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Making Friends With Your Vagina

Sep 24, 2016

We have a strange relationship with that supremely beautiful and vital part of our anatomy- our vaginas.

It’s one of several incredible pleasure zones in your body, it plays an important role in the conception of a child, and its strength and flexibility can help you to actually bring your baby into the world. What’s not to like about it?

Yet we somehow think it’s disgusting, ugly and dirty. We believe there’s something wrong with the way we look ‘down there’. We’ve innocently listen to our parents, the media and social influence when they told us that we shouldn’t touch ‘down there’, that it’s unclean or that ‘good girls don’t do that’.

And so we absorb all of the rubbish we’ve been told over the years, and we end up feeling uncomfortable about our genitals. We neglect our own needs, feel too afraid to share our concerns when something isn’t quite right, and feel less empowered as human beings too.

Something must be done about our attitudes, before it’s too late.

What’s in a word?

What do you call your bits ‘down there’? Lady bits? Private parts? Nether regions? Lady garden? Girly bits? Front bum? Or perhaps even Oprah’s favourite ‘vajayjay’?

The truth is, most of us just don’t feel comfortable even uttering the word ‘vagina’. Despite the fact that it’s anatomically correct, we prefer to sugar-coat our language with cutesy phrases that have nothing to do with the real beauty power that lies in our pants.

It’s also highly unlikely that you’ve ever dared to take a mirror to explore what your genitals actually look like, much less felt comfortable touching the area.

But whilst we continue to have this attitude towards our vaginas, we are doing ourselves the greatest disservice.

We’re buying into the socially-skewed notion that men are allowed to talk about their genitals, but that it’s unladylike for us to do the same. We’re allowing ourselves to become victim to the gender inequalities that says men are allowed to experience pleasure, but us women are not. We’re denying a part of ourselves that is part and parcel of being born as a woman. And we are letting what is just a word stand between ourselves and optimal health.
 

We should make friends with our vaginas

Our vaginas are part of who we are as women. There can be no escaping this fact. And for as long as we’re too afraid to talk about ‘down there’ or use the correct name, and whilst we still feel critical and negative towards ourselves in this way, we’re allowing ourselves to become victims of this crazy society that increasingly accepts sexualisation in main-stream media, yet judges our right to breastfeed in public, or use the right words for our bodies.

As women, we must stand up and be part of the change.

We cannot continue to be victims like this and we must take back our control. We owe it to ourselves to reclaim our rights to feel pleasure and to feel whole as women.

Becoming familiar with our anatomy and willing to open up about it also has some really positive physical benefits too. It helps you spot when you might need check-up, and it helps improve your experience of childbirth and your recovery from it. Additionally, it helps you to work when you might be ovulating and so increase, or decrease your chances of getting pregnant (depending on which side of the fence you’re on). And it also helps you to enjoy sex more and feel more liberated to take control of your sexuality.

How to make friends with your vagina

There can be no two ways about it; if you want to become more comfortable with your body, and learn what is normal and what is not, you’ll need to take some time getting to know yourself. It can be quite an eye-opening journey and one which, as I’m sure you’ll agree, will transform your self-image and confidence.

Here’s the easiest way to do it:

Step #1: Educate yourself

To get started, take the time to educate yourself about the female anatomy, learn what everything is called, what it looks like and where it is all positioned in your pelvis. There are some excellent websites and even YouTube videos that can help you to do this. Also take a look at the excellent art exhibition ‘The Great Wall Of Vagina’ by Jamie McCartney so you can see how beautifully varied we all are.

Step #2: Learn what your genitals do

Now you’re familiar with your anatomy, it’s time to find out how it all works. This article provides a really useful insight.

You’ll find out interesting facts such as the fact that the position and shape of your cervix changes depending where you are in your monthly cycle, then again during the years during and after the menopause. You can actually see this in your own body if you follow the next tip…

Step #3: Explore your body

Next you need to explore your own body. Many women find this to be the hardest part of all, but it’s so very important. There’s no need to rush- you can take this as slowly as you need. It can be useful to follow these steps:

Fully clothed, place one hand on your heart and the other on your genitals. Take deep breaths and feel comfortable.

Take a small mirror and explore your vulva (your external genitals). Find where your vaginal opening is, your clitoris, and your inner and outer lips. Explore your curves, colours, fluids and textures. Take this step-by-step until you feel comfortable.

Lie down and place one finger at the opening to your vagina. Rest it there for a while and move on to exploring when you feel ready.
Get into a squatting position and locate your cervix. It’s right at the top of your vagina and feels much like the firm part at the end of your nose.

Step #4: Say the word!

Then all that’s left to do is say the word. Try it now: ‘VAGINA!’. Again, this is an anatomically-correct term for this part of your body and there is nothing dirty about it at all. You can do it!

It’s time to stop feeling scared of your own body and to start your new friendship with your vagina, your sexuality and what it means to be a woman. You might feel out of your comfort zone at times, and you’re likely to struggle along the way, but you can get to the point where you feel entirely comfortable with your own anatomy, physiology and sexuality.

Vaginas aren’t dirty. They are beautiful, amazing and powerful. And you know it.

Image © Piotr C.C 2.0

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