My intention with this piece is to open up dialogue, educate women, and encourage us all to know, love, and celebrate our bodies. Enjoy the info, and please, pass it on!
- The only cancer a Pap smear screens for is cervical cancer. It doesn’t check your ovaries, your uterus, or your colon.
(What is HPV? An OBGYN explains here.)
- How much vaginal discharge you make varies widely. Some normal, healthy women spew loads of discharge and need to wear panty liners every day. Others are bone dry. As long as you are not at risk of STDs and you have no itching, burning, or odor, you’re probably just fine. If in doubt, see your gynecologist.
- Every vulva is different and special. Some lips hang down. Some are tucked up neatly inside. All are beautiful. Don’t even think about labiaplasty or “vaginal rejuvenation surgery.” You’re perfect just the way you are.
- Most women don’t have orgasms from intercourse alone. The clitoris is where the action is. Most women who do orgasm during sex have figured out how to with hitting the sweet spot, either from positioning or from direct stimulation of the clitoris with fingers.
- If you’re hunting for your G Spot, be patient. Stimulating this area usually requires more time and deeper stimulation than most people think. Try using a finger in a “come hither” motion to stimulate the front wall of the vagina, where the G spot lives. If you can’t find it, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Many can’t- and it’s definitely not critical to having a fulfilling romp in the hay.
- How you choose to decorate is completely personal. Waxing, shaving, tattooing, piercing, or simply going au natural. It’s your choice, and don’t let anyone else pressure you into doing something that doesn’t resonate with you.
- The vagina is like a bicep. Use it or lose it. If you don’t have a partner, pick up a battery-operated boyfriend to help keep things healthy as you age. But don’t worry- it’s usually not an issue until after menopause, when fragile vaginal tissue can scar and shrink. If properly tended, your vagina will be able to pleasure you until the day you leave this life.
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- While men do pee out of the penis, women do not pee out of the vagina. Know your anatomy. There are three holes and countless other sexy structures. Find your way around on the Pretty Pink Pussy Tour. Get a hand mirror and go to town.
- The vagina doesn’t connect to your lung. If you lose something in there, don’t worry. Reach in all the way and pull it out. Do not- I repeat- do not, go hunting for whatever you’ve lost with a pair of plyers. If you think you put something in there and you can’t find it, chances are good that it’s simply not there. Think of your vagina as being like a sock. If you lose a banana in a sock…it stays in the sock.
- Yes, it’s true- your vagina can fall out. Not to belabor the sock metaphor, but it can turn inside out just like a worn out sweat sock and hang between your legs as you get older. But don’t fret- this condition- called pelvic prolapse- can be fixed.
- There’s no such thing as being revirginized. Once you lose it, it’s gone. Just so you know.
- You can catch sexually transmitted diseases even if you use a condom. Sorry to break it to you, but skin of the vulva can still touch infectious skin of the scrotum- and BAM! Warts. Herpes. Molluscum contagiosum. So pick your partners carefully.
- The vagina doesn’t need to be douched. As Eve Ensler says, ““My vagina doesn’t need to be cleaned up. It smells good already. Don’t try to decorate. Don’t believe him when he tells you it smells like rose petals when it’s supposed to smell like pussy. That’s what they’re doing – trying to clean it up, make it smell like bathroom spray or a garden. All those douche sprays – floral, berry, rain. I don’t want my pussy to smell like rain. All cleaned up like washing a fish after you cook it. I want to taste the fish. That’s why I ordered it.” Amen, sister.
- Menstrual blood is supposed to clot, so don’t freak out. Usually, what you think are clots are just pieces of uterine lining. As long as you’re not losing too much blood, small clots during your period need not concern you. Clots are just nature’s way of keeping you from bleeding too much. Blood is supposed to clot. It’s when the clots are large or you start to hemorrhage that we start to worry.
- Lots of vaginas need help lubing up during sex, especially as you get older. Don’t be afraid to slick on some lubricant like K-Y Jelly or Astroglide (coconut oil is a great natural lubricant, but don’t blame me if you find yourself hankering for a post-coital macaroon).
- Vaginal farts (some call them “queefs” or “varts”) happen to almost all women at one time or another, especially during sex or other forms of exercise. Don’t be embarrassed. You’re perfectly normal.
- Vaginas stretch out when you have babies vaginally. It’s natural but it can leave you feeling a bit loosey goosey. Kegel exercises (contracting the muscles of the vagina) really do help. To do them, practice stopping the stream of urine when you pee. There- that’s the muscle! Now contract and relax it 10 times for three or more sets several times per day.
- Some women do ejaculate during orgasm, but you’re normal if you don’t. The controversial “female ejaculation” most likely represents two different phenomena. If it’s a small amount of milky fluid, it likely comes from the paraurethral glands inside the urethra. If it’s a cup, it’s probably pee. Many times, it may be a little bit of both. But don’t stress out about peeing on yourself. Put a towel under you and surrender to the experience.
- Sex shouldn’t hurt, but it does for many women. If you’re one of those women, see your doctor. So many women are too embarrassed to say anything, so they suffer in silence. There are things we can do to help.
- Safe sex (or even just orgasm alone) is good for you. Benefits include lowering your risk of heart disease and stroke,[i] reducing your risk of breast cancer,[ii] blostering your immune system,[iii] helping you sleep,[iv] making you appear more youthful,[v] improving your fitness,[vi] Regulating menstrual cycles, [vii][viii] relieving menstrual cramps,[ix] relieving chronic pain,[x][xi][xii] reducing the risk of depression,[xiii]lowering stress levels,[xiv][xv] and improving self esteem.[xvi] So go at it, girlfriends!
Sources listed below:
[i] Ebrahim, S., et al. (2002). “Sexual Intercourse and Risk of Ischaemic Stroke and Coronary Heart Disease: The Caerphilly Study.” Journal of Epidemiology Community Health, 56, 99–102.
[ii] Lę, M.G., et al. (1989). “Characteristics of Reproductive Life and Risk of Breast Cancer in a Case-Control Study of Young Nulliparous Women.” Journal of Clinical Epidemiology, 42(12), 1227–1233.
[iii] Charnetski, Carl J. & Francis X. Brennan. (2001). Feeling Good Is Good For You: How Pleasure Can Boost Your Immune System and Lengthen Your Life. Emmaus: Rodale Press, Inc.
[iv] Ellison, Carol Rinkleib. (2000). Women’s Sexualities. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
[v] Weeks, David & Jamie James. (1998). Secrets of the Superyoung. New York: Berkley Books
[vi] Ellison, Carol Rinkleib. (2000). Women’s Sexualities. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
[vii] Cutler, Winnifred B. (1991). Love Cycles: The Science of Intimacy. New York: Villard Books.
[viii] Burleson, Mary H., et al. (1991). “Heterosexual Activity and Cycle Length Variability: Effect of Gynecological Maturity.” Physiology & Behavior, 50, 863–866.
[ix] Ellison, Carol Rinkleib. (2000). Women’s Sexualities. Oakland: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
[x] Kaplan, Helen Singer. (1984, October). “Desire ? Why and How It Changes.” Redbook, 58. As cited in Komisaruk & Whipple, 1995.
[xi] Shapiro, D. (1983). “Effect of Chronic Low Back Pain on Sexuality.” Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality, 17, 241–245. As cited in Komisaruk & Whipple, 1995.
[xii] Whipple, Beverly & Barry R. Komisaruk. (1985). “Elevation of Pain Threshold by Vaginal Stimulation in Women.” Pain, 21, 357–367.
[xiii] Catania, Joseph A. & Charles B. White. (1982). “Sexuality in an Aged Sample: Cognitive Determinants of Masturbation.” Archives of Sexual Behavior, 11(3), 237–245.
[xiv] Charnetski, Carl J. & Francis X. Brennan. (2001). Feeling Good Is Good For You: How Pleasure Can Boost Your Immune System and Lengthen Your Life. Emmaus: Rodale Press, Inc.
[xv] Weeks, David J. (2002). “Sex for the Mature Adult: Health, Self-Esteem and Countering Ageist Stereotypes.” Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 17(3), 231–240.
[xvi] Hurlbert, David Farley & Karen Elizabeth Whittaker. (1991). “The Role of Masturbation in Marital and Sexual Satisfaction: A Comparative Study of Female Masturbators and Nonmasturbators.” Journal of Sex Education & Therapy, 17(4), 272–282.