When Sex Styles Don't Match: Christy and Erin

Dear Dr. Phil,

I am a 20-year-old college student. I have a problem using the proper terms for certain body parts. For example, for a man's reproductive organ, I use 'pee-pee,' and 'baby feeders' is the term I use for a woman's chest.

"I'm Christy's best friend, Erin. Why can't she just say boobs or nipples? It's not a big deal," says Erin.

I cringe and cover my ears when I hear the words like blank or blank. And the little cheese crackers? I can't say Cheese blank, I say Cheese Ins.

"Cheese Nips. It's on the box. Come on," says Erin.

My friends make fun of me, but I want to be a good role model.

"Dr Phil, flying down here, Christy could not say cockpit. She had to say C pit," explains Erin.

What should I do?

Clean Talker,


"This drives you crazy, right?" Dr. Phil asks Erin.

"Yes, it does. I've tried for the last two years to get her to say something like Cheese Nips — sorry — She just can't say it," says Erin.

"I just like to be a good role model and not talk like that, I guess, in front of people," Christy explains.

"Cheese Nips?" Dr. Phil questions.

"I know. I don't know, it just bothers me," she says.

"It seems like some things are, like, totally clinical. Does it bother you to say, like, ovaries?" asks Dr. Phil.


"You can say that? Let me hear it."

"Ovaries," says Christy. "Because I think, like, an oval."


"First, let me just say, I totally respect the fact that you object to vulgarity. And that is both a religious belief and a personal value for you, right? I totally respect that. You should embrace that. You shouldn't let anybody change that. I mean, if that's how you feel, that's who you are, and they just need to kiss your — knee — about it if they don't like it, right?" asks Dr. Phil.

"Yeah. All my friends make fun of me about it, but I haven't changed who I am about it," she says.

"I get that completely and totally. That's right, that's healthy, but it's getting a little out there when you can't say chicken breast," he says.

"I can say breast," says Christy.

Which Erin says is only a recent development for her friend.

Dr. Phil brings up Cheese Nips again. "It seems like it's so out of context. You can't say Cheese Nips because that's half of another word. And you can't say cockpit, which is part of an airplane, which just doesn't seem to be really vulgar to me. That's where you sit and fly."

"I know. I just don't like to have a dirty mouth," says Christy. "I don't understand how people can just go around and can say those words all the time."

"We're not talking about those words. We can talk about the F word, and all of these vulgarities that people use all the time. That's not what we're talking about. We're talking about Cheese Nips! We're talking about the place where pilots sit to fly the airplane. My point is that you seem to be kind of blurring the context. That can be kind of dysfunctional," says Dr. Phil.

He continues, "What I'm saying is embrace your values totally. Don't let anybody change you, and I agree with you completely. But you're blurring the context, because you're even identifying half words that have a completely different meaning, and that could really cripple you in your communications. And if you model that for your children? See, I think one of the things you do when you start having children is you teach them the anatomically correct names for the body parts, so they don't grow up and be a full-grown adult saying, 'pee-pee.' Because that is kind of a non-descriptive term, and it seems like you're not separating the context."