ye olde vagine

700 Years Before The Vagina Monologues, There Was the Vagina Dialogue

Give the people what they want (vagina verse). Photo: Francis G. Mayer/Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

In an ever-expanding sea of writings for you to read, one category remains a perennial fave: vagina verse. Do not attempt to dispute this claim because it is a True Fact. Evidence: Medievalists have determined that an old-timey poem chronicling a woman’s conversation with her undercarriage is actually 200 years older than previously believed. It was actually penned in 1300, not 1500, further entrenching its status as the mother of all evergreen content.

According to the Guardian, a researcher found a snippet of a famous piece of early erotica — “Der Rosendorn,” or “The Rose Thorn” — in Austria’s Melk Abbey library. Academics are reportedly “excited” (heh) about the discovery, roughly 60 lines on a wisp of parchment, which the Guardian says “rewrites the history of sexuality in medieval literature.” And as this Austrian publication notes, it’s still “making people blush” today, even at 700 years old.

“The Rose Thorn” has reportedly been cast as a precursor to The Vagina Monologues, and according to the woman who uncovered the clip — Christine Glaßner, of the Institute of Medieval Research at Austria’s Academy of Sciences — it’s an “incredibly clever” piece of writing. The poem pits a woman (specifically, a young virgin) in a battle of wits against her own vagina. Her argument: Men value her good looks, making them more important (in what I have must assume is a husband hunt) than her situation downstairs. The genitals’ argument: Stop being so vain, and also recognize who’s really bringing the pleasure here. In a bonkers twist, the debate escalates to a rupture in the woman’s friendship with her body, but the pair mend fences after concluding that they are “better together,” per the Guardian.

Say what you will about that basic premise (personally, I would say who are these trash men and why do you want them), but Glaßner contends that the poem handily “demonstrates that you cannot separate a person from their sex.” Nor can you separate humans from their beloved sex poems. Give the people what they want! Give the people whimsical stories about talking vaginas.

Anyway, Here’s Some 700-Year-Old Erotica