I Love It When You Touch My Nubis

According to a U.K. poll, 45 percent of male university students said they could “confidently” label a part of the female anatomy that doesn’t exist.

HealthIn Depth
I Love It When You Touch My Nubis
Photo:Getty Images (Getty Images)

Imagine for a moment: Two college students are canoodling in their dorm room. Their sweaty bodies are smashed up against each other in a cursed XL twin bed, as one slowly inches a hand into his partner’s underwear. He begins feeling around—tepid and unsure, but polite—as he waits to find the secret spot, the pleasure button…where he knows how to give her what she likes. Finally, he’s got it, and he applies more pressure, while whispering softly, “Don’t you like when I touch your nubis, baby?” “God, my nubis loves you,” she sighs.

You and I both know that a nubis is not a real part of a vagina-haver’s anatomy. But a shockingly substantial portion of British youth not only believe that the nubis exists, but that it’s a body part they could pretty easily identify. That’s according to a new poll Vice published on Thursday, which showed that 45 percent of male students said they could “confidently” label a “nubis” if given a diagram of a female reproductive system. That means almost half of male respondents believe that somewhere in or around the vagina lies a “nubis,” though whether they think it’s clitoral-shaped, vulva-shaped, or just a microscopic G-spot of sorts was unclear. (To be fair, 31 percent of young women also said they knew what the “nubis” was.)

The survey, conducted by market research company Savanta, was commissioned by HarperCollins to accompany the February paperback release of Losing It by Sophia Smith Galer. For her book, Galer interviewed 1,600 students across the UK, and their stories lend a personal touch to trends about young people’s declining sexual health and well-being knowledge.

Among a number of other questions related to sexual health and experiences, students were asked if they could identify the testes and clitoral glans (aka the clitoris). Eighty-nine percent of male students and 80 percent of the young women said they could “confidently” label the testes, while 73 percent of male students and 74 percent of young women said they’d be able to find the clitoral glans. More than half of the surveyed students said they did not have regular conversations about sexual health or sex ed with their parents. When it came to sexual harassment, one third of women thought U.K. universities “weren’t doing enough to tackle misogyny on campus,” while roughly a quarter of male students, horrifyingly, thought schools were “doing too much.”

This unfortunate trend is paralleled here in the United States, where female pleasure remains nebulous as ever; right-wing groups are launching harassment campaigns against sex ed teachers; and young men continue to be radicalized online by misogynistic figures.

Though this survey of course fed these bleak realities, it mostly just made me curious about what sort of anatomical diagram these students might draw. What other body parts might they invent? Herses? A pair of vulvinas? Labia Bora Bora? What might they identify as the clitoris, the belly button? The earlobes? The…anus? Hopefully, one day the kids might be alright, but for now, let’s turn this circus into a creativity contest, shall we?!

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