Isn’t nature wonderful? Scientists have discovered an organ in the mouth of bowhead whales that works pretty much like a penis. The organ has been named the Corpus Cavernosum Maxillaris, which doesn’t exactly trip off the tongue. And at around twelve feet long, it should make even the most generously endowed porn stars feel inadequate.
Residents in the Japanese town of Okuizumom are requesting changes to the town’s replica statues of the Venus de Milo and Michelangelo’s David – they
want them to be given knickers! Residents are worried the statues will frighten children. Town official Yoji Morinaga commented, “They are statues of unclothed humans, and such pieces of art work are very rare in our area. Some people apparently said the statues might not be good for their children.”
I did. And the Oxford English Dictionary provided the answer.
Recently I wrote a post for the Oxford Dictionaries Blog about sexist language to tie in with International Women’s Day. One of the things I was curious about was why terms for sexually promiscuous men and women are so different. Being labelled a “slut” is negative, while being called a “playa” just doesn’t carry the same judgement.
Anyway, I decided to research these words and find out their etymology. The OED tracks a word’s meaning and usage by finding examples of it in print.
Slut is of doubtful origin. The earliest reference to it comes from as far back as 1402, and used to mean a slovenly or untidy woman. The first known reference to slut as a promiscuous woman is from around 1450 – “Com forth, thou sloveyn! com forthe, thou slutte!”
Here slut is used ambiguously and could refer to a woman of unclean habits. Clearer examples can be found in Nicholas Breton’s 1577 Floorish vpon Fancie (“To haunt the Tauerns late And swap ech slut, vpon the lippes, that in the darke hee meetes”) and Robert Burton’s The Anatomy of Melancholy from 1621 (“A peevish drunken flurt, a waspish cholerick slut.”). Of course, references to unclean habits don’t necessarily exclude sexual behaviour – since 1599 dirty has been used to mean ‘morally unclean’, ‘impure’ or ‘smutty’.
Slapper used to mean a large object or a strapping, or overgrown person. In its modern sense the term found its way into the 1990 Bloomsbury Dictionary of Contemporary Slang, which describes slapper as a working-class term from East London and Essex meaning ‘prostitute’ or ‘slut’. It’s possible that the word may have its roots in the Yiddish schlepper, meaning an ‘unkempt, scruffy person; gossipy, dowdy woman’ but its etymology is unclear.
Slightly less egregious – although not by much – is bimbo. Bimbo comes from the Italian, bambino, meaning ‘little child’. In American slang it dates from around 1919 and was originally used as a contemptuous term for ‘fellow’ or ‘chap’ but since the 1920s bimbo has been used to describe a prostitute or a sexually attractive woman of little intelligence, which is now the usual sense of the word.
While slut and slapper are the most common terms in use today, there are plenty of synonyms for them – tart, harlot, minx, jade, strumpet, hussy, trollop and tramp. While there are equivalent terms for men, these don’t carry the same pejorative connotations.
Consider the slang neologisms such as manwhore and playa. The amusing if not terribly scholarly Urban Dictionary defines manwhore as (among other things) ‘a badge of f***ing pride’, and notes that ‘it is “cool” and “hip” to be labeled as a “playa”. A female version of this would be slut.’
Older terms for promiscuous men include philanderer – “a man who philanders; a male flirt”; rake, which the OED explains is “a fashionable or stylish man of dissolute or promiscuous habits”; and sybarite, who we may disapprove of for being “devoted to luxury or pleasure” and “an effeminate voluptuary or sensualist” to boot. As I’m sure you’ll have noticed these terms are not in frequent usage these days, nor are whoremonger, lecher, debauchee or roué. Even playboy sounds a little outdated to contemporary ears.
Playboy originates from Irish English and refers to a wealthy man who pursues pleasure, is irresponsible and sexually promiscuous. The original playboy was Christy Mahon from JM Synge’s 1907 play, The Playboy of the Western World, although these days when most people hear the term they think of a dirty magazine and the smoking-jacket-wearing old codger who made a fortune from it.
Ice cream makers Ben & Jerry have come under fire for their ice cream flavour called Schweddy Balls. The limited edition Schweddy Balls – rum and vanilla ice cream with fudge-covered rum and milk chocolate malt balls – has drawn the ire of One Million Moms, a part of the American Family Association, claiming that the name is “repulsive” and “vulgar.” One Million Moms has asked people to write to Ben & Jerry demanding the flavour be withdrawn. The Moms are not fond of Ben & Jerry. Last year they complained when the company created a special edition of its “Chubby Hubby” ice cream named “Hubby Hubby” in celebration of gay marriage.
Unfortunately the media player won’t upload the video so you’ll have to click on this link but worth the effort. Don’t forget to watch the outtakes.
The always amusing Em & Lo have done up a list of what they consider the ten most over-rated sex acts. Here’s the link but if you are too lazy for one extra click, these are:
2. The 69
3. Simultaneous orgasm
4. Female ejaculation & the G-spot
5. Fast-pumping intercourse
7. Sharing ALL your sexual fantasies with your partner
8. Text sex
9. Sending naked photos
10. Two tongue kissing
I agree with many of these. And I was particularly pleased to the 69 made the list. I get too distracted pleasuring someone else to relax enough to enjoy being on the receiving end. Too worried I’ll get overexcited and injure the other person…
I’d add dirty talk to the list. When it is done properly it’s great, but so many people seem to get it wrong. Or that’s my experience anyway.
Also, what the hell is two-tongue kissing? I searched the oracle of knowledge that is the interwebs and only found references to French kissing. I was thinking maybe some kind of threeway kiss thing, but maybe not. If French kissing is what they mean, I’d wholeheartedly disagree. I love kissing…
I was chatting to someone recently whose preferred term for having sex is “getting your hole”. To my mind that’s got to be one of the least sexy ways of describing sex. It did get me thinking of the weird and wonderful words and expressions we use. I could think of thirty, but there’s gotta be a lot more. Here they are.
2. Getting the ride (Needs to be said with a Dublin accent)
3. Bonking, boinking
4. Playing couch rugby
5. The horizontal tango
6. Indoor sports
7. Doing the nasty
8. Making the beast with two backs (Shakespearean! It’s from Othello)
10. Getting to know someone in a biblical sense
11. The old in-out
12. Bumping uglies
13. Sexy time
15. Getting laid
17. Knocking boots
19. Playing hide the sausage
20. Doing the wild thing
22. A spot of how’s your father (Odd but funny)
23. A bit of slap and tickle
24. Tapping ass
26. Rumpy pumpy
27. Getting freaky
28. Hanky panky
29. Bow chicka wow wow
30. Putting the beef in the taco (So not sexy)
So vegetarians have more energy and feminists are better lovers, but a few years back a German study found that redheads have more sex. Interesting…
But then I came across a song claiming that anarchists are in fact better lovers. Not a great song, mind, but you can check it out here.
So it’s possible that vegetarian, feminist, anarchists with red hair are the ultimate sexual partners. But where can I find one? I’d like to check. For scientific purposes, of course…
…wondering why it is that the more sex you have, the more sex you want…