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Nicknaming your genitals could be a sign your sex life is in trouble

Noo-noo is a no no (Picture: Getty Images/Metro.co.uk)

Minnie, front bottom, pee-pee, willy, noo-noo, peeper, twinkle – using cutesy nicknames for your genitals sounds innocent enough, but apparently it could be in indication that your sex life is in trouble.

Dr Katherine Hertlein, expert advisor at sex therapy app Blueheart, says that having nicknames for your genitalia indicates you could have a problem being frank with your partner about things like your sexual desires and/or are embarrassed about your anatomy.

Alas, neither option is good for one’s sex life.

She explains: ‘We all know it can be a little awkward discussing sexual issues with your partner, no matter how long you’ve been together.

‘But communication is essential to a healthy relationship; if you blush at just saying the anatomically correct names for your genitals, then how do you speak about more in-depth sexual topics?

‘Avoiding these conversations completely isn’t a good option. To build a healthy relationship and pleasurable sex life, you need to be able to tell your partner where you like to be touched, how to bring you to orgasm, and also ask what your partner likes.

‘This helps to create a safe, sex-positive dialogue between the two of you.

‘Eradicating nicknames and speaking candidly about sex with your partner will increase the level of trust in your relationship and provide a sturdy foundation to build a better sex life.

‘This is because you’re taking the shame and embarrassment out of those topics by encouraging an open dialogue about sex.’

Composition of fresh fruits, whole fresh tasty banana without skin, slice of grapefruit and mandarin on pink background, top view

It’s best to be up front about what you want (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Dr Katherine thinks a reliance on nicknames probably starts in most people’s childhoods, when parents tend to teach their children these kinds of cutesy words.

She added: ‘This often comes from our parent’s own embarrassment, which in turn could stem from certain societal or religious pressures that have developed over many generations.

‘Even some of the nicknames we are told to call our genitals are designed to make us feel embarrassed, such as the oft-used “private parts”, which implies that they aren’t something to be spoken about openly. 

‘If your parents didn’t talk to you about sex in a positive, age-appropriate way, this can have a lasting effect on how you view sexuality and pleasure.

‘Your parents probably won’t have realised this is a negative teaching and were simply doing what they thought was best. But too often we’re taught to feel shame around our naked body and sex – especially as women – and families shying away from these topics or unwittingly enforcing these beliefs can have a lasting impact.’

Unfortunately, this can be hard to unlearn – if you were taught to feel shame about sex and your body as a child, you may have experienced issues concerning sex into adulthood.

‘It might be that you’ve struggled to discover what you find pleasurable, have felt guilty about having sex, or you might not have explored masturbation before (or done so but felt guilty about it),’ said Dr Katherine.

‘More importantly, not knowing how your body works biologically could be hampering your pleasure.

‘For example, vaginal stimulation and clitoral stimulation feel different, but you might not know if you haven’t fully explored yourself.

‘These sexual qualms won’t simply go away.

‘You have to reprogramme how you view sex entirely. Learning a) about your own body and b) how to love yourself, is much more important than validation from a partner or external source.

‘Start by exploring what turns you on. One way of doing this – whether you have a partner or not – can be to read erotic novels. What do you like the sound of and what would you like to try?

‘If you have a partner, take sex as an opportunity to explore different things with someone you trust.’ 

a Yellow banana and half a grapefruit on a pastel orange background

Shame can be hard to unlearn (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

While technically it’s fine to keep using whatever nicknames you want to describe your genitals, it might be worth relegating those nicknames to the bedroom and ensuring you know how to communicate what works for you clearly.

Dr Katherine said: ‘Be clear about where they should touch/lick/kiss and ask them what they’d find pleasurable too.

‘It sounds a little bold if you aren’t used to it, but the more you do it the easier it will become.’

She added: ‘Getting intimate is also the only scenario when it’s actually okay to give your genitals nicknames.

‘That time is all about doing what feels most comfortable and what turns you on and if that’s a certain word or phrasing that does that, then it’s absolutely fine.

‘Just keep those nicknames for the bedroom.’

If you want to break the habit of using those cutesy nicknames outside the bedroom, Dr Katherine recommends: ‘Be aware of when you feel the need to call genitals nicknames and why you feel like that.

‘Is it because you’re embarrassed, shy or just unsure of what’s best to say?

‘Even when you feel you don’t want to, say the names in conversation and out loud.’



Popular genital nicknames, according to Blueheart

For vulvas:

  • Flower
  • Minnie
  • Hoo-haa
  • Front bottom

For penises:

  • Winky
  • Willy
  • Pee-pee
  • Mickey

Katherine also says other common nicknames are:

  • Private parts
  • Bits
  • Noonie
  • Vag

As well as using the word ‘vagina’ when you really mean ‘vulva’

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Get in touch by emailing MetroLifestyleTeam@Metro.co.uk


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