Category Archives: cunts

6 things I learned about my orgasms

Today is National Orgasm Day, so of course I took this opportunity to TMI at you people, because TMI is my middle name. I’ve been having orgasms for more than half my life, and here are a few things I learned along the way.

1. I am my own best lover

Look, it’s nice having other people around. It enhances sex a lot. But I’ve been fucking myself for about 15 years, and so I think I’m best positioned for knowing exactly what works best. Only I know the full details, despite the fact that people over the years (usually, but not exclusively men) have taken it upon themselves to give me some sort of Entirely New Experience because they Know Best and pretty much every time that’s happened it’s ended in mutual disappointment. Even now, when I have two partners and a host of less regular lovers, I still make time for a date with myself. Nobody’s quite as good as me at making me come.

2. Having the same genitals as me doesn’t automatically make you better at sex

There’s a common myth flying round that cis lesbians are automatically better at sex with cis women, because they have the same equipment. That is categorically untrue. Having a cunt does not grant you a PhD in Cuntology. Everyone likes different things, and sometimes it’s easy to fall into the trap of egocentrism. I’ve been on both the giving and receiving end of the assumption that having a fanny means knowing how every fanny works. Communication is key, rather than anatomy.

3. Squirting doesn’t mean you’ve wanked yourself incontinent

I was about fifteen, and having the sort of epic wanking session one tends to lose the stamina for once one is out of one’s teens. I brought myself to shuddering orgasm after shuddering orgasm, and then one felt… different. There was wet stuff everywhere. I panicked slightly. I sprayed Febreeze all over the wet patch. I was convinced I had managed to come so hard I’d peed myself, and I laid off the masturbatory marathons for a while after to make sure I didn’t develop some sort of bladder problem. I was quiet about this horrifying thing that had happened to me, the gross piss-pariah. Oddly enough, I only learned this was a perfectly ordinary thing to happen a few years later, while watching porn. Yep. Porn saved me.

4. Porn gives people hella weird assumptions about squirting

So, I squirt. This is apparently a little uncommon, although pretty popular in porn. The thing is, in porn, this seems to happen on demand (I imagine, in fact, it requires multiple takes and a whole bunch of fluffing and it’s probably a little easier to happen knowing nobody’s going to have to sleep in the expansive wet patch). This is pretty much not how it happens for me. There is no magical formula for ensuring ejaculation occurs. It just sometimes does. Or, more frequently, doesn’t. The thing is, once it’s happened once, there’s usually this assumption that it’ll happen reliably, which leads to crushing disappointment, because it’s not like in the movies. Going off like a geyser is something which is fetishised, and I can’t live up to it. Luckily, most people will get this once it’s been explained to them.

5. My orgasms make men sad

Once upon a time, I used to fuck cis, straight men. I gave up on this, because politically they’re rubbish, and I have successfully arranged my life so I just don’t even meet them any more. As an additional fact about me, I have super-powerful Kegels. This is always brilliantly fun for me, but not so much for the cis, straight men who think penis-in-vagina is the be-all and end-all to sex. You see, my Kegels can easily eject a penis at the moment of my orgasm. And after that, I’m usually kind of done, and might roll over, fart and fall asleep. This makes cis, straight men sad, because sex is traditionally centred around their orgasms: they’re the ones who get to roll over, fart and fall asleep. For some reason, when the roles are reversed, it makes them feel sad.

6. Orgasms really aren’t the be-all and end-all

I’ve had phenomenal sex without an orgasm. There’s something incredibly nice about focusing yourself on someone else having a good time. I can have spectacular sex without the need for the other person to even touch me. For the most part, sex is a pleasant way of passing the time between two or more people, and an orgasm isn’t a requirement for that to be fun. They’re like the marzipan on top of an otherwise-delicious cake: it’s awesome if it’s there, but it’s not necessary at all. And if you want it, later you can get a whole block of marzipan and eat it to yourself.

 


Shit I cannot believe needs to be said: I don’t dwell on your genitals

Content note: This post discusses transmisogyny

At the age of about three, I used to go around asking every person I met the same question: “Do you have a willy or a vagina?” This, I learned very quickly, was not a polite thing to say to people, so I stopped. In an ideal world, everyone would have grown out of wondering what other people’s genitals look like at around that age. We do not live in an ideal world.

See, there’s two broad groups of people who are still fascinated with what other people have under their clothes: misogynists and transmisogynists. Among misogynists, it’s a classic male entitlement to sex: they believe our bodies to be public property and they are therefore allowed access to every inch of them. Among transmisogynists, it can be a bit more complicated, as many of them happen to be women. They make a litany of excuses, conveniently forgetting that rape isn’t just about penis to attempt to excuse their obsession with other people’s genitals. However, ultimately, it’s all about entitlement nonetheless. They genuinely feel entitled to know the precise configuration of everyone else’s private parts.

It seems so alien to me. When I’m out and about, I’m generally not dwelling on what sort of genitals everyone around me might have. When I spend time with women, I’m not sitting there constructing a mental map of what their genitals might look like. When I shower or swim with women, I’m not gawping at their genitals, because frankly, that’s just rude.

I’ve known for a long time that men are often thinking about my cunt, and that’s why I don’t really enjoy the company of men that much. Knowing that there are women who do this too makes me feel less safe in women’s spaces, like they might just suddenly ask me about my cunt or grab at my crotch to make sure I have correctly-shaped equipment.

This feeling that I have pales into insignificance compared to what trans women go through. If you think trans women don’t get sexually assaulted in order to verify what their genitals look like, you’re wrong. This is a very real threat that women face due to societal fascination with something which should be completely private and up to the owner of said genitals to share or not.

There are precisely two times in live when someone else’s genitals are really relevant. The first is if you are a medical professional and someone needs some medical assistance with their genitals, something which, for the vast majority of us, is never going to be the case. The other is during sex, and even then it really doesn’t matter exactly which way they point. People say “oh, but I just don’t like penises/vulvas”, but that, too, is rooted in cissexism and general poor sex education. You can have sex–great sex–with someone with a penis without any penetration whatsoever. You can have brilliant sex with someone with a vulva with plenty of penetration. I instinctively distrust anyone who professes a dislike for a certain type of genitals: it usually means they’re either cissexist, or completely lack imagination in bed, or both of those things.

I cannot believe I’ve just had to write a blog about how generally disinterested I am in what your genitals look like, but I feel it’s necessary to punch through what risks becoming a dominant discourse. Returning to dwelling on what someone’s genitals look like does not help feminism one little bit: in fact, it sets us way, way back. It can be hard, unlearning the fascination with genitals in a generally genital-fascinated society, but for the sake of a feminism which does not equate women to walking vaginas, it’s utterly essential.


Biological essentialism: can we not?

Last week, I wrote about why I’m pro trans and pro choice. Given the sheer quantity of comments, I’m not sure I made myself clear enough.

I think that broad judgments based on perceived biology have historically had some bearing on the oppression of women. I also think that biological essentialism is meaningless and can only be deployed oppressively in the present day, as scientific and sociological understanding of gender and sex has progressed. Some time ago, I wrote about evolutionary psychology, and very charitably decided to pretend that perhaps all of the just-so stories explaining differences in behaviour of the sexes were true. And I concluded that even then, that does not mean it is in any way relevant now:

Wisdom teeth, though, were highly useful to humans when we first evolved. Humans were still a long way off inventing dental hygiene, and, so, tended to die once all of their teeth had rotted away and they could no longer eat. Wisdom teeth, emerging in the mid-twenties, gave an extra few years of life: four more teeth meant more time being able to eat. With the advent of dental hygiene, we no longer lose all of our teeth to decay, and wisdom teeth have become an annoyance. When a wisdom tooth grows into a mouth full of healthy teeth, there is often not enough room, and the new tooth impacts. I had a wisdom tooth that solved the lack-of-space problem by growing horizonally. Each time I bit down, it would take a chunk out of the inside of my cheek. I had it removed.

Wisdom teeth, then, are a solution to a problem that no longer exists, and when the tooth becomes a problem we have it yanked out.

If one were to assume that claims regarding gender made by evolutionary psychology were true, these gender roles are as irrelevant to modern life as wisdom teeth. They are a solution to a problem that no longer exists: we shop in supermarkets now; we have modern health care; our children are sent off to school; we have DNA testing for identification of fathers; we can have sex for pleasure with a very low risk of reproduction. The adaptations we developed to childrearing and mating problems no longer exist.

Why, then, would we cling on to the notion that it’s perfectly natural to rape, to cheat, to subscribe to the idea that male and female minds are inherently different, and so such things are inevitable?

We can overcome wisdom teeth, and, if any of the shaky claims of evolutionary psychology regarding gender turn out to be true, we can yank that out of our society, too.

The same is true for biological essentialist arguments. Maybe once upon a time, “woman” was defined only by capacity for childbirth, or only by presence of a vagina, or only by whether she had periods or not–although, you can see by the quantities of “ors” in that sentence that even if we try to trace back through history, what defines a woman is pretty complicated if we’re going on biology alone. And yes, this nonsense has persisted through time, from the bizarre belief that uteruses could roam throughout the body causing all sorts of negative effects to the belief that everything a menstruating woman touched became unclean. It becomes a chicken and egg scenario: society was built upon misogyny, along with its science. Science, after all, is not objective: the questions it asks and answers are rooted in the society asking those questions.

It’s only relatively recently that we have even begun to ask the right questions, and noticed that actually the whole thing is a house of cards, and should rightly come crashing down. We realised that biological sex is far more complicated than the somewhat-complicated way it had originally seemed. Hormones and chromosomes, internal and external biological characteristics–none of it necessarily matched up. Some still cling to essentialism, despite its utter meaninglessness, to produce bad science to suggest that rape is inevitable, or that men and women have different brains and only men can do the logical stuff. But the science is not on their side, and there is an increasing level of criticism levelled at such work because, at its heart, it is terrible science and tells us very little beyond what misogynists believe to be true.

Most feminists are rightly deeply critical of biological essentialism, knowing, as we do, how it keeps us down. And many of us embrace the advances that have brought us closer and closer to liberating ourselves from it. It is fucking lovely not having to be defined by our reproductive status, freeing ourselves from the idea that this is what our bodies are for. Many of us use synthetic hormones to regulate our bodies, and sometimes to eradicate menstruation. Surgery has advanced so that women without cunts can have cunts if they want. Science is looking into the possibility of uterus transplants, so women who cannot bear children will be able to. We are making a hell of a lot of progress, and the hold of biologically essentialist misogyny is slipping.

Unfortunately, some feminists are holding us back. Some feminists have embraced biological essentialism. The motive for this is an attempt to somehow “prove” that trans women are not women, cloaking their transmisogyny in pseudoscientific language by pretending that “female” and “woman” are two different things, and that “female” is somehow a scientifically valid category. Often, this is presented in a way that is even more dehumanising than the way MRAs talk about women, like this gem from Gia Milinovich where she bangs on about “female mammalians” and claims that our understanding of biology is in no way related to culture.

Taking this argument to its logical conclusion leads to some deeply unpleasant thought, like this:

twitter-boodleoops-glosswitch-vaginas-are-for

Twitter   Glosswitch  @boodleoops Bleeding is okay ...

Here, we see an attempt to define purpose of vaginas, deeply rooted in biologically essentialist misogyny*. Now, I have made the choice to not give birth, and I don’t need to go into why, because it’s my body and my choice, and the world has progressed to a position where I am able to make that choice. My vagina, if I get my way, will never be used for a role in babymaking. As for the bleeding, I find it quite fun**, but I don’t really feel like it’s an essential characteristic of my womanhood, nor would I feel that if my period ever stopped, my vagina would become purposeless. But my vagina is hardly a useless hole: far from it. It’s for shuddering orgasms. This part of my body is a delight to me. A finger or a dildo in there feels like heaven as I feel it brush my G-spot, and I feel my clit grow hard around it. And yes, I tend to prefer dildos, and I am aware of just how horrifying homophobic patriarchy finds that. I don’t use it for reproduction, and I don’t have to because we have moved on enough to no longer be defined and confined by our reproductive organs.***

I am a woman. I am still a woman, despite not even knowing what hormones my body produces due to years of taking synthetic hormones. I am still a woman, despite the fact that I have never given birth and do not plan to. I will still be a woman if, like my mother, severe fibroids necessitate a radical hysterectomy and bilateral oophorectomy at some point in my future.

Once upon a time, biological essentialism was all there was. We grew up. And we are slowly slinging off this burden, leading to the liberation of all women. We must fight biological essentialism wherever we see it, and liberate ourselves fully from these archaic constraints.

Further reading:

Un-gendering sex: a feminist project? (I am because you are)

Writing the Body: Stories of sex and gender (Alice Nuttall)

“The day an extremely popular white feminist advocated eugenics and mass abortion of trans people”  (Red Light Politics)

How Cissexist Partiarchy Works (Alien She)

Duplicitous or £9 notes…? (UnCommon Sense)

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*I am 95% certain that the “ten pound note” reference refers to wanknotegate, which suggests that this Twitter conversation is basically barbs targeted at me, which has been expanded into misogyny.

**It is worth noting at this point that a common trope among transmisogynists is to claim that trans women will not let cis women talk about menstruation. I think it is abundantly clear here that such policing of discussion of menstruation can come just as much from cis women.

***DISCLAIMER: This, of course, refers only to my own relationship with my own cunt.

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Note on comments: I’m not approving TERfy/MRAish comments (I find it impossible to distinguish which is which, because they all just use the word “female” a lot and cast women as walking wombs), as this blog is a safe space for marginalised women. Go and whine about me on your own blogs.


[catchy muff pun title]

Apparently this is the Year of the Bush, or something, which is interminably awful as it means the media will be mostly debating bush, from such nuanced viewpoints as “muff is great” and bizarre advertorials for laser hair removal with bonus fat-shaming and comparing pubic hair to the Gaza Strip. There is an awkward word looming over much of this debate, and it is a word which ought to immediately be purged from any discussion of anything anyone does to their bodies: “should”.

Ideally, we should be free to do what we want with our carpetry. Both the dangers of hair removal and the uncleanliness of keeping hair have been massively overstated: from a pubic health perspective, whatever you do with it is probably relatively benign. Paying money to make modifications to your body is hardly a manifestation of evil: hell, it’s cool that we live in a world where we can use tools–or even lasers–to change what nature gave us. I had my eyes fixed with a laser and it was awesome. Spending time to make modifications to what God gave you isn’t bad, either. There is nothing inherently gross about any quantity of hair: Renaissance smoothness is just as hot as an Age of Aquarius full bush if the person rocking it feels sexy as all fuck. 

Pubic hair should be nobody’s business but the individual who is holding it in their pants. It shouldn’t be political or a subject of hot debate. It should just be a thing, like haircuts.

Except it isn’t. (And neither, actually are haircuts, which come with a whole mess of political implications themselves)

Pubes are politicised by millennia of social conditioning, and in recent times patriarchy, white supremacy, cissexism and capitalism hooked up in a ghastly orgy and found themselves a cash cow in selling the motive and the means to remove body hair. It is not a free choice, what we do with our fanny fluff, because we are not making this choice in a vacuum. We’re making these choices amid a blitz of marketing and social pressure and all of this teaches us that there’s One True Way, and that is to nuke the short and curlies.

Last summer, I went swimming for the first time since I grew my bush back. I was terrified. Cascading curls of cunt-fur poked from the sides of my bikini, and I expected it would only be a matter of time until the villagers were out in force with the torches and pitchforks and silver bullets. But it was a hot day and I wanted a swim, and so I swallowed my nerves and quite literally jumped in at the deep end. I started to forget the nerves. I wandered around and I ate an ice cream. And not once did anyone say anything. Not once did I notice a side-eye. Not once did anyone try and bury me at the crossroads. It turns out, people don’t actually make a habit of staring at one another’s crotches in public spaces.

Feeling that fear was the first time I’d really understood the power of the social conditioning. In my own arrogance, I’d thought myself as above it; being a feminist, I was too enlightened to care what people thought about my muff. I wasn’t, and I don’t think any of us are, because we’ve all lived our whole lives under capitalist patriarchy.

I’d grown my muff as an act of rebellion, and started to love it as a little pet. I swelled with pride when I plucked out a pube and measured it, and it was just shy of an inch and a half long. I shampoo it as part of my beauty regime, sometimes adding conditioner on special occasions. Sometimes, when I’m alone, I stroke it absent-mindedly because I like the softness of it. And even loving my rug so much wasn’t enough for me not to feel anxious about wearing a bikini in public, because I had been bombarded with the same messages as everyone else: visible bush is hideous, a punchline at best.

It’s interesting because so much of the pubic hair debate hinges on personal preference, locating individual opinions in their relationship with the ideals we are sold. The conclusions drawn on either side are fairly facile: making peace with it and losing the fuzz because it makes you feel better, or defying it by growing in a veritable furry forest. We need to go further than this individual choice: the problem is structural, and so the structure must be torn down.

And unfortunately, it’s going to take a lot more than the individual choices we make to tear this thing down. There will be no critical mass of pubic hair to generate revolution. The reality is a more tedious slog than that, the bitter resistance of fighting multiple fronts at once. The politicisation of bush is a symptom of this system, not a cause. Just like a Brazilian wax, we need to rip it all out at the roots.


GOLD! Somehow it tightens your hole

This is an actual product that actually exists.

A cream being marketed in India promises to make women feel “like a virgin” again. Apparently its mechanism of action is not by restoring sex to awkward fumbling, but, rather, by tightening the vagina.

Its ingredients are all-natural and include gold dust and pomegranates. I have no idea how gold is supposed to firm up one’s cunt, but pomegranate might have an indirect effect as it has historically been used as a contraceptive (admittedly a pretty pisspoor one) so I suppose theoretically it could stop things getting looser by preventing childbirth. But, basically, it sounds like snake oil, unless it provokes a horrid allergic reaction which makes everything swell up a little. Cynically, one would guess that the presence of the gold is merely to bump up the price a bit.

The more crucial issue with this product is not how silly it is, but its intended purpose. Beyond tightening the vagina, it is touted as making women feel “like virgins”. While its marketing department argues that this is purely metaphorical, we live in a world where this is unmistakable for truth. After all, hymen reconstruction surgery is on the rise in India, virginity is prized, and it is still linked to marriageability.

This set of attitudes is not limited to India, though. It’s everywhere, it’s a pervasive part of patriarchy. Hymen reconstruction surgery originated in the West, and virginity is just as fetishised. All over the world, a woman’s sexual behaviour is still seen to be a Big Thing, and factors into relationships, response if she is raped and so on. While virginity might not be the focus, not being a big slutty slut is. There’s still an emphasis on purity.

It’s nonsensical, this archaic patriarchal belief, but sits there humming in the background and we don’t even notice it until we see something as preposterous as a gold-tinged fanny-tightening cream. Yet it’s there, quietly shaking its head at women who enjoy sex.

The publicity material for the gold-tinged fanny-cream says it will empower women, basically allowing them to fuck before marriage and without societal effects. This is a hollow form of empowerment, though; it does not overturn the belief system which prevents women from doing this in the first place. Rather, it continues to perpetuate this cultural fetishisation of virginity and regulation of women’s behaviour, all the while financially fleecing women.

I doubt anybody thought a cream could solve these problems; there is no salve to soothe the problems of patriarchy. The only solution is a revolution.

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Big, big tip of the hat to @MatofKilburnia for thinking of that headline


Putting the “muffs are unhygienic” argument to rest at last

The Great Pubes Debate, two reasons are usually put forward in favour of shaving, waxing or nuking bush from orbit:

  1. It looks nicer
  2. It’s more hygienic

The first argument is purely subjective, with varying preferences to presentation of genitals. Of course, it’s not entirely a free choice: these preferences are to some extent dictated by cultural beauty standards, and in the west, the dominant image we are bombarded with involves very little, if any, hair at all. Sometimes the hair might even be replaced by little glittery things glued on. Beauty standards are weird. Ultimately, though, bodily autonomy is awesome, and if someone wants to do that, they can.

The second argument, though, has been entirely smashed to smithereens by medical professionals. Far from being more hygienic, shaving and waxing one’s cunt increases the risk of all sorts of nasty infections:

In her practice it is not unusual to find patients with boils and abscesses on their genitals from shaving as well as cellulitis, an infection of the scrotum, labia or penis from shaving or from having sex with someone infected.

Herpes is also an increased risk “due to the microscopic wounds being exposed to virus carried by mouth or genitals.”

So why does shaving and waxing lead to such thoroughly revolting side effects? Most of it comes down to the fact that removing hair from a rather sensitive region leads to little abrasions in the skin, and little abrasions in the skin can get infected. It doesn’t help that cunts are warm, moist areas which are rarely aired. It’s like Disneyland for disease down there, and the skin usually does a good job of keeping it out, unless it has been broken by shaving cuts or yanking hair out by the root. Furthermore, bush itself serves an additional protective function:

“Pubic hair does have a purpose, providing a cushion against friction that can cause skin abrasion and injury, and protection from bacteria.”

That’s a damn sight more pleasant a function than the hypothesis that it evolved for babies to hold on to (“ouch”, “ew”, and “but I’ve never even seen a baby try that”, in that order).

So why is something which opens up the risk of all sorts of horrible infections considered to be more hygienic? It’s probable that it’s in part due to the association with shaving an area before surgery, although there is also medical evidence against that:

Surgeons used to insist on shaving the area of the body where an operation was to be performed in the misguided belief that it reduced surgical site infections. Now official advice is to leave hair alone, unless it interferes with the operation, and where removal is necessary to use electric clippers.

It also might be down to sheer laziness in washing. There’s a lot of sweat glands down below, and if one doesn’t wash properly, things can get a little whiffy. The answer to this is, of course, wash more. It will take less time than hair removal, and you’re less likely to erupt in boils in a very sensitive area.

It’s refreshing to finally see an article about body hair in the mainstream media that isn’t negative, and busting a myth in the dominant narrative surrounding body hair. It’s a baby step towards that free choice for what we do with our bodies. And that can only be a good thing.

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I might as well take this opportunity to plug the brilliant Armpits4August–think Movember, but for women. They’re challenging beauty standards and raising money for polycystic ovary syndrome. So far they’ve raised over £1000 of their £2000 target. I’m participating–why not donate?


Love your disgusting, stinky fannymuffins: Femfresh and the backlash

Femfresh are a company that make products to disguise the natural scent of your cunt with an array of soaps and perfumed wipes, which, presumably, then serve to cover up the inevitable bacterial vaginosis or thrush from use of the product.

Now, cunts are great, and there’s nothing wrong with the natural aroma of them, but Femfresh have a product to sell and therefore need to pretend that there is. Instead of going by the “YOUR CUNT IS DISGUSTING AND YOUR HUSBAND WILL LEAVE YOU SO DOUCHE WITH CLEANING PRODUCTS” route, like the Lysol ads of old, Femfresh have alighted upon faux-empowerment.

It’s all about “care”, they proclaim. It’s better than soap, they proclaim. WOOHOO FOR MY FROO FROO, they actually literally say, accompanied by a string of other nauseatingly infantilised synonyms for a cunt. “Whatever you call it, make sure that you love it”, they explain. Then they decided to take the show on the digital road and set up a Facebook page.

What followed was gratifying. The page was over-run by women furious being told that they needed to risk thrush and a cunt that smells like a hospital corridor to be “clean”. Under every post, jokes about bacterial vaginosis appeared. There was also a lot of ire directed at the sickeningly euphemistic turns of phrase used by Femfresh.

Soon, Femfresh backtracked on their “whatever you call it, make sure that you love it” line and became huffy about people saying words like “cunt” and “vulva” on their page. They even, bafflingly, explained to twitterer @GreenEyed82, that “vulva” was offensive to “mums of daughters”. All in all, it was a huge failure in social media marketing. They just couldn’t delete the comments quickly enough.

The problem is, it was always going to be social media suicide for a product like Femfresh. While there is certainly a demographic of women who have become, through marketing, paranoid about the smell of their cunts, times are changing. There are a lot of women around who know that putting something perfumed on a delicately-balanced part of the body can only lead to itching, often because this has happened to them and they have been told by people who actually know what they’re talking about that washing with anything other than water is A Bad Idea. There are a lot of women around who accept that cunts smell and that’s quite all right because they’ve never had a potential lover run screaming and clutching their nose. There are a lot of women around who object to having their cunts infantilised with words like “la-la” and “froo-froo”.

And so we shout. And so we kick up a stink. And so Femfresh’s job of making us hate our cunts becomes just that bit harder.

That can only be a good thing.

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For more on cunt-scent and Femfresh, Girlonthenet has written a stormingly good post.


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