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The Sexplanations Road Tour is headed to San Diego, Tijuana, Sheri's Ranch, and Las Vegas this week. To learn more about where we're stopping and what we're doing, visit http://sexplanations.com.

This episode was inspired by my interview with the Daily Dot: https://www.dailydot.com/irl/front-hole/

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I’m Dr.

Lindsey Doe, clinical sexologist and host of this sex curious show Sexplanations. A journalist named Alex interviewed me for a piece in the Daily Dot about using the term “front hole” to reference a vagina.

Medical providers, educators, and clinical sexologists like me have started incorporating it into their work as a way of being more inclusive of people who have this orifice but may experience gender dysphoria when it’s called a vagina. There’s been some push back from people who believe that “front hole” censors the female body. To them, "front hole" suggests that having a vagina or calling that organ a vagina is anti-female.

They argue that in an effort to be have more political correctness, "front hole" actually overshoots the goal and becomes a different kind of offensive. I see both perspectives. Use it, don’t use it.

They’re both valid. They’re both thoughtful and fair. So how do we get along? [WHIP CRACKING, COUGH] "Front hole" is an example of language expanding for people to express themselves.

Other examples of this are words like "peen," "trunkbutt," and "queefing" - words we've coined to explain our bodies and experiences better. Similarly, "queer," "blowjob," and now "front hole" are words being adapted to have new meanings. Why is this uncomfortable and for some feels like an attack on their bodies and experiences?

Because we're human beings trying to sort out the way we thought the world was as it's changing. I’m an educated, open-minded, and sex positive woman who thought, “There's nothing shameful about vaginas. That’s what they are.

A rose by any other name doesn’t smell as sweet. Asking me to call it something different like "front hole" feels like fraud, like shame, like denial, like I’m enabling someone’s anxiety.” Clearly, I also struggle with new words and new meanings. Here’s what helps me with the discomfort so that I can be more objective and kind!

The pain is not in the change; it's in the resistance to the change. Calling someone else’s anatomy a "front hole" doesn’t hurt me. My resistance to this tiny change - from three syllables to two syllables - is what hurts.

I remember an artist friend telling me that he had hung a painting in a gallery of Jesus that was, let's say, controversial. He told me how there were people who asked the gallery to take it down, to "get rid of it!" He understood their frustration but instead of removing the piece, he offered a canvas and paints to those offended and suggested they do a painting of their own, expressing their version of Jesus or how his version made them feel. “Hang it on the wall beside mine,” was his sentiment. I've thought about this story a lot.

I’ve been on both sides. My art should be accepted, but the piece on that wall, the one over there that I’m offended by, it has to go. How do we hold our truths without doing harm?

What is true? "Front hole" isn't referring to the navel or mouth on the front of the body. It also isn't referring to the hole furthest forward in the vulva. That's the meatus or the urethral opening.

Front hole (aka vagina) is in front of the back hole, the anus. "Front hole" isn't meant to negate "vagina," the term, or vaginas as organs which someone people really like. It's meant to show compassion for people who are triggered by parts of language but still need to communicate. We can make adjustments.

This is a truth. Imagine talking to a kiddo about a parent of theirs who severely abused them. By definition and common language, I could say "your mom" or "your dad," but have found that some kiddos are much more comfortable using their parent's first name or even something like "meanpants" when we have to talk about what happened or what's going to happen.

No one is saying that the word "mom" is taboo and shouldn't be used. We're just inviting people to have more flexibility with what they say to do less harm. Like ramps for wheelchairs, contact lenses, earplugs, nut-free factories, cage-free eggs - we can accommodate.

Monitoring our words is different than censoring them. Ask yourself, "Who am I speaking to and what am I trying to communicate?" It's worth choosing different words, new words, to do less harm. Let’s model for others loving language, how to fall with grace when we make mistakes, and how to treat people with kindness when they don't know what is or isn’t okay to say.

Then stay curious. Thank you to everyone who supports Sexplanations. Please visit sexplanations.com to learn more about where we’re taking sex ed in the future and how you can get involved.