Product Review: The Cunt Coloring Book

For the longest time, I’ve hated the word ‘cunt’ and, apparently, I’m not alone in my dislike.

According to the plosiveness theory of offensive terms, the word cunt is liable to cause some people to shudder due to its specific combination of vowels and consonants. The result is a word that sounds harsh, and thus triggers a sense of dislike at the simple sound of it.

I’d like to think this is why I dislike the term so much, but there’s also the social aspect to the word cunt too. I grew up being told that cunt was the absolute worst word you could say to anyone—the most vulgar of all terms—and this is certainly in keeping with the general western approach to the term cunt (even though cock, and even the more synonymous twat are far less vilified).

This, coupled with my dislike of how the word sounded, meant I was more than ready to adopt cunt as a word I never uttered. When people used to say it around me I’d actively state ‘I hate that word’ and even now typing it causes me a similar knee-jerk reaction as the sound of nails on chalkboards. Curse my upbringing.

But I’ve recently been trying to reclaim the power of the word cunt (alongside many other feminists and sexual activists) and, as part of this, I picked up a copy of the Cunt Coloring Book.

The Cunt Coloring Book

Coloring books are officially ‘in’ right now, but the Cunt Coloring Book is progressive in more ways than one—having first been published back in 1975. Its main revival came in 2003, though, still well-ahead of the current coloring book trend.

The story behind the Cunt Coloring Book is almost as compelling as the book itself. Artist Tee Corinne decided that she wished to depict the many variations in the vulva (or, to use the book’s term with pride, cunt) back in 1973 with the intention of use among sex education groups. To quote Corinne directly, ‘I wanted the drawings to be lovely and informative, to give pleasure and affirmation.’

Corinne chose to use a coloring book as a method of education primarily because of our natural inclination towards creative and artistic learning in our younger years, which she thought so many people still need to embrace when it comes to their sexual anatomy—which many never fully learn to explore, and essentially approach as if learning about it for the first time in their adult years. This way of thinking may be a tad dated (I’d like to think our sex education has at least made some progress since the 70’s) but I still think it’s a great way to approach sex education.

Besides, even for the most flexible among us, the cunt is actually a pretty tricky thing to get a full-frontal view of. Many of us has never been wholly confronted with our cunt, and yet so many of us judge it harshly. The Cunt Coloring Book reframes our interaction with vulvas—enabling us to confront them face-to-labia, in their full glory, without any pretence nor negative social assumption.

Corinne has done an excellent job of wonderfully rendering each cunt included, and her collection consists of over three dozen cunts, each of which is brilliantly and beautifully unique.

The book also starts with an incredibly empowering opening, detailing some of Corinne’s thoughts on the cunt as an artistic and cultural icon. I won’t ruin this introduction (as it is truly wonderful), but I will tell you that it starts with the line ‘In the beginning we come from the cunt’ which was enough to easily get me reconsidering how I approached the word cunt.

And that’s what this coloring book really does—it reframes your approach to cunts, not just visually, but also linguistically, culturally, and emotionally. As you read the word cunt, and browse through this stunning dedication to people’s genitals without judgement nor shame, the insulting connotations thrust on to the word cunt seem to fade away and all that is left is its power and strength.

Fuck yeah, I have a cunt, and it’s worth coloring.

The bold lines that Corinne employs in her art style followed with more delicate dotting does well to convey the anatomical detail of each cunt depicted, while also making each seem like a compelling art project. I could honestly frame any one of these images as it and it would feel 100% complete.

It’s almost a shame to color the cunts in this wonderfully illustrated coloring book and I find myself contemplating buying two more of the Cunt Coloring Book so that I can keep my first copy unspoiled. This would allow me to have a stab at coloring cunts myself while also handing a copy over to someone else for a surprise project that will be gracing the pages of my site in the near future.

I terms of downsides? Well, I have found the Cunt Coloring Book a bit difficult to buy direct from book retailers. Usually it’s offered through an independent seller or offered second-hand. I certainly have no issue with being frugal but I just wish that such a wonderful resource was more readily available. But perhaps I should expect no less.

Final Thoughts

The Cunt Coloring Book is direct, unapologetic, and wonderfully challenging in its execution. It refuses to hold back in it depiction of the cunt and it does so with such eloquence that it can legitimately be considered as an art initiative in its own right.

If you have a copy of the Cunt Coloring Book I’d love to see what you’ve done with it. If not then nab yourself a copy if you can, then let me see it. Perhaps seeing your own attempts will give me the bravery needed to finally beat my nerves and bring color to my own collection of cunts.

Recommend to:

People who like coloring.

Femininsts and sex activists.

Cunt geeks.

Do Not Recommend to:

People who dislike coloring/art books.

People who prefer more abstract representations.

People who  prefer to buy brand spanking new.