It started, as it almost had to, with Bill Clinton. Over drinks in a bar in the West Village, I remarked to a friend that our former President smoked vagina-accented cigars—what I thought was an obvious reference to Clinton’s use of a cigar to masturbate Monica Lewinsky (hopefully to orgasm) before smoking it.
Instead, my friend looked at me and said, “What accent does a vagina talk with, anyway?” and for all the years of careful consideration I’d given my ladybits (and other people’s), it turns out I had no fucking idea. I’d conducted Internet polls of what women called their special place, developed a tendency to drunkenly tweet about my cunt (“If I am to be a curse word, I am going to be the biggest, baddest most offensive curse word ever”), shouted out at dive bars that bush is back, stood up in a crowded bar— more than once—and regaled friends and strangers with the tale of the time I had sex in the midst of a raging case of bacterial vaginosis and, for one strange year, walked around the city with a stuffed beaver from Ikea for the sole purpose of taking pictures of My Beaver in inappropriate circumstances. But I’d never thought about what she’d say if she could speak for herself, let alone how she’d say it.
Men, of course, anthropomorphize their dick all the time: the Little General, Little elvis, “I think he likes that” and, of course, the excuse that their dicks made them do something. Maybe because dicks jut out, maybe because men seemingly find phalluses ceaselessly fascinating, maybe because the one-eyed trouser snake looks back at them in silent judgment, but cocks have never lacked a voice in society. despite having lips, however, vaginas don’t talk, they just occasionally queef.
But when I thought about it, I knew exactly what she sounds like. she talks in a slow, southern, honey-throated accent that is impossible to resist (not that you would want to), drawing men in with the subtle allure of false vulnerability that they think they can conquer only to discover themselves vanquished. I’m not from the south (though I did watch Gone With The Wind too many times growing up), but I guess something about the climate down there brings it out in her.
Other women’s vaginas had similarly distinct accents from their owners. Maureen, 30, a d.C. transplant, said, “Mine’s Philly, but you gotta hear it do the big ‘O.’” Comic Carolyn Castiglia, whose family lives upstate, told me, “My vagina is a big, strong, hairy, Italian man that looks mean on the outside but is a teddy bear on the inside… My vagina would say things like, ‘You talkin’ to me?’ and ‘Kill him,’ but only if you were a jerk who deserved a hit. Otherwise it would talk the way tony soprano talked to his therapist. Lots of choked back tears and a thank you at the end of the session.” Jessica, 30, told me after I asked, “I immediately heard my vagina talking like salma Hayek in the midst of a sass fit—mouthy, not taking any shit, and fiesty-hot. I had no idea my little lady was Latina, particularly since I’m pretty damn white, but once she started talking to me, there was no denying it.” selena, 30, thought hers was almost the antithesis of a New Yorker: “I think that my vag would talk with a Boston accent… it would be like, ‘What’s aaap? Come over for a beeeya and we’ll drink sam summa tagetha.’” Other women’s vaginas were more rooted in their heritage. amanda, 32, said, “I’m guessing my vagina would have the same accent I’ve got, a cheery West texas accent.” Native New Yorker ally, 30, told me, “You know, my vagina sounds like Fran drescher.”
Still other women felt they had a celebrity below—but, inevitably, a more iconic one than today’s culture tends to produce. Helen, 28, said “Mine talks, and sings, like Betty Boop, which is to say, like Helen Kane. she is partial to performing ‘You Made Me Love You.’ Occasionally, she sings like Betty Boop impersonating a French person, which the actual Betty was wont to do in more than one early cartoon!” delphine, 36, told me “My vagina sounds like Mae West in She Done Him Wrong.” amber, 26, said “If my vagina spoke, it would be in the voice of Kathleen turner. Clearly, my vagina smokes, so she is kind of hard to hang out with in bars nowadays.” and desiree, 31, said, “edith Piaf, maybe with some Billie Holiday in there. Whatever the scenario, my pussy has sung the blues before, and abused a substance or four, but she’s fierce, famous and utterly irrepressible and irreplaceable.”
Some women have more silent vaginas, for a variety of reasons. Maggie told me hers was quiet because, “Mine’s mouth is always full.” sarah, 30, said, “Currently it would probably stutter, as it’s been out of use for a while.” Lindsay, 30, said, “I have difficulty imagining my vagina talking. she’s the strong, silent type. My clit would be her chatty sidekick with a voice like Lucy from Twin Peaks.” alyxandria, 34, who is known amongst her friends for talking about pussy almost as much as me, said her vagina was just the opposite: “she is demure, and adorns a shy smile as she speaks in an almost inaudible whisper.”
Some people had as more of a morbid sense of humor about their vaginas than others. Lacie, 33, said, “I think mine would be a ‘creepy baby voice,’ because a friend once told me I do a voice like that sometimes and I’ve been trying to consciously get rid of it, so it’s only natural that it would go to my vagina. Only it would be a creepy dead ghost baby voice, because of my abortion.”
Naturally, there are some things about being a woman, or a vagina, in New York that can’t help but survive the transition from one set of lips to the other. Comedian sara Benicasa said, “My vagina is called the Velvet Underground because it looks like Moe tucker and sounds like Lou reed. Many, many musicians cite my vagina as an influence. Most of them live in Brooklyn.”