For a few weeks now, the media has been in a tizzy over a product launched by an Indian company - the Clean and Dry Intimate Wash for women that promises to not only disinfect, but also 'brighten' one's vagina. The feminists and the nationalists and the easily-offended are all up in arms against the willful colonization of the dark-skinned vagina. Why, they ask, would Indians brighten their vagina(e)? What, they want to know, is wrong with brown, black or wheatish vaginae, completely ignoring the forces of demand and supply that likely dictated the company's market research. I'm undecided on the moral repercussions of the free market, but this piece is dedicated to the average Indian male who is now faced with the quandary of how to approach his woman with this wonder-drug without getting his head chewed off.
Long before my first kiss, or my first girlfriend, I had learnt all there was to learn about women from my family. When your father is away for work during most of your boyhood, and you spend all of your time holed up at home with one angry mother, two scheming sisters, and a bevy of supporting roles played by women in various stages of life, ranging from Nubile Maid to Spinster Aunt, you tend to make observations and draw conclusions that will serve you well for the rest of your life.
I was surrounded by just about every female trope ever conceived in cinema (admittedly by male scriptwriters who haven't had a date in years): from manic pixie dream girl (Sis Junior who would only wear, eat from and sleep on polka-dotted material, and preferred roller skates to using her feet) to prom queen (I'll never forget the sight of the school football captain asleep in our guava tree, holding a poster he had made to express his love for Sis Senior) to Jane Austen heroine (sensible, well-read Sheila, loyal friend to Sis Senior and always the second-most beautiful girl in the room, who finally married an actual Prince- albeit of some unheard of tribe in the North East- whom she met in dental school in Shillong) to ball-busting career woman (I'm sorry, Mom.)
As unique and different as we all like to think we are, the truth is women really are all the same. As are men. No woman recollects how scary and unreasonable she is during her monthly downtime. All men forget drunken episodes of public urination and shameless chasing of tail the next morning (if it even happened, pfft!) Women think mealtime should always be followed by cleaning-of-dishes. Men don't. Only men understand why watching-sport-on-TV is never complete without the commentary on full blast. Women think it's reasonable to hit mute, and natter on about babies, or Twilight. During a quarter-final!
Let's face it, the male-female twain shall never meet. The trick -as I learned early on- is simply to approach the
fairer other sex carefully, and with lowered expectations, from the very beginning, and to treat all women with the utmost respect at all times, like you would a vicious Doberman. I also find it useful to remember two oft-heard sentiments from my childhood. "Do unto others as you wish to be done unto you," said Spinster Aunt every time I requested she change the channel to a program not about God. Or as my mother always said: "come back when you've pushed three bawling brats out your end."
I naturally combined the spirit of their words into a sort of mantra on how to handle women. When you've been seeing each other a while for instance, and your girlfriend starts slacking off in the sexy underwear department (the elastic starts to sag, too many granny-pants days in a week, that furry, electrostatic collection of lint at the crotch), I make a trip to the nearest Agent Provocateur, pick up some edible thongs and a peek-a-boo bra, and simply slap them on yours truly, dim the lights and wait. (This is almost certainly more effective if your girlfriend walks in without her mother in tow.)
Sometimes, when dinner's not been fantastic a couple of nights in a row, I gallantly pick up my favorite sea food pizza on the way back from the pub. She may be allergic to shrimp, but at least now she knows her cooking's not been hitting the spot lately. We've just communicated. It's also good to use your imagination in these situations. Once when the ex was dragging her foot a little on the old body hair upkeep, not only did I do a little manscaping of my own but I also gave Pommy a buzzcut. Nothing says "wax that thing" like a bald Pomeranian.
Coming back to the issue at hand- vagina brightening- I can tell you that I have selflessly applied the above mantra to it with spectacular results. First of all, no woman should be told just what complexion her vagina should be. In fact, women should not be told how anything should be, period. They like to make their own (and your) decisions. However, if you happen to be in the kind of healthy, non-abusive relationship one hears about in love songs and Hallmark cards and stuff, your girlfriend may just be amenable to a little suggestion from you every now and again.
Still, you cannot just bring it up in conversation like you would with
men reasonable adults. No, you've got to play the "as you wish to be done unto you" card: buy yourself a tube of Clean and Dry Intimate Wash, wet and towel-dry your face, and apply product carefully on your lips using your index finger. Proceed to regale your woman with that rarest of rituals in the Indian bedroom: cunnilingus. Not only does this increase levels of satisfaction all round, but it also keeps your lips from chaffing, and considerably lightens nicotine stains if you're a smoker. I hope this helps.
Last word: I strongly recommend that you consult with the lady in question before you fire up a cigarette while you're at her service.