March 14, 2024

SEX ON THURSDAY | Ode to Pie Day

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Given the history of March 14th as the infamous “Pie Day,” I can’t help but feel like we owe it to the holiday to break down its subject: namely, the vagina. Why is it that “pie” has become an almost universally accepted euphemism for the female birth canal? Moreover, why are there so many slang terms for the pleasure organ that revolve around cuisine? There is an obvious answer here….Sexually speaking, the organ often literally gets “eaten.” But what are the deeper social implications of coochie vernacular being so blatantly edible? Stick around, let’s chat about it.

In my experience, there are three main contexts in which the vagina is characterized as something to be eaten: The first is when the taste down under is referred to positively by men. That is, a straight man equating the penis-fly-trap to something that tastes good, in a complementary manner. Examples of this exist prominently throughout pop culture, from Young Dro’s “yo pussy taste like amaretto sour,” to Valee’s “that pussy taste like peach cobbler.” Some are even more creative, for example, Lil Xan’s “her pussy tastes like skittles, what?/ and you can really taste the rainbow,” which I would go as far as calling an absolute bar. While these similes don’t provide any real collective insight into the genuine flavorful sensation of eating snatch (I’m confident that it does not taste like peach cobbler), they are funny and complimentary, which I guess makes them okay. I know I would be flattered if someone told me they could taste the rainbow between my legs.

The second, less common but equally positive context, is the feminist slay that is self-ranking one’s own box. My mind is immediately reminded of Lana Del Rey’s lyric, “my pussy tastes like Pepsi cola.” Honestly? Iconic. I don’t have the confidence to assert that my bodily discharge is as sweet, satisfying and addictive as a classic, refreshing beverage but I sure wish I did. Body positivity would undoubtedly be on the up and up if all of us cooch-havers confidently assured all those reluctant to munch that the taste of our bodies was reminiscent of candy.

Unfortunately, history has proven that it is nearly impossible for any aspect of the female body to completely evade negative connotations. The final context in which we find conversation surrounding the edible bits is negative. Men, and unfortunately women, use the smell or taste of the female body to shame one another. Cardi B: “your pussy smell like turtle tank;” K Camp: “Her pussy smell like fish sticks, now my dick soft.” As much as the vagina doesn’t taste like peach cobbler, it probably doesn’t taste like a turtle tank either, but the negative tends to resonate much stronger than the positive.

Normalizing this characterization of female genitals has given rise to internet trends and an entire industry of products focused on masking, eliminating, or completely changing the natural tastes and odors of a woman’s Eden. Entire lines of supplements appear under an Amazon search for “taste good down there,” and a quick stroll through the feminine hygiene aisle showcases sprays, lotions, potions and serums to make one taste like anything from “lavender daydream” to “a warm summer’s eve.” Often, not only are these products completely useless, but they are actually harmful to the natural pH of the twat, which can render one more susceptible to infection and other negative effects. When I first became sexually active, I remember refusing to receive oral sex if I hadn’t consumed a glass of pineapple juice that day, because some internet article told me that was the only way to make sure I tasted okay. Even now I start each morning with a cranberry supplement; partially for the antioxidants and bladder health benefits, but mostly because it’s rumored to help you taste better between the thighs.

So why do we vagina havers fall prey to this poon propaganda? It’s simple: Entire cultures of slang have trained us to think that our bodies are supposed to smell and taste like pie, cookies, tacos, honey, clam, roast beef and more. If they don’t taste like those things, the only other options are fish sticks or turtle tank–ew. Sure, there are edible slang equivalents of “penis,” but not to the same extreme; There are no products marketed to alter the taste of shaft.

I don’t really know what the solution to this problem is. I’m still going to take a cranberry pill every morning and put a dab of perfume on my hip bones if I know I’m going to get lucky later. But regardless, it feels important to acknowledge the expectations created by something as simple as slang. This Pie Day, remember that it is completely okay for your “pie” to taste explicitly un-pie-like. In fact, if your organs taste like peach cobbler, you should probably seek medical attention.

Annie Position is a student at Cornell University. Comments can be sent to [email protected]. The Sin Series runs during alternate Sex on Thursdays this semester.

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