It was 1998, or something. Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold had divorced, and were fighting a war of words in the press. After Roseanne said something about Tom having a small penis, Tom responded thusly:
Even a 747 would look small if it was landing in the Grand Canyon.
Tom Arnold's zinger has echoed in my head like the roar of a jet engine in the Grand Canyon ever since. Back then, Arnold's insult was kind of shocking, especially since the idea of relative vagina size had never even occurred to me. It was the kind of thing that made me wonder: "Is this what guys talk about while we're talking about their dicks? And how on earth are we to know where we stand? I mean, we can't measure!!"
Lately though, the Big Vagina thing has become a bona fide trend. I'm not talking about crazy ladies who think vaginal surgery is all that's standing between themselves and happiness (Slut Machine bravely covered that trend gonzo-style) I'm talking about pop culture's recent willingness to go there more and more and, er, deeper and deeper. Witness this clip from an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm in which Larry's agent Jeff defends himself against a small-penis insult with a Big Vagina accusation (complete with its own hand gesture!).
And in August, I watched the Comedy Central Roast of Flava Flav with (admittedly several kinds of) sociological curiosity. If my figures are correct, not a single female participant escaped the Big Vagina insult, while the small penis comments were, well, impossible to find without a magnifying glass. (Sample: Greg Giraldo to Brigitte Nielsen: "Your pussy's so big Sylvester Stallone left his career in there.")
But, being both curious about the physical possibilities of the big vagina and whether anyone had ever gotten tagged with the insult herself, I asked a bunch of people. Only two people would cop to any knowledge of the subject, but both were enlightening in completely different ways.
Dude, Now 31:
I was a Peer Counselor at Planned Parenthood when I was 15, and I had to show folks how to insert a diaphragm (I used a translucent plastic vagina). But first I busted out the box that had all the sizes. And, from what I can remember, the sizes ranged from something in between a quarter and a half-dollar to a diaphragm roughly the size of a CD.
One guy I dated tried to convince me to let him fuck me up the ass by claiming my vadge was too loose for him to get off. I told him that was his problem, since it was plenty tight enough for me to get off.
So what does the Big Vagina trend say about our culture? Is it just more hostility toward women or could it actually be a good thing — after all, as Larry David ('s character) mentioned, men have suffered from small penis accusations for years with only expensive cars to comfort them. Could the cultural emergence of the Big Vagina actually be a sign of increasing equality?
Or have we just finally run out of dick jokes?