If the word offends you there's not a lot I can do. It's anatomically correct. It's a body part as much as an arm or an elbow. Besides, some time ago, in my journalism class, the tutor explained that our readers were not fluffy little bunnies who needed protection, they could handle words like "died" over euphemisms such as "passed away".
Just last week an Auckland paper promoted "a fire-eating evening and a display of 75 vaginas" as part of a festival.
Over the last couple of months we've been creeping ever closer to the vagina. Last week a widely syndicated story asked if the mons pubis could be the new thigh gap, in other words, another silly area for women to worry about.
The mons pubis, for those not worrying about it yet, is the mound of flesh over the pubic bone. Mons pubis, mons Venus or mons veneris, learn them all. Vejazzle, I mean, dazzle your friends with your knowledge of Latin.
Anyway, the latest Sports Illustrated cover - the annual edition that has almost zilch to do with sports and everything to do with taut bods in togs - had a model showing her largely airbrushed mons. Cue a few stories about it being the latest trend, which it most certainly is not. Besides, everyone with a pubic bone has a mons. So let's not get carried away with how fleshy it is or which surgeons will reduce a puffy one. Just go about your days, monsing away merrily. Or mons your own business.
Back to the vagina. Due to a post on Gwyneth Paltrow's website a vast number of people came to know about a beauty salon in California that does a special spa for the vagina. Vagina-owners can sit on a "mini-throne" allowing scientific processes to transfer a herbal infused gas around the uterus.
At least in New Zealand we are not deluged with targeted products as in America.
The douche is a common enough product there, which my American friends assure me is now sold in various fragrances. When they first came out though, I've been told you could buy only vinegar and water, or baking soda depending on the alkaline or acidic properties of the area. I don't know a lot about science but we have long assumed that using both simultaneously would cause quite a foam at the nethermouth.
The vagina is essentially a self-cleaning area, as are all other orifices. If you think you need help in that area, please seek medical advice. For the rest of the time though, please don't worry who's got the mons out on the cover of a magazine or the red carpet. Don't worry who is straddling a green tea or trying to sell you a pine glade scent.
Tip your hat to it. Take it for dinner. In fact, International Women's Day looms. Last year a friend held a Vagina Dinner in celebration. Menu: tacos with "pubic" lettuce, poached pear "uteruses" and "clitoral capers" on the haloumi.
- This column was originally published in The Press.