Vanilla flower

Credit: B. Navez, licensed under Wikimedia Commons

I once heard the term ‘vanilla sex’ used as a term of mild abuse, as though those of us satisfied with love simply expressed between bodies were somehow missing out compared with those who like encounters involving various types of equipment.

I do not wish to pass a negative judgement on anyone who enjoys anything, no matter how strange, as long as it does not harm or coerce others. Each to his or her own. However I thought I might point out just how sexy vanilla is.

Look at this cross-section of the vanilla flower (this is taken from Wikipedia, and by clicking on the image you should be able to see the original larger version).

Notice how the inner part of the flower resembles a vagina with the labia actually labelled on the picture as labia (the picture label is ‘labellum’ which means ‘little labium,’ the singular form of ‘labia’).

The part labelled ‘stigma’ is the part that receives the pollen. Notice it is in the upper part of the vagina-like opening of the flower, just where the most sensitive part of the vagina is in a woman. Of course this is co-incidence, but it is very poetic.

The flower also has a male part, which is labelled in this diagram as the anther. The anther looks remarkably like a clitoris. This is where the pollen comes from, but the flower does not pollinate itself. Flowers do not exist for solitary joy. There is a membrane separating the male from the female parts.

In order for the flower to be pollinated, to make seeds for the next generation of vanilla plants (or to make vanilla pods to flavour our ice-cream), a Mexican bee has to come into the flower bearing pollen from another vanilla flower somewhere else.

Thus, unlike us, flowers love at a distance, and is the bee that penetrates, carrying their love back and forth.