Following on from my post below, I have been pondering these odd perceptions of femininity that still persist today.
Do sex toys need to be de-sexualised in order for them to be accepted by some women? Or is this simply a marketing myth on a par with the desire to disguise sanitary products as sweeties and the belief that vaginas themselves should be disguised as pine forests, with the liberal application of chemical sprays?
I believe these ideas persist because they tap into that same rich vein of shame that the purveyors of such products have drained for decades. The message is repetitive and unchanging: as a woman you shouldn't feel proud of your vagina or your sexuality.
You should be concerned about odours. You need some FemFresh, scented tampons and a handy wipe. Then when your poor chuff rebels at all the harsh chemicals, the same manufacturers can flog you some thrush cream.
You should be concerned that other people - other women, even - might know that you menstruate. They must never know! If they see you carry sanitary products in your bag you will be a social pariah and no man will ever want you. You need to wrap it all up in ribbons and bows to make it safe and non-bloody.
You should be concerned that the urge to be penetrated with a phallus of some description, to want to have an orgasm by yourself, makes you a strumpet. You need something cute to take the edge off such raw power. Then it keeps it not sexy, really, not adult, really. You can remain infantilised, your sexuality trivialised. (Male sex toys, I note, have no cutesy bunny equivalent.)
Worryingly, it seems you should even be concerned that your vulva doesn't look like those you see in pornography, given the rise in popularity of labiaplasty.
I am not sure why these ideas persist, or why women keep buying into them. It really is ok to have a cunt that smells like a cunt. I don't expect cock to smell like a summer meadow (though I do have a hankering for spunk that tastes like chocolate).
It's ok for people to know you menstruate. It's not a secret. I have only encountered one man, the husband of a friend of mine, who was so distressed by the concept that he insisted she hide her sanitary products where they would not offend his sight while sitting on the bog. I suggested she hide the toilet rolls also, as they eventually get covered in shit, which is far worse.
It is ok to have sex toys that look like they were made for your cunt, rather than looking like they were made by the Early Learning Centre.
And it is more than ok to have a normal body, in all its imperfect glory. Big flaps are fun! Put it on a t-shirt and spread the word.