I went to see an amazing performance of the Vagina Monologues last night. That really got me thinking about my relationship with my own vagina.
I developed a very close relationship with myself when I was still very young. At about 11 or 12, I began touching and exploring my sex organs. Curiously, I began researching the female anatomy. I'd spend hours on the internet reading about the clitoris, the g-spot, masturbation, orgasms, and why it's important to know oneself. Then, I'd spend hours more in the real world finding my clitoris, my g-spot, masturbating, getting orgasms, and looking, with mirrors, at my vagina. Long before I even wanted to be sexually active, I already knew everything there is to know about what I do and don't like.
Still, my vagina and I are not especially good friends. Just the idea of "my vagina" sends me shivers. Why is that? Well, it's really all a matter of word choice.
My vulva I love. My vulva is soft and sweet, it's loving and gentle yet fierce. My vulva is a beautiful serving platter, a shining silver tray. My vulva carries a feast, a delicious meal prepared by some amazing chef. Before the platter even leaves the kitchen, that sultry smell makes your mouth water. This creation is not only delicious, but also gorgeous, and the sight of it fills you with excitement and euphoria. The main course, the center of attention, is my clitoris. My sparkling phallus, embellished with nerve endings, hidden innocently under a little hood, but ready to come out, to look you right in the eye. My clitoris is a gift from God, a very special friend.
But my vagina? My vagina is the throat of a satanic monster. My vagina is the foreign body that bleeds every month, causing me to scream in agony - "Why? Why again?!?". My vagina is like a flesh eating virus, quivering with self-hatred. My vagina does not want to touch or be touched, does not want to give or receive, my vagina does not want to exist. My vagina is wrong. My vagina is a dark tunnel leading to a dungeon of torture. At the end of the tunnel are my ovaries. Those ovaries that send out some ominous hormones that determine my secondary sex characteristics for me. Those ovaries that, against my will, release an egg monthly, against my will inflict a bleeding wound on me. Those ovaries that say that if we get pregnant, I'm actually the one who'll carry the baby or suffer through an abortion. Those ovaries are parasites.
Retreat, retreat! Back out, reverse. Let's get out of this awful place, let's come back to fresh air. Breathe. Let's get back to my vulva, that sits before you, that steaming meal, all the courses laid out. Dive in, indulge in all the flavors, more flavors than you've ever known existed. Or maybe hold off, just look at it for sometime, the way the meal is arranged, the colors, the smells. It's perfect. I love my vulva, minus my vagina.