Slacktory

Moist man

It’s time to back off “Moist.” It’s a word so gleefully loathed that its enemies have a Facebook group: “I HATE the word MOIST!” But why?

Somehow, in my gut, I sense puritanical, societal misogyny (read: fear of vagina). I took a quick survey amongst friends. When asked “What first comes to mind when you hear the word ‘Moist’?,” responses ranged from adolescent chuckles, to blushing, to blatant crotch-grabbing.

So OK, Moist makes us think of lady parts. So what? If we’re gonna spend time knocking ugly words that are associated with vaginas, where’s all the “labia” hate? Moist sounds melodious compared to “vulva”.

Even more shocking, it seems that Moist garners the most hate from women. I have no less than 5 female Facebook friends that are members of the aforementioned haters group. Intelligent, free-thinking women.

Ben Zimmer (editor at Visual Thesaurus) claims that the diphthong (there’s a slutty word, “diphthong”) may be the problem. Other hated words like “groin” and “ointment” share the ‘oi’ sound. But this is a failure of inductive reasoning. Plenty of other pleasant words (voice, anoint, trapezoid, doily) share the same diphthong. No, it’s all about vaginaphobia. My point is further supported by the fact that other prime hated words include “creamy” and “panties.” My ladyfriends themselves showed universal loathing for all three words.

That’s pretty misplaced hatred. Moist lady-parts are nearly always going to be a pleasant thing. It’s good news for everyone when things are slippery down there.

Stop associating Moist with humidity and bad handshakes. Imagine the pleasant things Moist represents:

1. Cake, muffins, banana bread, and 99% of all other decent baked goods. Eat dry cake and then tell me you don’t love Moist.
2. The Dagobah System. It’s Yoda’s goddamn HOME. LUKE SKYWALKER trained there. He raised an X-WING.
3. Drinking a beer in a sauna. Or straight vodka in a Swedish sauna.
4. A sponge bath from Alexander Skarsgard. As Eric Northman, not as Christian Grey.
5. New Orleans. It’s about sweat, yes. But it’s sweating with beignets and French Colonial architecture.

So the next time you’re reaching for a pleasantly sexy adjective to describe a sultry late summer weather or Thanksgiving turkey breast, embrace the Moist. Right now, poor Moist is sitting over there in a mildewy corner, just waiting to be used in your succulent context. Indulge it. Rescue it. It’ll make you Moist.

Picture by Farel Dalrymple for “Moist: Humidity Rising” (click to issue 17 at bottom)

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