I recently won a prize for a blog post on http://www.iVillage.com.au. In the previous weeks, the winning prize had been a collection of Revlon nail varnishes – the week I won, the prize was a year’s supply of Vaseline.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I was super-excited to be winning anything, (especially for writing), but to be honest, I just couldn’t imagine what the f*ck I was going to do with a year’s supply of Vaseline. Aside from the obvious.
But at my age?
Nevertheless, I shrugged off my embarrassment, even posting a message on my Facebook page along the lines of:
“Won a year’s supply of Vaseline. I’m going to be a busy lubricator!’
But here’s the thing. Now that I’m older there are some things that just make me squirm, and one of them is words with sexual connotations, like ‘lubrication.’ I certainly would never have considered myself to be prudish before, but like the words ‘cock’ and ‘vagina’, ‘lubrication’ said out loud makes me want to hide.
And don’t even get me started on those Tena ads.
And I know it’s not just me – if I use the verb ‘erect’ in any context in our house, Nerd Child runs for cover.
My friends didn’t disappoint in their reaction to my comment. It was reassuring to note that their maturity levels peaked like mine, around age fourteen. But my comment did provoke the inevitable double-entendres and suggestions for what I could use the Vaseline for – ideas that mainly involved the old man’s nipples – something to do with nipple chafing in cycling, I believe.
They obviously thought they were funny. At the time.
Luckily, this is the Vaseline product I actually received.
Have I become prudish with middle age?
So as you can see, I was in fact worrying about absolutely nothing, and it transpired that the Vaseline products I received were ones I actually use all the time.
‘Relieved’ doesn’t cover it.
But isn’t it funny how certain products have uncomfortable associations for some people? Vaseline and sex are what Mick Jagger is to Mars Bars, as mentioned in one of my previous posts about my ‘Ideal Man’).
Maybe men are more comfortable talking about ‘sex’ stuff and the nuances of sexual vocabulary than women. The best responses I got for the cheap lubricating joke were from men. Men seem to embrace that ‘base’, ‘non-cerebral’, cheap humour.
Bit I was a little disappointed in myself for feeling so threatened by my potential winnings, as I like to think of myself as having a liberal attitude and try to convey that to our children. We walk around the naked in our house, we don’t close doors, and we watch Game of Thrones together, as a family.
Or so I thought.
Last year, a younger friend asked me to come with her to a Sexpo because she needed to buy a new vibrator(!). Yes, she just threw it out there, exactly like that, straight into the conversation as we were relaxing over a cup of coffee.
Obviously, (after I’d spat my mouthful of Skin Flat White all over her face in horror at her shocking ‘over-share’), I refused point blank to go with her. Going to a Sexpo would be admitting that I occasionally have sex and that I might actually quite enjoy it, occasionally.
Fortunately, my friend seemed to accept my puritanism protestations, but under the pretense of taking me to some home interiors shop she’d heard of, then forcibly dragged me into the Lions’ Den.
More sex toys than in the whole of the Playboy Empire!
‘Mortified’ doesn’t begin to describe the mental anguish and acute embarrassment I felt at being surrounded by more vibrators, PVC and sex toys than used by the entire Playboy Empire.
My friend, on the other hand, seemed completely indifferent to the implications of the stock, and shopped like she was at the local fruit market. She marched around each stall, knowledgably, chit-chatting with the retailers, looking at all the functions of the different types of vibrator, feeling them for size, shape, special features and even turning them on, (the battery that is), while I hid, cowering behind the dominatrix suits, in shock.
There were items there that I had never heard of nor could ever imagine using.
But isn’t it funny how quickly you can adapt to new situations? Within an hour of my entry into the hall, I was handling the equipment like an old pro (sorry), enquiring about speeds, investigating cock rings and trying out whips.
(Well, it’s got to be done).
But I wonder why I was so self-conscious about the idea initially? Is it my age or body image issues; have I become set in my ways, or do we just get more prudish as we get older? Perhaps I can blame the teenagers for thwarting my sexuality too?
I do remember my own mother hyperventilating over the word ‘period.’
What do you think? Have you become more prudish with age?
By the way, Vaseline has a lot of uses other than….. the obvious.
Using it as a lip gloss
Apparently, it makes your lashes grow longer and thicker over time if you put it on your lashes at bedtime.
As a makeup remover
To help ease off stuck on rings
Using it to heal and protect new tattoos
Rubbing it on your hands and massaging through your hair for a choppy look
Using it for massage
Apparently, Vaseline is also really effective as a lubricant during sex.