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.
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
Post Your Comment