Politics

Channel 4’s Naked Attraction Has Us All Talking Vulvas And Vaginas (Again)

Naked Attraction isn’t exactly known for its coyness. The Channel 4 show, if you haven’t seen it, invites prospective daters to get completely starkers.

These daters are hidden behind “naked booths” and their bodies are slowly revealed from the feet up over a number of rounds. A clothed participant picks their favourite (but not before taking their togs off, too).

Despite embracing all things full-frontal, the creators of the show haven’t always used the correct terminology for women’s genitals – as a poet has stepped forward to highlight.

In a video that’s received more than 11,000 views in less than 12 hours, Hollie McNish urges the presenter and producers to stop using the word “vagina” when they mean “vulva”.

“You do loads of amazing programmes about sex education, but it’s just annoying me, quite a lot, and other people, that you keep using the wrong word,” she says. “Unless the people are looking up right into the hole, right up the vagina, I don’t think it’s possible for them to see the contestant’s vagina.”

For those who need a return to biology lessons, the vulva is all the external organs you can see outside the body, including the mons pubis, labia majora (outer lips), labia minora (inner lips) and clitoris (the bit that’s very important for dating).

Although the word “vagina” is sometimes used as a catch-all term, this is technically incorrect. The vagina is actually the internal bit that you can’t see.

Don’t feel embarrassed if you didn’t know the difference – almost three-quarters (73%) of women are confused by the terms.

HuffPost contacted Channel 4 about this and a spokesperson pointed out that the presenter, Anna Richardson, does regularly use the word vulva. There’s even an episode where she explains the different elements of anatomy to a virgin contestant in great detail (the clip was also featured on Gogglebox).

But, the presenter does fall back into using the more colloquial “vagina” from time to time, and it’s this that McNish wants to change.

She points out how it’s slightly bonkers that women’s body parts are routinely mislabelled, when men’s are not.

“You might think it’s not important… but it is a different body part,” she says. “I’ve not seen any of the guy penises being called testicles, because we don’t tend to mistake that.”

On Twitter, McNish shared more information about why this language really does matter.

There’s certainly no shame in saying the word vulva and if the reaction to McNish’s video is anything to go by, women want to hear it more than ever.




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