Culture

I Asked My Dad, a Gynaecologist, to Review Songs About Pussy

What does the man who knows all there is to know about vaginas think about these songs that pay homage to them? Are they indeed medically accurate?
17 August 2020, 8:00am
Megan Thee Stallion in WAP Video
Photo: "WAP" – Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion

The relationship between a father and daughter is a particularly special one. Throughout history, this has been reinforced by concepts such as the father giving away the bride on their wedding day, or the term “Daddy’s Little Girl”, which unfortunately has been co-opted by people who engage in activities that are anything but familial.

I’m fortunate that I have a really close relationship with my dad and can go to him about pretty much anything – I talk to him about periods, and he’s actually the reason why I’m a menstrual cup convert. Reading that, you might be thinking I’m a bit of a sadist – and you may not be completely wrong – but the main reason I talk to my dad about Auntie Flo is because he’s a gynaecologist.

Being a gynaecologist means he’s pretty much an expert on the lady downstairs, which made me wonder if he’d heard anything about “WAP” (spoilers: he hadn’t). Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s collab is a celebration of what many people know and love: punani, pum pum, vagina. Call it what you want, but it’s been saluted throughout music history due to its often magical qualities.

But what does the man who knows all there is to know about vaginas think about the songs that pay homage to them? Are they indeed medically accurate? To answer these questions, I sat down with my dad and listened to some of history’s greatest songs about vaginas, and it was surprisingly very educational.

“Sugar Walls” - Sheena Easton (1984)

I thought I’d ease him in with a track that’s a little more ambiguous. It was frankly impossible not to listen to this without thinking of the iconic X Factor audition courtesy of Rachel from Cardiff, but I managed to maintain utmost professionalism and remain on topic, for the most part.

VICE: So what did you think about that?
Dad: About what?

The track!
Well, you need to know what she’s talking about. In terms of the vaginal walls, it’s technically correct in the way that she describes it, yes.

So Sheena Easton is basically a gynaecologist.  No, not at all, why would you think that?

It was a joke.
I’ll put it like this: it’s quite skilful in the way that it’s written, as it’s not too overt what it’s actually about.

We’ll have to thank Prince for that, he wrote it.

“Pop That Pussy” - 2 Live Crew (1991)

On the opposite end of the spectrum is 2 Live Crew, with a song about as overt as it can get. This was a bit harder to get through without cringing, and truly makes “WAP” look like “Unchained Melody” by comparison.

In this track they mention that Madonna has a “stinky, smelly pussy”. What would your medical advice be to her?
She needs to take a course of metronidazole! Basically, she needs to be treated for bacterial vaginosis.

And how does that occur?
Bacterial vaginosis occurs when the normal bacteria in the vagina is altered. It can be altered by a change in the acidity of the vagina, so sometimes by taking antibiotics you can get rid of the “friendly” bacteria, which is called lactobacillus. You get rid of that, then it’s dominated by other bacteria. As the vagina is close to the anus, sometimes you can get… faecal matter in there.

You mean poo?
Yes. You can then have a dominance of that kind of bacteria, which is what causes bacterial vaginosis.

Basically, they’re saying Madonna got poo in her bits.
[hesitates] Well, yes.

“Vagina” - Pig Vomit (1993)

An obscure choice, but a good ‘un. I was keen to get him to listen to something outside the realms of pop and hip-hop, so went with this track, which is incidentally by the house band for the Howard Stern show. I mostly just picked it for the gratuitous use of the word “vagina”.

The lyric “Some smell like a summer's eve cause they've been douched too much” stands out to me here. What problems can be caused by too much douching?
Excessive douching is really bad for the same reasons as what causes bacterial vaginosis. What you do when you douche excessively is that you wash out the bacteria that is supposed to be there and is supposed to keep the vagina healthy and at a certain acidity level.

What should you do to reverse the effects of excessive douching?
I would recommend that people can buy lactobacillus acidophilus tablets in a health food shop, or add bio or live yoghurt to your diet.

So, like, what’s it called? _Mmm Danone_**?** Yeah, but it should either say “bio” or “BA” – it’s got to contain live cultures, and that will slowly start to reverse the effects of it. It’s quite a simple thing you can do.

“How Many Licks?” - Lil' Kim (2000)

By this point, Dad was starting to shuffle a bit and clearly wasn’t entertained. Despite a desperate attempt to do a Chris Hughes and “lift the mood a bit” with some rapping, he still wasn’t best pleased. Regardless, this Lil’ Kim track is perhaps one of the finest vag tracks of all time, so getting his analysis was imperative.

I think you already know what I’m going to ask you.
No, I don’t.

Okay, well Lil’ Kim asked herself, “How many licks to get to the centre?” Could you give a rough estimate?
Everybody’s different. I think that’s where the misconception comes from, it’s not just physical. So there’s no direct answer to that question, which is why it’s being asked.

So it’s rhetorical?
I would say so, yes.

In that case, would you say Lil’ Kim would make a better philosopher than medic?
In this context, yes. This isn’t medically accurate.

Pynk - Janelle Monáe (2018)

At this point Dad was well and truly over it, so he was pretty unenthusiastic about this track. A cheeky cameo from Grimes couldn’t even save us at this point.

Is what Janelle Monáe is saying true? Are we all pink inside?
[bluntly] Yes.

Could you elaborate please?
It's true, because the colours in our skin pigments are on the surface of the skin. That’s the reason why the closer to the equator people are, the darker their skin is. The surface of the skin protects our bodies from the sun, but the insides are only protected because they're not directly exposed to the sun, so they're all pink.

“WAP” - Cardi B feat. Megan Thee Stallion (2020)

We have reached the summit. The final stretch. Our “raison d’être”, or at least the reason for writing this piece. While my dad wasn’t going to perk up, he did offer perhaps his most insightful advice yet.

Cardi B mentions doing kegels in this track. What are the health benefits of kegels?
Kegel exercises are designed to strengthen the pelvic floor, so they’re also called “pelvic floor exercises”. They’re very important in maintaining strength, bladder control and sphincter control, but they’re best used after childbirth to make sure that women don’t have their pelvic floor destroyed by having a baby.

Fab! Cardi also says “I let him taste it, now he diabetic.” Can you actually develop diabetes from “eating out to help out”?
"No”, is the short version of that answer.

With diabetes you’ll either have a genetic disposition, or you can acquire diabetes by eating in a way that the body cannot produce enough insulin to handle it, or the body loses its sensitivity to insulin.

That can’t happen with the “sugar walls”, then?
No.

So why is sweetness used as a euphemism?
Because things that are sweet give us pleasure. It’s the same as something like “Sweet Like Chocolate” – the sweet taste buds in our mouths just give us pleasure.

Wait, is “Sweet Like Chocolate” about sex?!
I haven’t listened to that song in a while, but it probably is.

MIND BLOWN.

@jumiaa