1:34 pm - 11/01/2009

Word for Vagina-like

This may be a ridiculous post. I swear that I'm not trolling. I know that the vagina is the canal and not the whole shabow, but please assume that, for the below, it means the vagina and the whole rest of the physical subset.

Today I stumbled upon a strange conundrum. Someone posted a picture of a vagina cupcake on a forum and then someone posted the mask from Scream, similarly vagina shaped. And I thought in my head, wow, that's really _______. I drew a blank because I'm not sure if there is a feminine equivalent to phallic. Could someone help me out? Is there an adjective for things that are shaped vagina-like? I guess 'vulvar' sort of qualifies but it seems too medical.

And also, why is it that guys always draw penis graffiti everywhere when they're juveniles, but not vaginas? Why is a sloppily drawn penis perceived to be so much funnier? Are vaginas too shapeless or formless of an entity to make good graffiti? There also seems to be, at first glance, a disproportionate amount of ancient artwork depicting penises but not vaginas. I'm not an art historian though, so maybe someone who has some background there can answer that question.
zombossified 1st-Nov-2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
Yonic. Yawnic. Ionic.

I'm not exactly sure how it's spelled, but it's pronounced like that.
dextrosomniac 1st-Nov-2009 07:50 pm (UTC)
Ah, thank you!!
stereosymbiosis 1st-Nov-2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
it's spelled yonic :)
kimie_catclaw 1st-Nov-2009 07:51 pm (UTC)
As in lingam and yoni? That makes sense.
tacky_tramp 1st-Nov-2009 10:56 pm (UTC)
Yup, I learned this word in college and I absolutely love it.
wicked_seraph 2nd-Nov-2009 01:47 am (UTC)
I've actually been wondering the same thing myself for a while; it's nice to finally know :>
zombossified 1st-Nov-2009 07:56 pm (UTC)
I've seen a lot of penis imagery from ancient cultures...for the female equivalent, however, I've seen representations of the entire body: the big stomach, the big breasts, wide hips...venus of willendorf type things.

My teacher told me, however, about some old Celtic (?)-influenced decorations in ancient churches, depicting figures of women with large breasts holding their vaginas open--some fertility symbol. I think that's because in female fertility, the entire body undergoes a change with pregnancy, whereas in male bodies, it's only the penis that changes. I dunno, whatever, I'm the most amateurof archeologists/anthropologists :P

As for kids noawadays...I think that, for whatever reason, it's mostly little boys who doodle genitalia on desks. They're still trying to understand their own bodies, forget the opposite sex's body.
(Amateur sociologist, too--just my initial thoughts on things.)
ticktockman 1st-Nov-2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
My teacher told me, however, about some old Celtic (?)-influenced decorations in ancient churches, depicting figures of women with large breasts holding their vaginas open--some fertility symbol.

They are Sheila na Gigs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheila_na_Gig

zombossified 1st-Nov-2009 08:40 pm (UTC)
Thank you!! I was trying to remember what he'd said about them!
ghostpaw 1st-Nov-2009 09:37 pm (UTC)
Vesica piscis!
sparkle_lite 1st-Nov-2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
I think mostly the answer tobthe second part of your entry is that juvenile males are fascinated by their own penises and have been looking at it as long as they can remember. At some point in his life, a young male has no earthly idea what a vagina actually looks like. It also seems to me that once they become interested in it and go on a quest to be able to experience it they are less inclined to make fun of it or draw it as a joke because they take the vagina more seriously. (just my personal thoughts.)
queensugar 1st-Nov-2009 08:40 pm (UTC)
Not used often anymore, but pudendal also works.
queensugar 1st-Nov-2009 08:42 pm (UTC)
Although it can technically be unisex, even though it's generally very vulva-oriented, so nevermind.
marnanel 17th-Nov-2009 06:38 pm (UTC)
It works as an answer to the question, but I have a personal dislike of the word pudenda / pudendum because it's a Latin gerundive meaning literally "thing you should be ashamed of".
queensugar 17th-Nov-2009 06:39 pm (UTC)
Yeah. I actually have a bit of a soft spot for it, just because the first time I ever encountered it was when I was about 13 and it was in one of the most beautiful pieces of art I've ever seen.
queensugar 1st-Nov-2009 08:55 pm (UTC)
Oh, and I think your last question is totally interesting, and I bet there's a million different ways one could interpret what you mention.

I think it would be important to make a distinction between ancient or historical penis representations, and modern penis graffiti; while some things about how we contextualize the penis haven't changed, some things have.

For instance, throughout time and throughout countless cultures, the penis has been interpreted as a symbol of power, strength, and often male fertility and male physical and sexual virility which, in primarily male-dominated patriarchal societies where a man's status, wealth, and power may rest on producing an heir, were crucial. In societies where women were, if not quite disposable but at the very least powerless and/or chattel, the vagina simply did not have the same importance in terms of representing the values and hopes of the society.

So a lot of ancient penis representations can often be tokens or acknowledgements of power; invitations to divine assistance in fertility, virility and sexual prowess; it did not necessarily have the obscenity connection that penis graffiti does today.

In the modern world, the penis still tends to be associated to a certain extent with power, though the fertility aspect in the West has certainly been reduced. And I think primarily, the visible penis has taken on a level of obscenity in the West that it didn't have in much of the ancient world.

One interesting thing to note is that frontal nudity in mainstream film (especially in the United States) is almost entirely female; in a number of countries, pornography is defined by the presence of an erect penis, not by the presence of a vulva. Penis graffiti is almost always picturing an erect penis. I think there's a huge tangle there between how our culture interprets the penis (especially the erect penis) as a thing both powerful and obscene.

Anyway, just thinking out loud.
so_much_udder 2nd-Nov-2009 05:27 am (UTC)
Sort of in response to the last bit: The Cinematic History of the Penis.

queensugar 2nd-Nov-2009 05:43 am (UTC)
Haha, neat.
memery 2nd-Nov-2009 06:35 am (UTC)
It would have been funnier if it was just like, 12 "Ewan McGregor"s. The man loves to get naked, bless his heart. :D
lilium_vitiate 1st-Nov-2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
Interesting tidbit- one of my teachers used to give us backgrounds on minor holidays. One of the things he would tell us about Valentine's day was the story of the heart- the heart is actually a symbol of sexuality. In Rome, the heart was supposedly used upside down to represent a woman's butt, with her facing away from the man (a la doggy style.) It was a dirty, pornographic image, much like drawing penises on walls is now.

(We used to joke about how the heart got flipped the other way: That a few Roman soldiers were hangin' out, looking at a small picture of a heart, and a young boy walked in and asked what they were looking at. The father of the boy flipped it upside down and said "nothing son... this is a symbol of how much I love your mother.")
archangelbeth 1st-Nov-2009 09:31 pm (UTC)
I'd probably use Vulva-like, Vulvoid, Vulvaish... Vulvar would qualify, for me! But I like the medical terms. O:>

As for the graffiti... I honestly don't know. They're drawing what they see?
argenterie4 1st-Nov-2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
I playfully like the word "vaginesque". :P
blackchurch 1st-Nov-2009 10:22 pm (UTC)
OOoooh! Vaginesque! Nice!
blackchurch 1st-Nov-2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
I could never understand the point in drawing peni (I'm assuming this would be plural for penis?). I wouldn't be surprised if it's just easier to draw the penis. It's like drawing a rocket, bullet or some other mundane phallic symbol of destruction. Where as vulva in all their glory are much harder to draw.

Recently a friend of mine made a series of penis cakes for fun and amusement. I asked the group that was present why no one makes vulva cakes. Everyone seemed to think that vulva aren't as distinct or easy to recognize. I think it's a load of shit personally.
manimalogy 1st-Nov-2009 10:55 pm (UTC)
The plural of penis is penises, or more technically penes, but penises is fine for English.
blackchurch 2nd-Nov-2009 04:47 am (UTC)
Lol, I just thought Peni was funnier. Kind of like cacti, you know?
manimalogy 2nd-Nov-2009 04:51 am (UTC)
Cacti is the plural for cactus, but penis belongs to another group of Latin nouns that are pluralized differently. I'm not trying to be a stick in the mud, just, the more you know, right?
blackchurch 2nd-Nov-2009 05:31 am (UTC)
Oh totally! I completely understand!
loonylupinlover 2nd-Nov-2009 12:43 am (UTC)
In college I had a whiteboard on my door and every couple of months some moron would draw a terribly scribbled penis on it. I would just erase it, go grab an anatomy book, and draw a fully detailed penis and testicles with everything labeled and write a sarcastic note about how lame it was they couldn't draw something they had themselves appropriately.

I have no understanding of why a guy would run by and draw a crappy penis on someone's door though, gotta say.
wicked_seraph 2nd-Nov-2009 01:47 am (UTC)
+1 for awesome
dextrosomniac 2nd-Nov-2009 03:27 am (UTC)
Yeah, this is what I don't get, I guess. I've never heard of girls running around drawing vaginas on everything or something. I would actually be kind of amused if I did see it happen, just to counter the large amount of penises that get drawn. Is it just that men are often highly silly, impulsive creatures in the first place?
queensugar 2nd-Nov-2009 05:52 am (UTC)
I think it's more that, as kind of related to my comment above, our society has bequeathed on the penis (especially an erect one) a greater privacy and, thus, a greater power to shock. The nude male body is more protected in North America than the nude female body, and so it's still seen as "shocking" in the public view in a way that other anatomical features are not.
zombossified 2nd-Nov-2009 02:08 am (UTC)
I just thought of something:

Once, at the bakery I worked in, a PERFECT LITTLE SCULPTURE OF A VAGINA had formed on the bread!! The bakers swear they hadn't molded it in there, but it was ridiculously perfect--it looked like the labia majora and at the top, a little nob like a clitoris. I went around showing it to everyone XD I wish I had a picture of it

Also...maybe a convincing vagina is harder to draw...??
burntbuffalo 2nd-Nov-2009 05:11 am (UTC)
My mother is an artist and I've been exposed to a lot of different artists' works. I've noticed that there can be a lot of yonic symbolism, but it's not always as blatant as phallic symbolisms, either because as the US culture isn't programed to recognized the yonic as much as the phallic, or because it really is more subtle.

I went to an exhibition of one artist who had been raped/abused for a while at some point years before she did the exhibition, and she did a series with painted lilies and some were perfect on a stand and some were destroyed looking like trampled in a broken vase or shredded. All were very yonic.

Also, in literature, guns, sticks, swords/daggers/knifes, towers, and such are representations of the male, while bowls, vases, (containers in general to some extent) valleys, flowers, and stuff like that are female. We went over more examples of male than female symbolism in my literature class (over 5 years ago) so I don't remember as many female ones.
so_much_udder 2nd-Nov-2009 05:22 am (UTC)
I've also been puzzled as to why guys are always drawing penises...my ex-bf would sometimes draw very detailed ones in paint on his friends computer to annoy him. And I remember him asking how he would feel if I spent my time drawing very detailed vulvae, and he said it would be weird. Well, I think I'd feel weird doing it, but it's odd that the one is so much more accepted.
wynter793 2nd-Nov-2009 08:16 am (UTC)
They probably just draw penises for lack of knowing what a vagina looks like! If they're anything like the young boys I know they give it all the talk, but haven't got a clue what a real, live vagina lookes like! lol
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