The best response I have ever seen to this often uncomfortable question comes straight from Sex and the City
and a Portuguese dictionary.
The word is boceta, with a soft "c." I first ran across this term on the episode of Sex and the City where Samantha decides to have a relationship with Maria (Sonia Braga), a Brazilian artist, lesbian, and self-professed "relationship person" who finds Samantha irresistable. For the rest of the episode, Samantha delights in explaining to Carrie and company all the new things she is learning with Maria, including the Portuguese word boceta, slang for female genitalia (which is more than just the vagina).
While Samantha's on-screen relationship with Maria didn't last long, something about that word, boceta, just appealed to me. It's short enough to use easily, remains largely unknown in English-speaking countries, yet manages to sound vaguely feminine.
But this isn't the only foreign term you can use for female genitalia. In fact, switching to a foreign language helps eliminate the often negative connotations or sounds associated with English terminology (I'm not going to get into a whole Vagina Monologues discussion here, but there really aren't many good words available in English). Take your pick:
- almeja (literally, "clam")
- chochita mia ("my little pussy")
- concha (Latin American Spanish)
- ascona (Galician Spain)
- papo (Venezuelan)
- boba (child's term)
- vaina (Dominican Republic)
- chatte (literally translates to "female cat")
- moule (literally translates to "mussel")
- asoko (literally translates to "that place over there")
- manko, omanko (derogatory slang)
- boji (Korean)
- ihir (Arabic)
- tenki (Farsi)
- yoni (Hindi)
- umuswati (Kinyarwanda)
- squaw (Algonquin)