Tuesday, May 19, 2009
You've Gotta be F-ing Kidding Me:
Douching with LYSOL?!?
Occasionally a student of mine--usually a very smart, pre-med, super adorable, great female student will ask me the question that vexes me every time: "Is douching really bad?" Obviously, douching is bad. Don't ever do it. Ever. For any reason. Not even after your period. Not even with just water.
But where the fuck did douching even come from? Obviously, I like to blame doctors (in the aggregate, of course, not any individual doctor [wink]) for just about everything that's wrong with sex and sexual health, but today I discovered something that blew even my mind.
The above ad is for Lysol--you know, the stuff used to clean truck stop bathrooms and prisons? The ad is promising women who have "been locked out" from their husband by "intimate neglect" (i.e., not putting out) should just use Lysol to douche their vag to "banish the misgivings that often keep married lovers apart." I'm assuming that by "often" they mean "monthly" and the "misgiving" that sex during or after your period is "gross" and "doucheworthy."
The most curious part of the ad copy is that Lysol promises that after douching, "appealing daintiness is assured." I thought to myself, Hmm, that doesn't sound like the way I would use "dainty" which I think of meaning "cute and little"--perhaps there's another meaning? And sure enough, one of the meanings is "pleasing to the taste" or "something considered choice to eat."
I'm always amazed at how revisionist our perceptions of sex in the 1950s are; despite the Kinsey Reports that demonstrated both men and women, married and not, were pretty fucking sexually interesting back in the day, we think all those vacuum cleaners and martinis after work and Leave it to Beaver separate beds meant nobody was having good sex. But what we have here is an ad for Lysol promising women that if they douche with it (again, OUCH), their husbands will be all about eating them out.
While we're collectively much more anti-douche these days and the douches that are out there are usually made of things that aren't necessarily appealing to the taste (vinegar + vagina = gross) I've never seen an ad for Massengill promising a gal that she'll get her bits licked.