Vaginatarian – Chelsey Clammer

She doesn’t know if eating this is okay.
She suspects she might be breaking the rules.
She is a vegetarian.
No living things inside her mouth.
However, she is going down on a woman for the first time, wondering if she would

still be able to call herself a vegetarian were she to eat a part of this living thing that is lying in front of her face. Could one be a cunt chomper and a vegetarian.
A moral dilemma.

Two years ago at the age of fifteen she decided to become a vegetarian, because of that one image she got in her head that one night while she was eating a hamburger: biting a cow’s ass. As in: tearing a good chunk of rump flesh away with her teeth.

And the cow’s ass bled.
And the raw hide was chewy.
And this is what we call a visceral image.
This visceral image of gnawing on animal flesh is what disgusted her. But, it is not

what made her a vegetarian. No, it was something else. That something else was another particular image that quickly segued from the eating of the cow’s ass scene: biting off a piece of human flesh.

Her father’s forearm, specifically.
There was no eating of the meat from that point on.
It is two years later. She is still a vegetarian. She is still not putting once-alive things near her mouth. But what is coming near her mouth now, at this point in time, is not a once-alive thing, but a currently alive thing and she wonders how this fact might change the rules. She’s on her stomach, on her bed, looking head-on at a crotch that is becoming increasingly less patient as each eyelash-length of a second blinks by and she’s still lying there, motionless, not knowing if she can morally dive in.


  • consummate relationship with girlfriend
  • unarguable proof of lesbian sexuality
  • please the girl—her first true love
  • forging into a sex life = being an adult


  • possible guilt upon eating
  • possible traumatic flashback of cow and human flesh-dining images
  • possible gateway activity to eating meat again

Three against four. The pros outweigh the cons.

She takes a deep breath, shifts her lips closer to her lover’s edibles. Pubic hair tickles the tip of her nose. And a salty, musky, no, let’s call it an intoxicating scent plumes into her. A waft of something irresistible.

Yes, it’s the scent that reels her in.

She decides: As long as I do not chew on or swallow anything down here I will still be a vegetarian.

Her tongue is there. Her mouth is there. And she begins to do to her girlfriend what she imagines would feel good to be done to her. Her girlfriend responds with gasps of positive feedback.

Yes, she’s a natural at this.

There are more mmmmms escaping from her girlfriend’s mouth. A rocking of the hips. A presence of sticky liquid. The images of bitten flesh momentarily sprint across the stage of her mind while she’s down there. She quickly shuffles them to the wings, re-focuses on the actual stage-front matter, and continues to concentrate on the task at tongue.

Her girlfriend spasms.
Her girlfriend screams.
Her girlfriend emits a sound that can only be described as animalistic.

Chelsey Clammer received her MA in Women’s Studies from Loyola University Chicago, and is currently enrolled in the Rainier Writing Workshop MFA program. She has been published in The Rumpus, Atticus Review, and The Nervous Breakdown among many others. Her essay “A Striking Resemblance” received an Honorary Mention for Water~Stone Review’s 2014 Judith Kitchen Award in Nonfiction. She has won many awards, most recently the Owl of Minerva Award 2014 from the women’s literary journal Minerva Rising. Clammer is the Managing Editor and Nonfiction Editor for The Doctor T.J. Eckleburg Review, as well as a columnist and workshop instructor for the journal. Her first collection of essays, There is Nothing Else to See Here, is forthcoming from The Lit Pub in 2015. You can read more of her writing at:

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