The closer I got to my book tour (which I’m on now! Hello, Chicago!) for Whatís Up Down There? Questions Youíd Only Ask Your Gynecologist If She Was Your Best Friend, the more resistance I faced from those who think weíre better off not talking about vaginas. If youíre one of those people who thinks vaginas are best kept quiet, this post is for you. Hereís an example from my email box.
I do not get the whole Vagina Talk thing.
I didnít understand Vagina Monologues. I can say ďvaginaĒ but really have no reason to do so. I am an entire person, not just a vagina. I think talking about vaginas actually takes away from the fact that we are women, we are entire beings of emotion and intelligence. So I donít think we should focus on vaginas.
I am a very open person regarding sex, and have I raised 3 daughters to do the same. We have discussed sexual preferences, even such things as anal intercourse. But I donít understand all the fuss. I am a woman, and I enjoy sex, but I can be all that I can be without standing up and shouting the word vagina.
So why not talk about vaginas?
When I got this letter, I spent an hour writing a loooooong response, which Iíll abbreviate for you here. Basically, I think we must talk about vaginas because we should talk about all of our body parts. We talk openly and without shame about our big toes, our eyeballs, our elbows, and our belly buttons. So why not talk about vaginas?
But thereís an even more important reason. Unlike the arm or the pinkie finger or the nose, the vagina carries with it a lot of baggage. Vaginas give us unique joys and sorrows as women. We birth our children through them, have mindblowing orgasms with them, and all too often suffer terribly because of them. Way too many women have suffered traumas in the vagina. Rape, sexual molestation, abortion, painful sex, even traumatic experiences at the gynecologistís office, can come back to haunt you if you donít talk about them. You may wind up with chronic pelvic pain or cervical cancer or a herpes outbreak that just wonít go away. And you may be suffering emotionally in other ways that you donít even associate with your vaginal health and experience. When you ignore your vagina and keep silent about it, physically or emotionally, things fester.