I learned the most wonderful thing yesterday. As if I could not love her any more, The Emma Thompson, Dame Emma Thompson, The Amazing Emma Thompson, wrote her tween daughter a sex guide.
I heard it yesterday on the podcast “My Dad Wrote A Porno,” and it must have just come out because yesterday when I googled the Dame’s sex guide, I found a few old pieces mentioning it, and this morning, it comes right up in the UK news.
During the podcast, her daughter read excerpts of the book, many of which I’m copying:
‘Can I start by saying one thing – I think sex is a really shiz word. It’s all s’s and x’s and sounds like a snake, not in a good way, and is hard and sibilant on the ear, and used to make me feel slightly queasy even just hearing it.
For the purpose of these early writings, I’m going to choose another word. In fact, I’m going to make one up. Shavoom.’
You know another word many women don’t like and many others are trying to reclaim? Cunt. Even in the reclaimed context, I don’t like it. But last night I read the word “scunt.” THAT I like. I’ll reclaim it that way.
Also, Ms. Thompson? Dame? Ma’am? Girlfriend? (How you refer to them?) May I please borrow your word shavoom?
And then, later in the book, she wrote
There are certain feelings to look out for, and in this patch of life, the really crucial feeling is the icky sense of unease we get when there is shavoomy stuff floating around that we are not comfortable with.
‘If anyone does anything, says anything, implies anything, shows anything, suggests anything that makes you feel ick, move away, get away, say no thank you, or even just no without the thank you, walk away because ick is an unbelievably useful emotion. Ick means no.’
HOLY SHIT YOU’RE FUCKING RIGHT AND THAT’S WHAT WE CALLED IT!
When I was in junior high, my best friend Bethany and I would talk about meeting a new boy. “Does he give you an icky?” Is something we always asked each other. If some boy gave us an icky, we didn’t go out with him ’cause there was something icky. I thought that was just us, but it sounds like we were not alone in feeling that! And to hear “the icky” articulated in such a way it so helpful.
I’m going to write a book for Wee One.
“You know, you can sometimes feel things in your loins you don’t feel in your heart, and you need to look at that. If you listen to what’s going on in your emotional language, you will be able to keep the sexual activities safe.”