There is a U-turn here. There was time when feminists all over the world talked about man’s fear for toothed vagina. A toothed vagina is a tight one that bites man into pieces. A woman could impair a man with her vagina. She has always been an alluring secret because of her potency. Today, Indian feminists are a bit agitated when they see an advertisement promoting 18 Again, a gel that claims to have the powers to tighten a loose vagina. It could be a counterpart to the Viagra that keeps men’s flaccid organs in the right position for penetration. But those activists who have been fighting for the establishment of toothed vagina in our parlance now do not want a cream that could in fact tighten a vagina thereby reinforcing its powers to hurt man.
There is a problem when a product commodifies sexual organs and their properties. As in pornography, such products takes away sexual pleasure and the idea of sex from its entirety related to sublimated human emotions. The organ becomes the focal point and the possessor of that particular organ replaces the individuality of the person who possesses it. That means if we commodify sex or sexual organs it de-indvidualizes and de-humanizes the human being. In our male dominated societies women are the people who generally get dehumanized while they are just cannibalized by the market strategies as just organs that provide sexual pleasure to man. Seen against this context any hue and cry against a cream that tightens the vaginal muscles could be offensive to the feminist activists.
Localization of pleasure is an ideological tactics imposed upon human beings by the hegemonic powers that generally hold the reins of the market and reap profit out of it. Such powers take away pleasure that is to be generally felt as an emotional totality as seen in ‘good’ literature and good works of art (of any genre), and localize them to certain zones of the body and make the people believe that improvement of such parts would enhance the worth of the person. Market and its strategists while playing up the total effect of improved personality through the consumption of a product covertly push the idea of localization and decentralizes and defocuses a human being in thinking about him/herself as a unified whole. S/he becomes a conglomeration of several body parts and each part needs separate attention, as they put it. Vaginal whitening was one process that furthered the localization of women’s beauty to its minute details and now we have something to tighten the same.
A tight vagina is a myth as strong as the myth of the length and breadth of a man’s organ. If you have been a reader of ‘Ask your Doctor’ columns in popular magazines even today you would find several questions regarding immature ejaculation, size of the penis or lack of interest in sex. Some are worried about ejaculating in dreams. Generally women are not affected by such issues. They ask questions related to safe sex. That means, the most worried party in a sexual relationship is a man. He is bogged down by several issues; whereas women are more worried about the aftermath of a physical intercourse. The question of tightness of vagina does not arise in most of our social debates because that has never been an issue in our society. If at all it was an issue, none wanted to talk about it. Now people have come out to talk about it. That means somewhere someone is worried about the tightness of vaginal muscles.
The advertisement that promotes this product or the company that produces it does not say that it is the men who want taut vaginas. Nor does it say that women are now craving for tight vaginas because they want to hold on to or keep control of their men. This ambiguity of this product and its potential user (as women in India however urban or educated they are, are not going to walk into a store and ask for this cream. And in that case it must be men who do the shopping for men. That means there is a consensus between the man and woman who want to use this product) make it a very interesting case study. As I mentioned just now, there is a consensus between the woman who applies this cream and the man who purchases it for his woman.
In a normal or ideal case scenario we have to see, even if it is men who want taut vaginas, that this product could be used only in a familial situation. As the product title itself shows that it is all about feeling like eighteen again and it is an age which is presumably having the tightest vaginal possibilities. If so the users must be a married couple (as the product projects in its advertisement) who are grown bored of their sexual life. The wife thinks that she is not tight enough and the man thinks that he needs some more tightness as he has been taking the pole through the India Gate for quite some time. So in the bedroom discussions there is an agreement with the two parties. Now what is the problem if there is a product that provides sexual pleasure to a consenting couple? A man who is having an extra marital affair obviously does not carry this cream in his pocket because either he must be having it with a tighter vagina or even the simple suggestion that the partner in crime has a loser one that itself is enough to be thrown out of the extra marital relationship.
(18 Again Ad)
This product that offers to tighten the loose pussies of India is an interesting social marker, I believe. This society, like any other society which has full of married people is a bored society. They find solace in extra marital affairs, chatting and other real and virtual activities to find the right person to vent their boredom. It is perfectly alright. But the root cause of all these should be sought in our system of marriage. Here woman is left alone to maintain the sacredness of the establishment. She has to remain in a saree twenty four into seven if she is living with the in-laws. She need to do all what to make a man happy. She is equally bored as he is. But she is asked to maintain the balance of the family. His gallivanting could be caused by the loosening of her vagina thanks to childbearing. And even if she has a Caesarean section and her vagina is as tight as ever, the guy starts thinking that she has gone loose. This is the mindset of the Indian man.
Now, the product wants to keep the establishment of family intact. For that the woman has to do the ultimate sacrifice. She has to smear all those creams around her crotch and wait for the muscles to tighten up so that her husband can take all the pleasure. When she has a tightened organ, husband remains at home; he does not look for tight vaginas. On the one hand the product is something that makes the sexual exchanges between the husband and wife more transparent. On the other hand it gives all the onus of sexual relationship on women; she should be prepared enough to do the right act in the right way with the right tightness otherwise her man would go for tighter avenues. In a covert sense this product reiterates the fact that the boredom of the marriage should be removed only through the intervention of women and her tight vagina. While it reiterates the need for the establishment called marriage, it also celebrates all those age old values that hold the woman down to the pits of such households. Here the woman is free to tighten her vagina but she is not a given a chance to speak out the premature ejaculation of her husband.
(from the Ad)
Tight vagina, seen in a positive sense, is good for controlling men. They will not go here and there. But what is there is a tight vagina? That myth remains a myth. When a man thinks about tightness of his partner’s vaginal muscles must be asking for a porn star for the bed rather than a wife or a girl friend. And having a tight vagina, in a folkloric sense, is always good. Hold him between the legs, squeeze the shit out of him and ask him to deliver the things and behaviour that you want.