Introducing Vulgar Vag
As with most connections I’ve made lately, Vulgar Vag and I intersected on Twitter over the Feminist Porn Awards. Both she and her vag have a lot to say and I’m quite happy to be following both her feed and blog. I’m always ready for a good dose of spot-on vulgarity.
How did you get into blogging?
I’ve done some sex-positive blogging before but never anything as personal as this. I felt like I needed an outlet to discuss topics that are near and dear to me and my pussy. Essentially it’s been a space to express my vulgar side, my masturbation enthusiasm, my love of sex toys and my rage against the discriminatory, privileged bullshit that can still infiltrate sex-positive spaces. I’ve felt a need to vocalize these things as a feminist working in a sex shop where I encounter a slew of other people’s sexual politics and internalized hang-ups. It’s given me a playground to examine and dismantle my own reactions to people’s sexual taboos, repressed desires, and stereotypes while dissecting my own sexuality. Vulgar vag is like my journal at the end of a long panty-soaked, dildo-peddling day.
Why did you choose the name vulgar vag?
I’ve always been a vulgar person. I’m always the one that friends and close family can count on to discuss something inappropriate or lewd. I think the name for the blog originated around the time a friend and I were discussing the concept of, “what would your vagina say if it could speak” and I surmised that my vagina would probably have a really filthy, whore of a mouth and she would be blunt and unapologetic about it. It also represents my own internal backlash against the repression of female sexuality and the ways that women are taught that there are distinct, confined parameters in which we can express ourselves that are socially acceptable. I’ve always spoken out against that and I think having a sort of alter ego called “vulgar vag” gives me permission to be more vocal than I otherwise would be sometimes.
Working in a sex shop has given you lots of fodder for your writing. What do you find best about working there?
The best part is being able to observe and dissect human sexuality up close and personal, like discussing the benefits of clitoral stimulation with a woman who has never had an orgasm during intercourse. It’s also a great way to educate people and learn a lot myself. For the most part, the job has made it abundantly clear to me how sexually repressed we are as a society. Not only women who are incredibly timid and buying their first sex toy well into their 20’s or 30’s, but men who ridicule male masturbator toys, or think that enjoying prostate play makes them gay by default or is just emasculating. There are a lot of opportunities to start a discourse with people who walk into the shop with a lot of very black and white rules about sexuality. I choose to challenge people when they label a certain sexual act, kink or fetish as “weird” or “gross” just because it’s something that they don’t like or understand. I love encouraging people to burn the gender rulebook in a pyre and move on with doing things that make them feel good.
It’s the other side of the same coin really. While it can be rewarding to broaden people’s perspectives, it’s often grating to interact with people who have a very narrow view of sex and feel the need to condemn others sexual identities, desires, kinks, or bodies based on their limited attitudes. The other shitty part of it is working for a mainstream chain that focuses more on making a profit than selling quality products. While there are a lot of good products that I do recommend to people, there are also a lot that I don’t because I wouldn’t stick them anywhere near my own twat. For instance, I will usually deter people from getting anal numbing and bleaching creams because they piss me off and are completely unnecessary. If you can’t feel your ass hole then you clearly can’t know whether something is tearing. And in addition to the body shame and racist undertones associated with skin lightning creams, if someone won’t play with your pussy or anus unless it’s a pristine shade of white they’re probably jerkwads and don’t deserve to.
Are you open with friends and family about your blog?
I’m open with close friends and family about it because I’m pretty open about discussing sexual topics with them in general. I’ve been discussing my sex life with my mum at the dinner table ever since I’ve had one so there has never been anything abnormal about that for me. That being said, I don’t direct all my friends to read it because it’s a space that I like to keep a bit separate from my everyday life. Also, there are some friends, no matter how sexually progressive they are, who don’t want to learn about the growing pile of vibrating butt pugs that I’m amassing and that’s fine. Their loss.
Do you ever receive criticism about being so open about yourself?
I haven’t yet. It’s mostly been positive feedback. But then again I tweet more than I blog. Something to do with the lethal combination of procrastination and laziness. So most of my feedback has been through interacting with really awesome sex-positive folks on twitter. If I ever did receive any criticism I would probably just set the angry uterus on them. She`s like the vugar vag bouncer/warrior woman. She’ll cut a bitch.
Masturbation is a common theme in your writing and work and it is slowly becoming more openly talked about. Why has there been reticence to acknowledge self-pleasure and what more can we do to bring it to the fore?
I think that there are many different factors at work in self-pleasure shame. First of all girls tend to grow up with a lot more internalized messages that are passed on through mothers, grandmothers, religious beliefs etc. about how “dirty” our private parts are and how it’s inherently wrong to touch them. And discovering that it feels good to stimulate our naughty bits isn’t quite as obvious as it is for guys. There’s also the fact that sex ed programs in Canada and the US have completely ignored educating youth about masturbation as a safe sex act and a healthy expression of sexuality. So as a girl the masturbation topic either isn’t on the table at all, which was my experience, or you’re told that exploring your body is inappropriate. Which is a shame because if we choose to educate girls about masturbation as a tool that teaches them what feels good, that can, in turn, improve their communication with sexual partners in the future and potentially help them make more empowered sexual choices. Also, self-pleasure is never a dangerous thing (unless you still believe that a kitten dies every time you diddle yourself), so teaching girls about masturbation can only produce healthy results, like loving your vagina, owning your pleasure and knowing how to respect and honour your body. It’s a win-win.
That’s why I’m a big supporter of including masturbation in the Canadian sex ed curriculum so that young people can learn about it stigma-free. I went to a Catholic high school where the poor excuse for sex education was a cursory glance of how to not get knocked up and a glossary of STI’s. I think that denying young people information about sex is one of the most ass-backwards things we can do and just breeds misinformation. I also think that as a society we need to stop treating masturbation as a sad solo act and recognize that it plays a huge part in our sexual well-being. Getting myself off was one of the first sex-positive acts I learned as a pre-teen budding feminist. I owe my first orgasm to Betty Dodson, who I like to consider my masturbation fairy godmother.
Your blog is approaching its 1st anniversary. Got anything special planned?
To be honest I had no clue, so thanks for reminding me! So in short, no, but maybe I’ll get my act together and write something for the occasion. Or I’ll just reward my twat because her filthy mouth is what got this started in the first place.