Feminism | Posted by Leah RD on 11/4/2009

Anyone Care For a Vaginal Mint?

Scared of how you smell “down there?” Not satisfied with your oral sex life or foreplay? The makers of Linger, “Internal Feminine Flavoring,” have found a “solution” for this problem: Linger Internal Feminine Flavor, according to their website, flavors the secretions of a woman when she is sexually aroused. What? Flavored secretions? Let’s pause for a moment and think about the name of the product itself: INTERNAL FEMININE FLAVORING.

Ok, let’s get real: Linger isn’t feminine flavor. IT’S MINT.

In describing the origins of their new “sweet tasting sex mint,” the Linger website weaves a tantalizing, exoticized, eroticized, and semi-pornographic tale of desire and what they paint as a ubiquitous fear of cunnilingus. When the woman in the story (presumably the creator of Linger), expresses fear when her lover with “skin the color of caramel” starts to go down on her, Linger Internal Feminine Flavoring comes to the rescue. She writes,

“He kissed me with a smile, entering me again with his finger. In the next second he pulled his finger from me and sucked it into his mouth. I was caught off guard when he kissed me deeply tasting of sweet mint… delicious! He looked into my eyes then and said softly, “Now, let me Linger!” That was the beginning of a long-lasting love affair.”

So she brought the mints back to the USA, and the rest is history. Or so Linger manufacturers would like us to believe.

disturbingly, the same things as Linger

disturbingly, the same things as Linger

In fact, women who buy into the vaginal candy trap may get more than they bargained for. As it turns out, the maker of the vaginal mints are a far cry from seductive exotic men. Linger, made in New Jersey, is manufactured by Admints, the same company that makes those little mint tins that you might get at a bar-mitzvah or as a prom party favor, and “just happen to have the exact same shape, taste, and ingredients as Admint’s sample mints,” according to Jen Phillips from Mother Jones. Despite the single sentence disclaimer on the “Instructions” page of the website that “this product is for novelty use only and not recommended for women prone to yeast or other types of infections,” Linger clearly intends for women to use its product seriously as a sensuality booster, urging its website visitors to “learn to linger.”

I would argue that the promotion of Linger Internal Feminine Flavoring is unethical: when sugar, the main ingredient of both breath mints and Linger (because they’re the same thing!) gets into the vagina, it can lead to a painful yeast infection. That doesn’t sound so tasty, does it?

Although the testimonials on the website offer unabashed endorsement of the product, I’m more than skeptical that Linger offers couples the flavor of love. Sadly, women’s embarrassment by their vaginas’ natural appearance and scent creates real demand for ludicrous products like Linger, or even for more mainstream and invasive services like cosmetic labiaplasty.

Women don’t need more products and corporations telling them what’s wrong with their bodies and how to fix themselves– women need affirmation and empowerment to embrace their bodies and to find men who want their natural flavor, not just an imitation-Altoid to lick.

Leah also blogs for Amplify Your Voice

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  • dare2believe @ at 12:31 pm, November 4th, 2009

    This is plain ridiculous! Perfume your vagina girls, quick!

  • Toongrrl @ at 12:58 pm, November 4th, 2009

    My vagina already smells nice with soap and water. I and other ladies need nada.

  • vizionheiry @ at 12:58 pm, November 4th, 2009

    Well, wait until Summer’s Eve gets a hold of it. They’ll add all the right ingredients and it will be in our drug stores.

    With all the toys and tools people are using in the bedroom these days, it’s getting to become an assembly line.

  • Deanna @ at 1:55 pm, November 4th, 2009

    Not much leaves me speechless anymore….

  • Codi @ at 2:50 pm, November 4th, 2009

    This is rather disgusting. We spoke about douches in my class the other day and this is basically the same thing. It’s not good for the women who are using it.

  • AntiSlice @ at 3:49 pm, November 4th, 2009

    Some of this probably stems from inadequate sex ed as well. (IMO) If I was taught that my vagina is supposed to smell a certain way, and that adding sugar and other things to it can lead to infections and make it smell even worse I would think twice about buying things like this. Of course, it helps that I’ve always liked the way I smell.

  • Lolli @ at 4:34 pm, November 4th, 2009

    Blatantly… I like the taste of an unflavoured vagina. :|

    Sorry, industry!

  • Carrie @ at 4:41 pm, November 4th, 2009

    Sowait . . . do you put the MINTS in your _vagina_? I’m sorry, what? The mints dissolve in the vagina for a flavor? And “some have reported a pleasurable tingle as it dissolves”? I’ve gotta clarify, because this is unbe-flipping-lievable. Also, disgusting.

  • shuga @ at 5:02 pm, November 4th, 2009

    I fully agree that acceptance and love for one’s own body is faaaaaar superior to trying to artificialize everything that is natural about it. damn them for preying on women who fall victim to vag hating.

  • Rebecca @ at 2:47 am, November 5th, 2009

    Ok, so I’m as opposed as the rest of you to the idea that your vag should have to taste different to taste good, or that you should change it for the benefit of your partner. But on the other hand, I don’t want to condemn all woman interested in this product as unfeminist. If you go into any sex store there’s usually about half an aisle devoted to various taste-related sex aids…flavored lube for giving head, that Karma Sutra honey dust, etc–and most of it is male-centric. Maybe there are people that are into this for completely personal, liberated reasons.

  • Amy CT @ at 12:07 pm, November 5th, 2009

    I agree with Carrie. Aside from anything else, it’s just weird…

  • kenzi @ at 8:16 am, November 6th, 2009

    don’t…people who eat pussy…like it? therefore liking the way it tastes? so sad.

  • Brooke @ at 5:41 pm, November 6th, 2009

    Interesting. I can see the vagina shaming part, but also see how this could be lots of fun. Well aside of yeast infections. Maybe they should make this a stevia based product?

  • Maria D @ at 12:38 pm, November 8th, 2009

    My only problem with this is the health concerns. Had a yeast infection once before. Never again I say. I love my vagina as much as the next girl. But it smells. Maybe this is all women, or maybe it’s just me and my own body chemistry, but it smells bad and it’s potent and if I’ve been exercising or sweating, it means I sometimes have to run pants and panties through the wash a couple of times so I don’t advertise my lady parts. Not fun. If I ever find something that makes my vagina smell good, I will definitely use it. And if I have a significant other who’d like a nicer taste, yeah, I’d go for it. And this applies to male AND female sexual partners, cuz guys are not the only ones going down on girls. I have a couple of friends who are lesbian. Some of them like how vagina’s taste and smell without this stuff. Others I know would definitely by this product for themselves and their partners.

  • Maria D @ at 1:02 pm, November 8th, 2009

    Also, guys have had flavored condoms for YEARS. I’m just saying.

  • Amy @ at 4:23 pm, November 24th, 2009

    Hi … I found this oage by mistake. I was looking in Bing for Accounting software that I had already bought when I came upon your site, I have to say your page is pretty informative, I just love the theme, its amazing!. I don’t have the time at the moment to fully read your site but I bookmarked it and also will sign up for your RSS feeds. I’ll back around in a day or two. thanks for a great site.

  • Godiva @ at 2:37 pm, November 29th, 2009

    Yeah, showing maturity in your response. happens all the time

  • For the Younger Latina Feminists Out There | julianabritto.com @ at 1:26 pm, March 28th, 2011

    [...] it out–>What to teach the younger women in your life: don’t use vaginal mints! Share and [...]

  • Cali @ at 4:40 pm, May 16th, 2011

    Heaven forbid a vagina actually looks, tastes or smells like a vagina. No wonder our perception of ourselves is so skewed- we are not allowed to be accepting of ourselves or our bodies any longer.

  • Meg @ at 12:14 pm, June 16th, 2012

    Just because it’s manufactured by the company in NJ that makes Admints does NOT mean it was their idea! I know the person who came up with “Linger” – she’s a housewife from the midwest who thought she was brilliant for coming up with this idea. She looked me in the eyes and smiled as she said, “It’s an Altoid!” The lover from India is somewhat true, but she met him in her home town & went to India only after meeting him. His only part in the whole thing was paying for it (production, promotions, etc). And yes, the “testimonials” are all complete fabrications. Also I do hate the term “housewife,” so let me know if anyone knows a better term for a married woman with kids who doesn’t work because she has been unable to find ANY work at all in 4 years & IMO cannot be grouped with the moms who stay home to interact with their kids & enrich the kids’ lives!

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