TED Conversations

Morton Bast

editorial coordinator, TED


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What metaphors for sex are used in your country?

In his talk, sexuality educator Al Vernacchio laments the flawed metaphor that many Americans use to talk about sex: baseball. Instead of this regulated and competitive framework, he suggest that we think about sex like pizza -- a communicative and collaborative experience.

The baseball metaphor is indeed very common in the US. So I wondered, what metaphors for sex are commonly used in other countries or in other languages? Are there Americans, too, who grew up with a different metaphor? And what else besides pizza would be a helpful new one?

Share some funny or interesting euphemisms for sex from your own culture!

Topics: culture metaphor sex

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    Jul 15 2013: As a feminist, and also a mother of four grown children I am questioning on the one hand; why we need sexual metaphors to begin with however; also understand that the topic of sexuality in any form may be uncomfortable for some and even more so if discussing needs/wants with a partner or parent sharing information with a child. I think that it is not only healthy but also provides a common backdrop if we were to address sexuality and all it entails in a direct, age appropriate manner. I think that the "baseball" metaphor is not only old but archaic in concept. Just an opinion here.
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      Jul 15 2013: There is conduct only for actions. Thoughts are free. It's silly to dab a thought as dirty, lustful, improper or gross. Metaphors are the beacons of that freedom, just shrouded.

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