The Vagina Dialogues

I should know better than to say “never” because as soon as you predict something won’t happen, it invariably does.

Evidence of this is me saying earlier this month that BriaandChrissy, the lesbian duo famous for Gay Men Touch Boobs For the First Time, and Lesbians Touch a Penis For the First Time, wouldn’t make Gay Men Touch a Vagina. Because too far.

But, of course, I underestimated the fact that Millennials are the generation with both the most, and least, inhibitions. Helicopter parenting has left them distinctly unworldly. Yet at the same time loosening moral strictures mean they’re apt to go to places that the generations before them might feel is a step too far. As a consequence they don’t know much but they’re relatively unconstrained by the standards that bind the rest of us.

That reasoning is the only way I can explain why BriaandChrissy have unleashed Gay Men Touch Vagina For the First Time on the world. This may be the most ill-advised, yet courageous, piece of self-promotion I’ve ever seen.

I’m not a fan of these “shocking” videos that are just glorified advertisements – the product being Bria and Chrissy, entertainers. I don’t think that people performing sexual sociological stunts on camera is “bad” or “dirty” – it’s just that these things are usually best couched with a little more context than the blurb on a YouTube channel can provide.  Then again, so much is decided in the court of public opinion these days that perhaps this is the new normal – just throw stuff out there and let the meaning of it all fall where it may.

As with the earlier videos the subjects in the vagina piece are all delightfully endearing, even if you have to wade through an awful lot of shrieking and mock-horror to get to the charm. The men provide some hilarious descriptions of the vagina that were predictable – “There’s like…folds” – and unpredicted but on point – “It’s like a partially deflated balloon”.

The makers clearly noted the critiques of their last few videos. Stevie, the amiable female model, introduces herself as “A woman who happens to have a vagina”. Take that complaints of transphobia! The video contains some discussion about ensuring you have permission before you touch someone. Take that claims that they were normalizing sexual assault!

In my last piece I wrote about the disparity between how men and women are treated in these videos. While this new video evens the score in one way (now everyone’s had their junk played with), in another it’s deepened that divide. Some of the concern on consent before touching would have been nice in the penis piece as would the humanization of the model. The male penis model never introduced himself nor was he given a chance to tell us how he felt after he was felt up, unlike Stevie who assures us she was cool with everything that went on.

The gay men don a rubber glove to touch Stevie who, unlike the male model, is otherwise full clothed. Lesbians touched a naked guy with their bare hands and, unlike Stevie who controls the affair, he’s obviously just meat. Yes, I understand biology and why the glove was a good idea but when added to everything else it meant the vagina video did its utmost to simulate a “scientific experiment”. Compared to that the penis touching piece looks like kids clumsily playing doctor.

What most concerns me most in this whole thing is that we were given some new information about what this is all about.  Right at the top of the comments underneath the vagina video BriaandChrissy note: “Men are allowed more sexual freedom than women. In our society, when a man has sex he’s “the man,” a woman has sex she’s a slut. We expected a lot of backlash for this video, it will be interesting to see if this video gets the same attention as the “lesbians touch Penis” video since there are female genitals (and a topic about females as a whole) instead of a male genitals.”

Wait a moment – these videos are a commentary on about the gender disparity in how we perceive sexual activity? Certainly this video shows that women can hold the power when it comes to having their bodies touched.  But if that is the real aim here, to shine a light on sexual double standards, then this is a fail.  How exactly are we supposed to link slut-shaming of women with gay men who’ve never touched a vagina or lesbians who’ve never felt a penis?

The coalface here is how straight men see women and how women see themselves because gay men couldn’t care less what you do with your bodies, ladies. Truly, go to town.  And rather than being guinea pigs in misguided experiments you should be enlisting our support because we’re in the slut-shaming trenches with you. AIDS was our punishment for promiscuity after all. We know all about getting judged for our sex lives and we could contribute far more to the conversation than some squealing and giggling about a “deflated balloon”.

In ONE MILLION DOMS Dominic Sheehan comments about political stuff. Yes, the title is a parody of One Million Moms. No, he has never touched a vagina, at least not since he was born and technically that vagina touched him.  Yes, he’s seen a vagina before – and he’d describe it as “a vagina”.

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