Why you should care
Because it’s a life hack for female genitalia.
Douching is a don’t. Female masturbation has no health benefits — but so what? The hymen is not a seal. Don’t put soap in the vajayjay. And male birth control DOES exist. All of these lessons and more are to be learned from Pussypedia, a new online resource that busts myths and lays down some hard facts about — you’ve guessed it — the vagina. The female’s cave. The pussy.
I’m struggling for words that aren’t cusses. Although around half of the people in the world have vaginas, they rarely talk about them. And there is no cutesy word for them, as there is for the male equivalent, like “willy.”
The reason? “It’s a taboo thing,” says Pussypedia co-founder Zoe Mendelson. “It has some deep implications and takes so much away from women — you end up ceding your power because of this locus of shame and internalized patriarchy.”
Locus of shame — let’s just say that again. Shame around vaginas is practically universal. That body part is difficult to talk about and even harder to identify. As a woman who has had two children, I couldn’t tell the bladder from the colon in the 3-D interactive anatomical model on the site, produced by medical design company BioDigital. #Epicfail.
Much like this vital organ, the site has both warmth and depth.
“I just don’t want that word to belong to Trump, either,” adds Mendelson, in reference to U.S. President Donald Trump, who once boasted that when you’re a star, you can “grab ’em by the pussy.”
Much like this vital organ, the site has both warmth and depth. It doesn’t chastise readers for their lack of knowledge but instead takes you by the hand, lays things out and almost hugs you in the process. The information was written by writers and journalists and then fact-checked by doctors and health professionals in an attempt to make it a reliable resource.
Highlights include the best — and worst — ways to clean the pussy, the 3-D model that will teach all pussy owners something new and “Things the Patriarchy Tries to Sell You That Are Actually Bad for Your Pussy.” Each feature is adorned with natty illustrations in varying shades of flesh colors.
Mendelson got the idea for the site when she had a fight with an ex-boyfriend some years ago about whether all women could “squirt.” She sought an answer from today’s oracle of all things — the internet — and found “nothing. We don’t know anything!”
Funded by a Kickstarter campaign that went viral in December 2017, Mendelson and co-founder Maria Conejo have earned nothing in the 18 months it has taken to bring together the content for the site, which launched Monday. This has been a labor of true love — the $15,000 they raised covered setting up the project and creating the content. That’s passion. Mendelson emanates it.
And she doesn’t want to stop at vaginas — she wants the Pussypedia model to empower everyone.
“There is an infinity of other things you can apply this to — the idea is that we can do this for ourselves. If they’re not going to give us this information, we can go get this and divide according to skills and talent and create high-quality information for ourselves.”
What will be the measure for Mendelson that the ’pedia of the pussy is getting its message across? “I wish I had Google analytics” for how people shower, she says, laughing — then she could track questions like how many readers follow the “no soap” rule.
“We want people to be: ‘Yeah, pussy power! Pussies aren’t gross, they’re normal! I’m not going to put soap in mine ever again.’ ”