The Ridiculous Lengths We Go To to Avoid Saying the Word SEX
LELO’s team of enthusiastic experts pulled together a short visual rundown of the most common (and the most ridiculous, obviously) euphemisms we use for sex and masturbation. Brace yourselves, it’s going to be a wild toss in the hay (also a euphemism).
Lest we forget, Shakespeare wrote about making the beast with two backs way back when during Elizabethan times.
Making the two backed beast
A reminder for those who did forget:
I am one, sir, that comes to tell you your daughter and the Moor are now making the beast with two backs. (Shakespeare’s Othello)
And a fun fact for extra credit – Rabelais, a French author, used this phrase even earlier in one of his works, here’s the quote translated to English, abundant in giggle-inducing innuendo:
In the vigour of his age he married Gargamelle, daughter to the King of the Parpaillons, a jolly pug, and well-mouthed wench. These two did oftentimes do the two-backed beast together, joyfully rubbing and frotting their bacon ‘gainst one another. (Rabelais’ Gargantua and Pantagruel)
Reading this in school may have left a lot of question marks over many heads, but once you actually did the deed (guess what this is?), you finally got your a-ha! moment. If you were an English lit major, that is. Literature and college aside, Shakespeare had an excuse to use euphemisms and use them he did. His intention though, wasn’t to disguise the dirty talk but to get those precious laughs from his audience that stood poised and ready to throw an assortment of rotten fruits and vegetables at his actors.
OPHELIA You are keen, my lord, you are keen. HAMLET It would cost you a groaning to take off my edge.
We vow to use keen as a euphemism for horny from now until the end of our days. Don’t even get us started on the groaning! But enough about the Bard. Let’s move to something a tad more modern, like the stuff that is actually being said today… in 2019.
From fairly obvious ones to the convoluted logic of Taking the ol’ One-Eye to the optometrist, LELO brings you the visual representations of 12 lovely wordings meant to represent sex and masturbation. Because remember, you’re not masturbating, you’re petting your cat. After rebranding masturbation into buffering and busting all those cringe-inducing masturbation myths, it’s time to acknowledge the pure ludicrousness of these turns of phrase that snuck into our language, and definitely not for comedic impact only.
Shaking hands with the milkman
Slapping the monkey
Roughing up the suspect
Petting the cat
Feeding the bearded clam
Dialling the rotary phone
Attack with the friendly weapon
Taking the ol’ one-eye to the optometrist
Pants off dance off
Donna is a Volonté contributor and freelancer who lives in San Francisco with her understanding husband and not-so-understanding teenage sons. Her work has been published in The Journal of Sexology and she is currently writing a book on love languages.