Dear MKE SEX,
This is kind of weird. I didn’t used to think it was weird, but I guess maybe it is. I started seeing a new woman recently, and one day after sex we were taking a shower together. During the shower, I referred to my genitals by their nickname (Petey), and she started laughing. She told me that she thought people only named their junk in bad movies and YA novels. Is it really that strange that mine has a name? I like my package. It’s nice to think of it by a friendly name.
Petey’s Big Brother
In 1992, I started a job at a well-known lingerie chain. Part of the training all the way back then was a whole session on how to help a customer develop a sense of ownership over a product they were interested in. (This is why clothing stores always want to “start a room” for you when you’re shopping. That sweater feels more like yours after you’ve tried it on.) In order to really relate to a thing, we need to feel like it’s ours. Many folks would argue that naming an object, pet, or person does the same thing: It creates a sense of ownership.
Many of us feel really disconnected from our body. Why are we so reluctant to feel ourselves up every month to detect potential cancers? How many folks know what happens during the menstrual cycle, for instance? How often do people mistake low-level dehydration for near-starvation? The human body, as Winston Churchill said, “is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside a riddle.” Okay, he was talking about Russia, but it still applies.
Personally, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with naming any part of your body. I once dated a woman who named all of her scars (Claud, Margaret, Sam, and Clifford in case you were wondering), and found it completely charming. If naming your parts helps you relate to them, especially with a feeling of fondness, then you should totally do it. As a matter of fact, since it’s your body, you get to call it whatever you want, whenever you want. There’s nothing strange about it, and even if there was, it’s not really anyone else’s business.
All of that being said, you shouldn’t name someone else’s anatomy without permission. Because so much of our identity is wrapped up in our sexuality and presentation, calling someone’s most personal attribute by an unwanted moniker can feel like a terrible form of teasing or even bullying.
Curious about cunnilingus? Anxious about anal? Do you have questions about queefs or problems with your prostate? Send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll get back to you with an answer.