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The modern vagina.

Vajazzling, the latest trend in Swarovski crystal vaginal bejewelment, debuted on the national vaginal stage this January. And somehow, it has not yet retreated to the dark recesses of minor celebrity Jennifer Love Hewitt‘s panties, from which it came. Vajazzling has reinvigorated Hewitt’s celebrity (“It shined like a disco ball”). Vajazzle specialists are popping up everywhere (“Aww, c’mon, this is gonna be great by the time you’re all done Vajazzling!”). Vajazzling has even caused one man, who we will call Jason, to look directly at a vagina (“It’s mesmerizing . . . This is probably the longest I’ve ever stared at a vagina”).

In this edition of Sexist Beatdown, Sady Doyle of Tiger Beatdown and I discuss the latest trends in Vajazzling (vajazzle your vagina in the shape of a vagina!), why some men who like putting their penises inside vaginas are adamantly opposed to any other aspect of vaginas, and vajazzling’s inevitable male counterpart: Dickerating.

SADY: I have to tell you, to see you here today is as dazzling a sight as a gloriously bejeweled vagina!

AMANDA: Ah, yes. A butterfly bejeweled vagina or a kitten bejeweled vagina? For vaginas come in many forms of bejewelery.

SADY: I myself am having my vagina bejeweled with the face of Biggie Smalls.

AMANDA: From what I understand, the only shape in which you can not bejewel a vagina is the shape of a vagina, as I suspect the motivation of Vajazzling is to distract from the idea that the vagina is there, and it is in fact a vagina.

SADY: RIGHT? Like, I mean: I hate to be a jerk here, but if you need my vagina to dress up for this party, my suspicion is that it is not going to be much of a party. Not to be all second-wave, but the continuing impulse to make ladyparts look less like themselves and more like gifts you would get from your dingier variety of novelty shop, next to the lava lamps, bespeaks some ill to me.

AMANDA: The good news is that for the most part I think everyone believes this to be a ludicrous practice. Then again, I have not rolled with Jennifer Love Hewitt’s posse, so I may not be aware of the full scope of opinions on how much a woman’s vagina ought to look like the back of a 7th grade girl’s cell phone.


SADY: Right. I mean: I think “Vajazzling,” much like Chat Roulette or the Sex & the City bus tour of New York, is one of those things that everybody writes about because no-one actually thinks it is a good idea. And yet… there are people on Chat Roulette? And I don’t know, man. Like: I talk to girls about their Maintenance Routines, and it seems like there is always some new and trendy way to deal with what is going on there.

AMANDA: There are people who can write from experience: “Then we had sex, and none of the crystals fell off.”


AMANDA: Yeah. And there’s not a ton of self-reflection going on there. Even the most obvious of questions—-like, Why am I bedazzling my vagina? And why has the dude I’m casually dating suddenly taken an interest in my genitalia?—-are not being asked.

SADY: Right? Like, “Jason”—-oh, Jason—-is complimenting her with “this is the longest I’ve ever stared at a vagina.” And given that Jason has grown up in our modern, pornographically-enabled age, I… doubt that this is the case, actually? But it might be the longest he’s ever stared at HER vagina, and maybe that is the real issue here, you know?

AMANDA: Perhaps it is the closest he has gotten to like, putting his face close enough to maybe put his mouth on it?

SADY: “Sweetheart! I just noticed that there’s something down there! Have you taken a look at this, because it’s really wild!”

AMANDA: It is like people who bleach their assholes. How can you recover from an asshole-bleaching session and not wonder what the deal is with you requiring your asshole to be bleached?

SADY: Right. Like: I won’t put bleach in my eye. FOR ANYONE. I don’t care if you write me beautiful sonnets, if you are also like “and ah, the way you make me sigh / please stick some bleach into your eye,” the answer is STILL NO. And I really don’t think your asshole should be negotiable territory for bleaching EITHER. But what it reminds ME of, to take an even more extreme example, is that operation where you get your Business SURGICALLY CUT UP to be more attractive? “Labiaplasty!” It is a thing! And people do it! And then a year later their boyfriends or whatever STILL FEAR THE VAGINA so they have to make it look like a My Little Pony with vajazzling, I guess.


AMANDA: I just wonder why they still want to put their dicks in it? I mean, take the anal bleaching example—-you’re basically making your anus look less like an anus, so that your partner who enjoys placing their penis in your anus can do so without thinking about the fact that it’s actually a real functioning asshole? Same with all these guys who claim to enjoy Tab-A-in-slot-B old fashioned heterosexual sex which includes sticking penises in vaginas, but who hate vaginas, actually, because they are icky. How do they rationalize those thoughts?

SADY: I have no idea. I mean: I do think it has got to be a fear thing. (JASON’S INTERNAL MONOLOGUE: “Okay, champ, this is going great, but whatever you do just don’t look down! If you see the vagina, you’ll panic! Play it COOL, MAN.”) But also we need to note that although there ARE cosmetic procedures for penises, of the more or less invasive variety… nobody’s really requiring dudes (with penises) to invest in them, you know?

AMANDA: Yeah. My theory: Sexual repression + Capitalism + Sexism = Vajazzling

SADY: Right. It’s this very basic deal, as expressed by the fact that the Washington Monument is not an ovoid hollow in the ground, whereby penises are super and vaginas, although necessary, are basically H.R. Giger shit that would freak any reasonable person out. So you have to make them… like, really, REALLY infantilized, like to the extent of making them pink and sparkly and Lisa Frank binder-looking, to signify that they are female in the “harmless” sense rather than the “oh my God aaaaiiiiieeeeeeee” sense.

AMANDA: I am interested to know what a penis would look like if men were instructed to groom their penises so as to make them look less like penises.

SADY: Top hats? Draw a smiley face on it? I don’t know. I know you’re not putting crystals on that business any time soon. But when I start my new Dickerating business we’ll find out.

AMANDA: I understand the crystals may not adhere to the male penis for a sufficient period of time. But there are places where our genital situations are not so different. So … why aren’t men encouraged to wax off all of their pubic hair?

SADY: Well, some are! But I’ve known girls who have expressed the idea that for a man to do so would be a sign of His Secret Gayness, and thereby a dealbreaker. I mean, why aren’t men expected to shave their armpits? Hair is manly. For MEN.

AMANDA: So I just Googled the phrase “manlier penis


AMANDA: And I came across a Web site which suggests that men who want to visually lengthen the penis might want to trim their pubic hair, in order to create an illusion of sorts.

SADY: Wow. It’s like pulling a rabbit out of a hat!

AMANDA: HOWEVER, “the ladies may want a manlier penis ‘ so to speak ‘ and this comes with pubic hair.” Someday, when we achieve full gender equality, washed up male actors will write books about illusory pubic hair techniques.

SADY: You know, I don’t necessarily NEED to have that much information about Freddie Prinze, Jr.? And yet, like you, I look forward to that day!

Photo via Dawn Ashley, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0