Sex, Honestly: Listen To Your Vag
I often get asked during interviews what I wish I’d been taught about my body when I was growing up. I usually reply that I wish I’d been told it was OK to say no if someone wanted sex, and that answer is definitely high on the list, but I have yet to drop the #1 thing I’d wished someone told me: Always wipe from front to back.
Take a second to be all, “Ewww, gross,” and then really think about it. Unless someone teaches a child how to clean their body, they’ll just do whatever they get used to doing. That’s why parents have to use those little sucker balls to pull the snot out of us until they use some creative magic to make us pretend we’re elephants. So naturally, moving around a lot without a strong female presence led to not being taught what to do with my vag.
We ladies can be pretty weird about our naturally given sex parts. I’m glad our ovaries aren’t dangling outside of us in a skin sack because then we’d have one more body part to feel embarrassed about and buy creams to make look, feel and smell just right. While the penis is often celebrated and shaped in a way that makes it easy to structure buildings in likeness of, the vagina just seems to be a pocket; a cave; something akin to Mary Poppins’ purse in the way it can accommodate large objects. (I’m talking babies, not umbrellas.)
I lived with discomfort over my vagina’s existence for most of my life. As a woman who can make a joke of anything, vagina jokes still made my cheeks hot. In the last few years I have gradually found myself becoming more settled with my entire body and I am making peace with that one special part of me that seems the hardest to talk about. In this peace I have discovered that the vagina is a very wise organ! Here’s what my vagina has taught me:
Everyone Is Beautiful
Somewhere we got this idea that all vulvas should be pink, small, smooth, and paired with symmetrical labia. This has contributed to a lot of lights-out sex and fear of letting ourselves enjoy oral sex. Well to that I say, “No more!” Our vaginas are pretty and each variation should be celebrated.
If Something Seems Fishy, You Should Check It Out
I have never been a fan of tuna jokes as applied to feminine odor, and that is probably why I have hesitated to admit that from time to time my vagina has smelled just plain gross! Ordinarily there are changes in discharge and scent depending on the time of the month or even what you’ve been eating. But sometimes, there is just nothing normal about the stink lines coming from your front butt. I have learned that our bodies are trying to tell us through basic communication that there is something that needs to be fixed. Either we’re responding to something simple like the fabric of our underwear, those skinny jeans that are a little too skinny, or there is some sort of bacterial upset happening. In every case, when things aren’t so fresh it means that something needs to change.
As many times as I have heard that the vagina is a self-cleaning organ, making the transition from scrubbing it out with a Brillo pad to just gently giving it a rub down in the shower has taken far too long. Now that we finally know better than to douche, we also need to stop using soaps, powders, and sprays on a part of our bodies that has such a delicate balance to maintain. Some women are more sensitive than others and even using perfumed bubble baths will cause itching and upset. Even scented tampons and toilet paper are a huge no-no. Women, keep it gentle and chemical free. It’s your vagina’s way of helping the environment.
What’s Inside Matters
It took me 27 years to discover that I had a G-spot. Admittedly I had some help. Before that I hadn’t really had too much interest in the inside of my vagina. But finding that spot was like discovering a nugget of gold in a riverbed. Soon I wanted to hire a team of entrepreneurial-minded workers to get in there and pan for more sensitivity. It’s great to know where your clit is, but ladies, the inside of your vag cav has plenty to offer as well.
It Is Important To Take A Me-Day!
Periods happen for a reason, and even though they suck they sure as hell force us to pay attention to our vaginas. Once upon a time women were treated like delicate invalids when they bled. With feminism came the “just plug up the hole and get back to the bra burning rally.” We really need to find a balance, though, so we can accept that it is OK to give ourselves a little bit of rest once a month and not feel guilty over it.
See? Pretty smart stuff can be learned from the land down under! So, girls, let’s take a few seconds right now, wherever you may happen to be, to give your vagina a little low-five and say, “Thank you. I love you. You’re so cool.”
By Nikol Hasler
Nikol is the co-creator, writer and host of Midwest Teen Sex
Show, a provocative and frank mix of comedy and sexual information for
teens. She lives in Los Angeles and is a freelance writer whose work
has been in publications such as The A.V. Club, RH Reality Check and
Alternative Press Magazine.
(Photo via flickr)