Here it is, in all its glory: The Toothy Vagina!

That monstrosity is inserted into a woman’s vagina and if a man tries to penetrate her against her will, the spikes — or teeth — inside the tube will “bite” into his penis and stay there until the entire contraption is removed by a surgeon. One wonders if such a device would have served a divine purpose in this horror story:

The sight of a blind-drunk young woman being assaulted by a Big Brother housemate in what may be the most public rape ever has turned the stomachs of millions of television viewers… which took place on Saturday afternoon after an extended drinking bout which ended in copious vomiting and apparent blackout for Molokwu, remain adamant about what they saw: Bezuidenhout lay down next to the comatose young woman and penetrated her vagina with his fingers.He carried on despite the pleas of another female housemate for him stop. Under the law in South Africa – where, on average, a woman is sexually assaulted every 40 seconds – such an act constitutes rape. Bezuidenhout, who is married, finally desisted and went off to sit by himself while drunkenly sniffing his fingers.

The myth of the “Toothy Vagina” — or “Vagina Dentata” — has a rich history in religious and cultural folklore. The idea of a woman capturing — or “chewing off” — a man’s member is ripe with imagined aggression and sensual denouement.

The matter of a Toothy Vagina is a curious study of the semiotic battle between male and female sexual personae. There is rich scholarship dealing with the Toothy Vagina:

The myth of the vagina dentata, or vagina with teeth, derives from primitive masculine dreads of the “mysteries” of women and sexual union. It evokes castration anxiety, whereby the man fears loss of the penis during intercourse, and more generally it relates to fears of weakness, impotence, or annihilation by incorporation (connected to unconscious notions of “returning to the womb”).

  • Stories of the vagina dentata persist in aboriginal myths and legends (Egyptian, Indo-European, Greek, Native American, African), as well as in contemporary narratives, such as vulgar sexist jokes.
  • Sublimated expressions of this dread underlie stories of post-coital loss of strength, such as the biblical story of Samson and Delilah, or the deep social resonance of the recent (1993) Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt incident in America.
  • Many narratives of “hero vs. monster” also rely on the myth: for instance, Oedipus and the Sphinx, whose mythic structure underlies Benchley’s novel, Jaws.
  • Some cultural surgical practices, such as clitoridectomies and other female genital mutilations (including modern episiotomies), also relate to the myth. These practices physically inscribe an assertion of masculine domination that implies a dread of feminine powers.

Here’s a warning against the damage of a Toothy Vagina — and its awful cure — that is packed with mysterious religio-social undertones:

“There was a Rakshasa’s daughter who had teeth in her vagina. She used to live mostly as a tigress and kept ten or twelve tigers with her. When she saw a man, she would turn into a pretty girl, seduce him, cut off his penis, eat it herself and give the rest of his body to her tigers. “One day she met seven brothers in the jungle and married the eldest so that she could sleep with them all.After some time she took the eldest boy to where her tigers lived, made him lie with her, cut off his penis, ate it and gave his body to the tigers. “In the same way, she killed six of the brothers till only the youngest was left. When his turn came, the god who helped him sent him a dream. ‘If you go with the girl,’ said the god, ‘make an iron tube, put it into her vagina and break her teeth.’ “The boy did this, and when the tigers came for his body he climbed into a mango tree and made himself very small. The tigers chased him and the girl became very angry. He cursed her, ‘let nothing but your face remain!’

And so it was: she became a Chamgedri, which eats, excretes, urinates and copulates through one and the same aperture. “One of the mangoes opened and the boy crept inside. A parrot carried off the mango to a Raja’s palace. It dropped it, the fruit broke open, the boy emerged, and after various adventures, he married the Raja’s daughter.”

The Toothy Vagina is also fascinatingly dissected in this scholarly article, The “Vagina Dentata” and the “Immaculatus Uterus Divini Fontis” by Jill Raitt as she wonders on the story of a ravaging vagina and an immaculate conception:

The purpose of this article is to explore two primordial images which have provided a foundation for the caricatures of woman that are dominant in Christian theology and practice, the images of the “vagina dentata” (“vagina-with-teeth”) and that of the “immaculatus uterus divini fontis” (“immaculate womb of the divine font”).In her treatment of the “vagina dentata”, which she interprets as an expression of the universal male fear of the “castrating female,” the author considers the manifestations of the image in Christian church history, what has happened to women who have been the objects of the fear represented by the image, and how the male-dominated church has neutralized the female threat. While one might initially suppose that the “immaculatus uterus divini fontis” provides a positive counterpart for the decidedly negative image of the “vagina dentata,” the author asserts that it is in reality a symbol of woman as an utterly passive recipient. In the last section of the article, the author argues that the use of the metaphor of the perilous journey to describe life derives from the myth of the “vagina dentata” and from the myths of birth and rebirth related to it. She goes on to consider the possibility of viewing life through an image drawn from woman’s experience of herself and suggests that the cosmic egg might be such an image.

What is your take on this idea of a Toothy Vagina?

Have you ever encountered one — or wanted one?

If you are female, would you insert an artificial Toothy Vagina and walk around with it all day “just in case” — and if you would — what sort of reaction would you expect from the man who penetrates you against your will and finds that toothy surprise?

If you are male, how would you react if you found a Toothy Vagina pricking your penis?

46 Comments

  1. Very provocative article today.
    There’s a joke about toothy vagina, where a mother frightens her son with stories of “teeth down there” to keep him from thinking about female sexual anatomy.
    The full text is here, as it happens to be in the joke database on my site.
    I believe that honest explanations about anatomy – at a level relevant to the age of the questioner – rather than mystification and obfuscation is the best policy. In the USA I think the tendency to be more prudish (witness the scandal of Janet Jackson’s exposed breast) only causes more frustration. Certain studies I have read also link lack of access to pornography to rape incidence, but I have no good reference for that.

  2. fruey!
    You caught by Akismet. I better keep my eye on that area today because I have a feeling lots of comments on today’s topic may end up there. 😀
    That’s a wild link to your joke database! Fascinating!
    I agree it is best to educate and not mystify all things in life. I read an article a while back that indicated a high percentage of women have never “seen” their vagina. They know it’s there 😀 and they use it, but they’ve never really looked at it and inspected it in a non-sexual way because it’s sort of hard to get a “head on” view of it without using a mirror.
    The USA is religious and prudish — in public — in some ways I think we’re much more perverted in private and that pressing of desire into the dark places is always dangerous.
    I would be interested to read any information you might be able to dig up on the relationship between the lack of access to pornography and higher rape ratios.

  3. I think this source is the original paper that I believe I read quoted somewhere.
    From a Japanese angle, another study seems to support a decrease in rape with an increase in the availability of pornography.
    Correlation & causation are difficult things – it’s hard to boil down all the statistics and prove any correlation. In any case, liberal public morality seems to me (being a liberal) to be a better solution than repression (prudishness) because it “feels” logical that repression causes frustration, and frustration turns to anger.
    Rape however is a difficult subject to cover with statistics – most sexual aggression probably never gets reported through fear and guilt of the victim. It cannot be easy to go to the police and suffer the ordeal of proving rape, being examined, etc.
    Of course the type of “pornography” available is also an issue. Paedophile sites and those that glorify female submission probably have different effects from those sites which are more erotica based. Indeed, a lot of it is about exploitation – it’s hardly an honourable career. Wouldn’t it be interesting if photographers and “porn stars” who do add a little “art” into the mix were revered just like the cinema and sports stars of today? Then again, today’s hot actresses are much more “brazen” than the stars of yesteryear, although what we didn’t see (of Marylin Monroe, for example – that is to say, if you didn’t have access to the Playboy & other shoots of her in the all together) was perhaps what was so exciting about her.

  4. fruey —
    The first link seems to argue access to the internet and free pornography does seem to reduce the incidence of rape in males 15-19.
    Internet porn profit is declining as the “home brew” pornos make it onto the internet via video sharing sites.
    The big thing now, I’m told, is to watch “ordinary” people humping their brains out for reals rather than pretty people faking it for pay.
    In turn, the online pornographers have become more graphic and provocative and they are offering more sneak peeks for free to try to bend the trend back into their favor.
    Once the free porno is out of Pandora’s box, I’m not sure anyone would want to pay to watch again.

  5. AH the Rapex – hoping to solve the all too prevalent raping of African women. As a high percentage of these rapes bring AIDs as well – I can understand the demand for such a device.
    If men cannot control their sexual urges, cannot stop taking advantage and cannot say NO – they should not be surprised when a device like this is made available to women.
    Will address the pornography issue in another comment.

  6. “Exreme pornography” is under debate in the UK at the current time as there is currently a bill (Criminal justice and Immigration Bill) that is seeking to make it a criminal offense to possess extreme pornographic images.
    A summary of the most relevant research into the links between pornography and sexual crime can be found here.
    http://www.seenoevil.org.uk/wiki/index.php/Academic_Papers_and_Studies
    More research can be found here.
    http://www.seenoevil.org.uk/wiki/index.php/Category:Research
    The trend in pornography in the UK is very much towards the home grown variety – more real people and environments and less silicone.

  7. Nicola!
    Your comment concerning the use of the toothy device and its aftereffects is really interesting.
    But I have to wonder what a woman would really expect to happen after using such a device. Does she think the man will scream and run away?
    Does a device like that encourage further violence and revenge instead of discouraging it? She may not immediately lose her life after sticking a man, but after his surgery and subsequent recovery, I can imagine the want for a bloody and violent revenge would be impossible to prevent.

  8. I wonder if such a device were used in the US by a woman, that she might be sued afterwards – especially if the circumstances meant she had some difficulty in proving sex was not consensual?

  9. Thanks for those links, Nicola!
    The most interesting thing about fruey’s first link is that the research is from 2006 so it is really rather new scholarship.
    I like the idea of real people and less silicone — I wonder if “ordinary” people doing it is considered “porn” or just “plain old sex?” Does paying the people in the video make it “porn?”

  10. fruey —
    That’s a great question! In the USA you cannot “boobytrap” your home or office to prevent intruders from entering. You cannot electrify your office windows to send a shock and you cannot place shards of glass on top of the brick wall surrounding your home to prevent entry — or you will be seen in the courts as the aggressor even if the person breaking in is caught and arrested — and if they get hurt because of your boobytraps, the person who broke in can actually sue you for damages and bodily harm.

  11. I suspect you could be right about aggravating the situation – however the perpetrator would presumably be bought to trial and serve a sentence for rape as well ? I guess the danger would be that there would be more trials for murder than for rape.
    From the other side I am not sure that a ” I am wearing a Rapex so I wouldn’t do that if I were you” would hold much ice in the heat of the moment either?
    So if these devices are not going to help stop women being raped – what is going to stop men raping women?

  12. fruey’s first link I hope will be added to the lists I have posted – I have passed the details on.
    Plain ordinary people having sexual adventures and sharing it has taken a huge amount of the market away from the silicone brigade. The silicone brigade tends to be very formulaic – with X amount of time between certain elements ( three and a half minutes ) .
    People are now paying for the “ordinary” porn – especially in the USA – I know one UK distributor who has a 60% growth in his market in the USA.
    Maybe people have discovered that the silicone porn just encourages false expectations ?

  13. The proposed legislation defines pornography in the following way.
    (3) An image is “pornographic” if it appears to have been produced solely or principally for the purpose of sexual arousal.

  14. David!
    i think it’s genius lies in its ability to work on the same fear that very often may lie behind the aggression. i say more power to the toothy vagina and hopefully aided by enough press and victims it’ll lower the incidence of the crime that the courts have seemed unable to control.

  15. Hi Nicola!
    I can imagine a rapist’s first response after getting “nabbed” by one of those things would be to take it to the next step and get incredibly violent and want to punish and that would have just the effect the woman did not want — I mean they’re still raped wearing one of those things anyway, right? There’s unwanted penetration and the device doesn’t work unless something gets stuck in there.
    As for avoiding rape, fruey’s article seems to suggest access to free pornography is some sort of release valve that can be quantified in less incidents of reported rapes. People say rape is about power and not sex, but perhaps regular “expression” of a man’s desire with pornography lessens the necessity to exert power over a real woman?

  16. Dananjay!
    Imagine if rapists “checked” first before taking the plunge and finding that device waiting for them. I think the next thing that would happen for the woman would be worse than the initial intent and after the rage subsided over the boobytrapped vagina, the rape would happen anyway.

  17. I would love to take up some of these points with the makers of the device – because you are quite correct that the rape (penetration) will still occur and could also encourage more violence.
    Unless you wear a large sign saying I wear Rapex – or beware of the teeth – ie proclaim and advertise LOUDLY – it is going to happen anyway.
    I guess in some way it might prevent a serial rapist from going on to rape others ?

  18. I will respond to the fake boobs comment in email.
    That definition is one of the reasons why the new law is being so heavily challenged.
    Also if you ask the majority of professional pornographers why they make pornography – it is to make money !

  19. Hi Nicola!
    I think the only way to get the thing to work is total surprise on the part of the rape victim who would then allow have a small window of opportunity to hit the rapist over the head with a blunt object — but are all rapes so easy to predict and plan for?
    Advertising a Toothy Vagina seems to me to offer a challenge to encourage its defeat in truly unfortunate ways.

  20. Nicola!
    Now you have everyone thinking you’re sending me pictures of your naughty bits in email! Ummmm… yes, please! Ha! :mrgreen:
    I’m sure some could make a case that anyone who wears a provocative bikini on a public beach is out to make a profit as well. 😉

  21. I guess if it locks on to the offending part – and the female can disengage – it could be used in conjunction with Mace spray. (One would have thought that the Mace spray should be used as a first line of defense though).

  22. You will be relieved to hear that there are no pictures of my naughty bits in existence !
    “I’m sure some could make a case that anyone who wears a provocative bikini on a public beach is out to make a profit as well.”
    I think that could almost be a whole post in itself.

  23. No naughty bits! Harumph! 😉
    You should write that up bikini idea for your blog! It’s funny how if the aerolas and the “front piece” are covered just a tiny bit — you’re not nude.
    Everything else can be bare — including the butt and its crack, and you’re considered clothed!

  24. David,
    you’re right, the solution is not without its flaws. it’s the same reason i think that capital punishment for rape is not a good idea because it needlessly endangers the victim’s life. after all, if the perp is going to be hanged either ways wouldn’t he then compound rape with murder and increase his chances of escaping the law?

  25. I apologize for the confusion! I was looking for an avatar and lo and behold saw your photo of the “toothy vagina.” I just had to laugh.
    Hence, my silly, smart alecky post.
    I’ll endeavor to post a more serious commentary next time around.

  26. This, is a shocking turn of events!

    A man who was accused of sexually assaulting a fellow houseguest on Big Brother Africa 2 won the show’s prize, and the woman he allegedly assaulted came in second. Richard Bezuidenhout from Tanzania placed first, while Nigerian Ofunneka Molokwu placed second.
    Late last month, married houseguest “Bezuidenhout lay down next to the comatose young woman [Molokwu] and penetrated her vagina with his fingers. He carried on despite the pleas of another female housemate for him stop. Under the law in South Africa — where, on average, a woman is sexually assaulted every 40 seconds — such an act constitutes rape,” The First Post reported at the time. Eventually, “the producers of the show did intervene, sending paramedics into the house and cutting the live feed. Bezuindehout, defending his sexual behaviour in a show that has featured copious nudity, recently told his housemates, ‘Well, this is Africa.’”

    http://www.realityblurred.com/realitytv/archives/international_big_brothers/2007_Nov_14_africa_2_winner