What should we call our vaginas?

 It’s come to my attention that some of our brethren are getting their knickers in a knot over a supposedly smutty advertisement that addresses the unsanitary topic of... women’s down theres.

The advert for Carefree panty liners was broadcast in New Zealand this week and featured a naked woman reading a frank monologue on the inner workings of the human body off an auto cue.

Her script included the lines, “Even that bit of discharge in between our periods is our body working to keep the vagina healthy”.

Watch the video below for the full cinematic experience.


The Advertising Standards Bureau said  the ad received five complaints as soon as it was launched and elicited an immediate but not apologetic Carefree.

It wasn't so long ago that Carefree preoccupied itself with the lovelier aspects of femininity. It celebrated joyful things, like flowers, bright colours and spinning with your arms and hearts wide open.

Sadly, the End Days have seen Carefree reincarnated as a dark-sided peddlar of filth and lowbrow pornography. Gone is the time when we could sensitively represent the hoodoo voodoo of a woman’s curse by showing her wearing a white skirt with confidence while riding a horse on a surfboard, and I know I speak for us all when I say we are the poorer for it.

I sympathise with the people taking a stand against Carefree. I sympathise, and I applaud them. Why should we, the innocent, the pure minded, the chaste, allow the image of a lady’s hellmouth and the ectoplasm that dwells therein to seep into our unsuspecting minds? Discharge? I’ll tell you about discharge. Every time someone says the V word out loud, the Baby Jesus discharges a tear.

I’ve taken the liberty of providing some alternatives to using the word "vagina" aka She Who Must Not Be Named. Constant vigilence is key in the fight against destigmatising language. Use it well.


Voldemort: It’s an appropriate place to start, because, like You Know Who, our You Know Whats strike fear through the hearts of decent, ordinary citizens. Sadly, unlike Harry’s evil nemesis, our Dark Marks are frighteningly real and leave a burn even Madame Pomfrey herself couldn’t ease. Acceptable variations: Portkey Trap, Grindelwald’s Revenge, The Eighth Horcrux.

“My Voldemort has been putting the Imperio curse on unsuspecting Muggles again.”


The Shame Cave: A personal favourite, particularly in relation to sex because it forces us to think about what we’ve done. Caves are generally dark, leaky places with moss growing on the walls and no one wants to spend a night in one unless they absolutely have to. Acceptable variations: Terror Tunnel, Highway to Hell, The Abyss.

“Can I get back to you? I’m busy doing some self flagellating in my shame cave.”


Inny Willy: A great option to teach children, because it explicitly translates the idea that a v-word is the diminished twin of its masculine opposite, while using the kind of playful language children love. Acceptable variations: Lady Penis, Inferior Dong, She Wishes It Were.

“If only I didn’t have an inny willy, maybe I’d be capable of being paid the same money as my bepenised colleague.”


Meat Purse: Helpfully offered some time ago by Zoo Magazine in a thoughtful discussion of Lindsay Lohan’s netherlands. It’s feminine (purse) while also reminding us what our totes are there for (barbecues). Acceptable variations: Sausage Sock, Ham Wallet, Beef Microwave.

“It’s a shame you didn’t bring a bag. Luckily I carry around this meat purse for such occasions.”


Gettysburg: This one has an historical bent, which I like, and it lends itself nicely to flirtatious banter between two people who love each very much. “Well kids,” they can say of their courtship, “once I’d pictured her American heartland as a battleground for freedom, I couldn’t wait to deliver an address in her Gettysburg.” Acceptable variations: None. This is a niche topic.


Lady Garden: For those who like to think of their parts as being the source of all life, using the rich nutrients of their inner soil to grow things. Acceptable variations: Coriander Cooch, Lily Lake, Basil Box (for feminists – the dry climate is better).

“Thanks to the St Kilda Football Club, it’s been a bumper year for my basil crop. The Lady Garden comes through again!”


The Bush Administration: Although it’s become fashionable to groom the moss on your Shame Cave to within an inch of its life, there are still some women who prefer their nethers to have a little hat. Call it a political act, if you will. The Bush Administration is favoured not just for these reasons, but because it reminds us that the people who deserve most access to our lady bottoms are male government representatives. Acceptable variations: The Reagan Ravine, Abbottom, Penis Mitt.

“An unwanted pregnancy in your Bush Administration? We can sort that out for you. Give us nine or so months.”


Satan’s Cellar: Men have always known they need to beware of women and their devil’s diner. This is a sobering reminder that what lies between her legs is the pathway to darkness and despair, and it may spell eternal damnation for his Staff of Courage. Acceptable variations: Hades’ Hole, Lucifer’s Lounge, the Prince of Darkness’ Panic Room.

“I haven’t seen him since he went into Satan’s Cellar, but occasionally I hear some distant screams.”

So there you go. We shall not be overcome by Carefree’s insistence on calling a thing by its real name! Use this guide to reclaim your right to infantilise your lady parts! Tell the world through riddles that you are not to be (messy trifle)d with.

Rest assured, with such rich language available to us, we need never go down the V path ever again. Dignity shall be ours once more, and our Faustian pacts can go back to being the stuff of cautionary tales.