Vagina loquens  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Vagina loquens (Latin for talking vagina), is a tradition in literature, dating back to the medieval folklore motif of the "talking cunt". These tales usually involve vaginas talking due to the effect of magic or charms, and often admitting to their unchastity. Another tradition is a vagina that acquires the power of speech to play the role of informant and reveal a history of previous lovers.


Probably the first instances of the motif are in the medieval fabliau Le Chevalier qui faisoit parler les cons et les culs in which both the vagina and the anus are charmed to speak the truth,and in the German Schwank Der Rosendorn. During the Enlightenment, its most famous use was by Diderot in Les bijoux indiscrets (1748).

In American literature, a talking vagina is featured in the Ozark folktale The Magic Walking Stick (collected in Pissing in the Snow, and Other Ozark Folktales), in which vaginas are made to act as informants. The taking vagina theme is the central trope of The Vagina Monologues.

In the twentieth century, the motif was taken cruelly to its apex by William Burroughs's Naked Lunch (1959), although there the vagina was replaced by an anus.

In film, it has been explored in Pussy Talk (1975) and in Marquis (1989). In that latter film, it is rather the penis of the Marquis who does the speaking.


The tale is classified as AT 1391 or Every Hole to Tell the Truth in the Aarne-Thompson classification system, belonging to the category Anecdotes and Jokes, The Foolish Wife and Her Husband. It is usually coupled with motif H451.

See also

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