After multiple women accused James Deen of rape and sexual assault in November 2015, The Frisky made the immediate decision to end our affiliation with the porn star and to cancel his sex advice column with the site. In addition to believing it would be inappropriate to continue publishing sex advice from someone facing such serious allegations, The Frisky is firm in its commitment to believing and standing in solidarity with victims/survivors when they come forward. After serious consideration and input, we decided to leave the previously published columns up on The Frisky with this disclaimer, as we believe the glaring divide between Deen’s consent-focused advice and the rape allegations against him should be part of the public record. For a more thorough explanation on our decision to end this column, click here.
On some occasions when putting together this column, I chime in with my own thoughts about the advice seeker’s predicament, prompting a discussion between James and I. Such was the case with this week’s column, so you’ll also see my contributions below as well. – Amelia
Hi James, 28-year-old guy here. I’ve been dating this cool chick for a few weeks now and I really like her, but, how do I put this … I don’t like the way her vagina tastes and smells. I swear I’m not some shitty sexist asshole who just doesn’t like vaginas — I’ve loved going down on women, I promise you. But this woman’s vagina is especially strong smelling and it’s honestly kind of a turn off. I don’t think it smells like she’s got something wrong going on down there, like an infection, but what do I know? Have you ever encountered this issue before and do you have any suggestions for how I could maybe me bring up the subject with her without hurting her feelings? Or would that be fucked up? I like the girl a lot but I don’t know that her smell is something I can get used to.
James: This is a really awesome question. I have not ever experienced this before, but I’m also weird and perverted as hell, so realistically, if I was going down on this same woman, and her vagina smelled strong or whatever, I would probably be like, “Yeah! Cool! It’s different, it’s great! Let’s go for it!” That’s just kind of how I am. I love sex — everything from the gross, weird stuff, to the really normal, wholesome stuff, so if I HAVE experienced doing down on a woman with a really pungent vagina, I probably just didn’t notice or mind.
It sounds like this isn’t a health issue — like, for example, in the adult industry, when female performers are menstruating, they’ll put a sponge inside them to avoid having blood be visible on camera because obscenity laws dictate that blood is obscene. (You know, because menstruation is just the most obscene thing in the world! It’s equivalent to shit and vomit and rape! Just so you know, according to obscenity laws, that’s accurate.) In order to be able to continue to do their jobs, female performers will often put some sort of sponge inside of them in order to avoid showing blood. Every now and then, a performer will forget to remove it and a day or two later, there will be this horrible, necrotic smell of dying blood cells coming from the woman’s cunt. That kind of smell would be the sign of a health issue, but that doesn’t sound like what you’re dealing with here.
It’s very possible that you two just don’t have compatible pheromones and there’s something about her scent that smells unpleasant to your nose. If this isn’t going to be a long-lasting relationship and you’re not compatible in other ways, I would avoid hurting her feelings by bringing it up — if you’re not going to stay together, then it’s not really your problem or her problem, and you don’t need to hurt someone’s feelings in order to break up with them.
If you DO really like her and you want to possibly have a longstanding relationship with her, well, then we get to the difficult part. This is a communication issue. This about being able to tell somebody something FUCKED UP that is not their fault, or their problem, but in a way that is not hurtful or not offensive in any way, shape or form. I have ideas for how to do that, but I would recommend that before you listen to me, go speak to a licensed psychologist, like a family therapist, who can tell you the proper way to handle a situation like this. Go talk to a psychologist with a degree or five. My advice is only theoretical opinion, OK?
I think you need to approach this as a communication issue and not a physiological issue. You are the wrong person in this situation, she is not. It sounds like you kind of already understand that you are wrong. This is a problem YOU HAVE, not a problem she has. When communicating this to her, you need to make sure that she knows, above everything, that YOU have an issue. There is something wrong with YOU. Not something wrong with HER. After all, other men have more than likely gone down on her and been fine with the way her vagina smells and tastes. So this is YOUR issue and it’s for you to fix, and you need to make that clear.
Maybe start off with “I really, really like you. I think you’re great, I really like having sex with you, and I find you really attractive.” Then say, “I have a problem. It is not your problem, it is my problem. I am sensitive to your scent and taste. This is something that really bothers me because I really like you, I really like going down, and I’m trying to figure out a way for me to be able to go down on you more often.”
Amelia: Maybe it’s also possible that her vagina’s smell and taste is especially potent at certain times of the month? Like when a woman ovulates and produces more fluid – maybe that’s affecting her smell. Maybe you should take more showers together and go down on her while you’re in there!
James: Yeah, that’s a good idea! That’s something you can say that YOU want to try. You want to try going down on her in the shower because that might fix YOUR problem. You like her that much, and you want to have sex with her and go down on her that much, so you want to try going down on her in the shower. See how she feels about that.
Again, like I said, put the responsibility to fix this on you. This is something that you have an issue with and YOU need to figure out what YOU are going to do in order to continue having sex and engaging in oral sex without making this an issue for her. Explain to her, “There’s a reason I’m not going down on you as much as I would like to – it’s because I’m having this issue, and I’m going to try to figure out ways to deal with it. If you have any ideas of things I could do, then please let me know.”
Amelia: I think you should probably expect that no matter how nicely you say it and take responsibility for it, there’s probably still going to be, no doubt, some sort of reaction from her that is not good. Because no matter how loving and sweet somebody could say that to me, I’d still be like, “Wait, so you think my vagina smells nasty?” Ugh, I’d be so bummed.
James: Yeah. I mean, I’m horrible, so I would probably be really blunt about it and be like, “Your cunt smells!” And then it would get awkward and weird and there’d be lots of jokes — BUT I would also be saying this while I was, like, rubbing her pussy juice on my gums and doing weird things with her vaginal fluids.
Amelia: I do think there is something to be said for being more blunt about this subject in general though. Vaginas have really been positioned as this dirty, smelly thing — douche is still on the market! — and to compensate for that, there’s been this expectation that we should always talk about vaginas as if they smell wonderfully delicious. Maybe they do in a certain way, but let’s face it, bodily orifices and fluids are funky! Semen tastes kinda funky, vaginas taste and smell kind of funky – that’s just the way they are. Maybe if we were more honest and cool with that, like, “Yeah, things are a little funky down there, that’s what it does, and it’s fine!” then it would actually be easier to hear from somebody “Your vagina smells a little EXTRA funky to me — what can we do about it?”
James: Yeah! It’s society’s issue! It’s not your issue! Blame society! “Society has programmed us and it’s really fucked me up! I really want to get over it though, so whaddya say we jump in the shower and I shove my face in there? Let’s try that!”
Original by James Deen @jamesdeen