Couple this lack of information for decades with a lingering fear to look at and/or explore our private parts and it is easy to see how so many women have had so little access or experience with their pleasure centers. In my new favorite book: Women’s Anatomy of Arousal, author Sheri Winston (a midwife for 20 years) describes the layers of female sexual anatomy as a journey to a sacred temple. She also provides clear hand-drawn images that she did herself, which show both the separate parts and their relationship to each other. Reflecting on how the world would be different for millions of us had we all been privileged to her compassionate and straightforward anatomy lessons is like imagining a true revolution in self love.
The truth is that building a working vocabulary for our most intimate physiology is foundational to developing the more expressive capacity of our language to communicate about what feels good when, how and where. Acquiring the terms that define the physiology of the visible vaginal parts- the mons pubis, labia major and minor and clitoral head and hood is the starting point to fully grasping the erectile wonders of those same body parts and their connection to the complex internal organs they arouse. Sheri devotes an entire chapter to understanding the intricate physiological cause and effects that transform arousal into orgasm for both women and men. It is a fascinating anatomy lesson for both genders to recognize how our arousal mechanisms are similar in capacity while having intriguing differences in location that make all the difference to our experience.
Allowing oneself the privilege of understanding one of the most complex and highly enervated areas of the body is one way to access the pleasure capacity we are all born with. Giving both voice and names to the vagina might just be one of the most sexually respectful acts we can commit in our lifetime and is sure to awaken your curiosity and capacity for pleasure.