vagina in order to empower and educate women about their bodies and in matters such as choice of contraception.
Do you ever get the sense that there's a boatload of money wasted on stuff we all know? What self-respecting human in the US (or most other countries) thinks we educate women (or men) well about their bodies, about contraception, about sexuality? I could have told them this, and for a WHOLE lot less money.

And the nightmare stories women shared in dorm rooms about encounters with specula and wielders of said instruments? Oh, yeah, what vaginally-enabled human hasn't heard those? Or had a few to tell herself? The only thing shocking about the [less than] 50% is that it's not more like [less than] 20%.

From Shakespeare's Sister (and what Bardiac wouldn't love a blog with THAT name?), here's a post on South Carolina Representative Ralph Davenport who wants to make all sex toys illegal in South Carolina. (I'm so jealous of the great title: "Dildo? Dilno." Seriously jealous.)

Read the responses, because they're great. Oh, yeah, and here's a link to the proposed law. Reading this, I get a sense that some people spend way too much time worrying about what other consenting adults do with their fingers, toes, noses, lips, and tongues. (And perhaps, at least one other body part, too.)

I'm thinking that Representative Ralph Davenport needs a little education from the Vagina Dialogue. He also needs to read Herrick's "The Vine" and just deal with the fact that humans are creative about what they use and put where, and have been since they evolved into anything near intelligence.

Or someone creative should create a dildo in his name, "The Davenport Dildo" for when you're really too small-minded for the job.

Note: Blogger is making me crazy whenever I try to use the "pointy typographic not a parenthesis sign" in the abstract to mean "less than." It seems to read those pointy signs as being purely html signifiers, and then does strange things. Repeatedly. So, when you see [less than] think of the pointy not a parenthesis sign that means "less than" in the math world.


  1. For [less than] you can type & l t; only collapse the spaces that I just typed. It's four characters rather than eleven. :)

    (similarly, greater than is & g t; with the spaces collapsed)

  2. *rolls eyes over the law* I swear some men won't be happy untill they control our very thoughts!

    Reminds me of the law in Texas where it is illegal to own more than two sex toys. They've arrested people in airports for this apparently. Also in Dallas it is illegal for sex shops to sell flesh colored toys.

  3. nessie6:31 PM

    Hmmm. . . why isn't the plural simply 'pudenda'? Inquiring minds want to know!
    Or perhaps you're using 'pudendal' as an example of one way of referring to a category of topics relating to the pudendum or otherwise sharing some attributes or qualities (whatever these may be!) with it (e.g., a 'pudendal-ish post)?

  4. JM, thanks!

    History Geek, wow, okay to own one, but not two? And what's with "flesh colored"? Whose flesh?

    Sounds like a bad crayon from the 50s, doesn't it?

    Nessie, I think "pudendal" is the adjectival form. Or I just made up a new word, yay me! The plural is indeed pudenda. So much for my Latin expertise (I looked it up.)

  5. No, you can own two but anything more than that and you must be doing something wrong! *rolls eyes again*

    I'm not sure whose flesh but it be amusing to see Vice try and enforce it.

    Like a good deal of old laws in Texas mostly people ignore them. That said, get me the hell out of this state? Please?

  6. This sure sounded like a blog cue to me, so I have set up a vagina dialogue on my blog to collect questions that women (and men) have about vaginas, and plan to do the aformentioned "informative article" in response to those questions.

    No question is too silly or too stupid. After all, I am the vagina expert...

  7. hisotry geek, there's weirdness in every state. It's just sometimes different kinds of weirdness. You have my permission to flee north if that helps, though I have to warn you, sometimes things here make me nuts!

    tbtam, that sounds like a GREAT idea!