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February 14th, next week, is V-Day. V-Day is a global activist movement to end violence against women and was inspired by the play The Vagina Monolgues, which was written by Eve Ensler and is also here in Barcelona this month. February 14th is, of course, also St Valentine’s Day. So let us take advantage of the confluence of these two events to talk about loving the vagina.

Before we get into the meat of it, so as to speak, let me first say that I almost never call a vagina a ‘vagina’. The only time you can really call a vagina a vagina is in a biology exam. In the throes of passion, however, it is not a word that trips off the tongue… unless your plan is to make sure that nothing whatsoever trips off your tongue at all for the entirety of your existence (in which case you shouldn’t be anywhere near a vagina).

I’m with The Vagina Monolgues on this one: “Vagina. It doesn’t matter how many times you say the word, it never sounds like a word you want to say. It’s a completely ridiculous, totally unsexy word. If you use it during sex, trying to be politically correct, you kill the act right there.”

My partner refers to her lady garden as ‘chichi’, which is cute and probably Spanish for something else, although I prefer to equate the term with the Chinese ‘Chi’, meaning ‘life force’, which to me makes the syllabic phonetic repetition all the more apt since I find any ‘chichi’-related activity to be doubly energizing.

Believe it or not, there are men out there who do not like to go down on a woman. Why? How can this be? Such a thing I find existentially disturbing. Forgive the possible onslaught on any sensibilities out there but… to bury your face between a woman’s legs, to inhale deeply on that distinctive scent; can anything be more arousing? Depending on your orientation, of course, it can be coital cocaine… a 100% pure pheromone fix snorted directly from the source and driven directly to the pleasure centres of the brain where it explodes outwardly into full on bodily desire. I mean, come on! Seriously, if that doesn’t do it for you, you may as well just stay at home with a copy of the Daily Mail and a big box of tissues.

Well, I guess there are a few people out there in the world who, through some terrible trick of fate, don’t like chocolate either. Such people we view, quite rightly, with a mixture of fascination and bemused pity… and with faint horror at the notion that it could so easily have been us.

When I was a teacher, way back when, I asked a class of adults the following question: if you knew you were going to die at an exact appointed time, that there was nothing you could do about this, but were permitted to choose the manner of departure from this life, how would you choose to go? Quite a few said they wanted to die in their sleep. This was not good enough, I informed them, saying that they would most likely die in their sleep anyway, all being well. The point here, I said, was that you could choose and although it might be nice to bite the bucket while you snooze, there might be more edifying ways to go out.

By way of example, I told them how I would like to die… cunnilingus. I’ll give you a moment to dwell on that. Back in the classroom, there was a sharp intake of breath followed by a series of dull thuds as jaws hit floors. I’m perfectly serious, I told the class; I want my face to be smothered by that delicious warm pocket of earthly pleasures, to suck that essence deep down into my soul; for my mind to be filled with it; for my very last breath to be filled with woman. I still stand by that, by the way; if that world ever comes to pass, that’s how I’m leaving it. That was a good class.

Ah, chichis… each one as individual as a fingerprint. There are big ones, small ones, chunky, firm and loose; some of them have meaty labia, some have thin; they come puckered and wrinkly and smooth; with clitorises like plums and clitorises like berries; clitorises tucked away and hidden, and clitorises bold and brash; they can be sweaty, salty or soapy; with a faint taste of pee or even, for the sophisticated cunnyseurs, a coppery menstrual tang. All life is there… call it the clitoral melting pot, if you like.

Chichi, lady garden, call it what you will – even vagina if you really, really must – if you’re going to be around one, take some time to drink it in. Get in close; look at it, take it in; smell it, breathe it in; stroke it, kiss it… And don’t go at it hammer and tongs. Start gentle; take your time to see what it wants; see how it responds to you so you can respond in kind. Be guided by the chichi; let its lips do the talking. That’s the crux of it, you see; it is lips against lips, so make it a conversation, a suckratic exchange of ideas leading to synthesis…

To put it another way… have a vagina dialogue.

The English version of The Vagina Monologues will be playing on the 18th, 19th and 20th of February at the Espai Francesca Bonnemaison.


The Spanish version will be playing on the 12th, 13th and 14th of February at the same venue.

February 14th also sees the first outing of One Billion Rising, which coincides with the 15th anniversary of V-Day and is a campaign to raise awareness about violence against women. It will be a global event and if you want to be a part of it, then be at Placa de Catedral from 7pm to 9pm.

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