Vital Writer

Rachel, Untethered. Where spirituality meets zerofux.

The Unapologetic Vagina

My good friend is a pelvic floor therapist and inspired me to write this. (Check her out, she’s amazing!) She says she cannot even count how many women apologize for the smell, hair, size, moisture, dryness and essentially the very existence of their vaginas. I was already in the process of writing my next blog entitled My Twat Itches because I was suffering with what feels like my fifth yeast infection in just four months. It was either cry uncontrollably or laugh hysterically while making fun of it. I chose the latter, which has been enormously more helpful. It reminds me of the song Beautiful Day whose lyrics begin, When I woke up this morning I said to myself should I laugh, or should I cry?

So back to my 99th menopausal yeast infection. Having spent the better half of last summer roasting with sweat dripping down my butt crack, I fell prey to Lume’s brilliantly effective body-shaming campaign. I was mindlessly watching the bad news on CNN when commercial time came and a distinguished gynecologist told me in no uncertain terms that my ass stinks.

Fuck, it does? I’d only noticed the slipperiness of my sweaty cheeks sliding against one another, but hadn’t even thought about its odor. And so then of course I had to check, carefully wedging my hand in there and taking a whiff. Because as Ali Wong so truthfully lays out, any time we women curiously stick our fingers anywhere down there, they always end up in front of our nose to find out what the hell is going on down there. (Comes in at about 7:00 minutes on this riotous video — an absolute must see.)

And so I found out that fuck, my ass crack does stink; even though for sixteen years since having babies we’ve had Costco-sized baby wipe boxes atop every toilet in the house. Cheerful Informant Gynecologist, speaking from between the stirrup-ed feet of some unassuming ill-smelling woman, goes on to promise that Lume will guarantee that I “smell better, longer, everywhere.” Wink, wink. And you know where that means. Brilliant marketing Lume. Thank you for alerting me to how offensive my body is. I honestly had no idea that not only do my butt and underarms reek, but also that my “underboobs, belly button, tummy folds, thigh creases and feet” are malodorous. I don’t know how I made it this far without you Lume. And especially thank you for so ingeniously preying on our absolute worst fear in the whole wide world. Worse than a bad hair day, more embarrassing than being fat, ugly and old, able to level any woman in a single whiff – is the abject terror that our pussies stink.

So I sheepishly ordered the goddamn Lume. And now I have a raging yeast infection replete with cottage cheese dreading my pubes.

(In all fairness Lume’s deodorant works, I just personally don’t suggest applying it anywhere near an opening!)

Ali Wong

My pelvic floor therapist friend went on to question, “And why do we call them private parts if we all have them? And they allow us to procreate and poop and pee?” It just feels like we women can’t catch a break with our cootches. And so I thought I’d take this extraordinary opportunity to share an abbreviated and unsolicited history of my vagina’s most memorable (and deplorable) moments.

Chapter 1: At age 13 I waited in breathless anticipation for my first period to come. I’d learned all about it in sex-ed class in junior high, bought the Kotex starter menstruation kit with lots of weird pads including scented, thin and thick varieties and these gigantic belted ones with front and back straps that hooked into a friggin’ belt around your waist. One uneventful adolescent day while enduring the relentless taunting, teasing and hazing from the popular crowd, my lower belly cramped and I felt like a bowling ball was hanging from my gut. I ran to the stale, bleached bathrooms, locked myself in a stall, pulled down my undies and saw those underwhelming first little spots of brown. Nevertheless I excitedly ran home after school to my room where I slid the hidden box out from under my bed and proceeded to avidly try on every last one of the sample products. They all felt like gigantic cotton balls shoved in between my undies and my vagina. The excitement about the pads faded fast, giving way to the reality of menstrual pain. My vagina moped.

Chapter Two: Three years later I lost my virginity with my boyfriend, who was a few years older than me and had waited a loooong time for this night. We got buzzed on Bartles and James Berry Wine Coolers while his parents were out of town. For some reason he decided we’d do it in the guest bedroom. It hurt my vagina a lot, but we loved each other, and so it was special I guess. Out of our intoxication we rolled off the bed and began straightening the blankets only to find my fresh blood smeared all over the comforter. Immediately sobered, we spent the next two hours frantically scurrying between the laundry room and the kitchen desperately trying to get the blood stains out, while eating post-virginity-popping Haagen Dazs ice cream bars. My vagina was embarrassed.

Chapter 3: For the next two decades, condoms, STD’s and apologies became the bane of my vagina’s existence. First, there is just absolutely no way to have a happy vagina when a condom is involved. Those foul, rubbery motherfuckers ruin everything. I dreamed of the day I would finally be partnered with my life mate and could fuck condom-free like a rock star. For brevity’s sake, let’s just say that after contracting crabs from prematurely tossing out a condom, bacterial vaginosis from a guy pouring Hershey’s syrup all over me, and a yeast infection from using the kitchen cooking oil with rosemary as lube in a heated moment with an unlubricated condom — that the safest place my vagina could be for the next twenty or so years was home alone with me.

I did have one boyfriend in the beginning, Bob The Pussy Freak – car mechanic by day, pussy pipe carver by night – who began liberating my relationship with my vagina. He worshiped her, and she prospered. But he did also give me HPV, which led to my vagina’s infamous first biopsy. I had a female OB/GYN but somehow when I showed up for the procedure two young male doctors appeared who couldn’t have been much older than I was at the time. (twenty six) I bristled, complained to the front desk, they gave me some weak excuse for this unannounced change, and reluctantly continued with the procedure. I was barely able to breath, much less stay in my body, as they repeatedly informed me that I couldn’t have sex for the next six weeks. And, no have sex for the next six weeks. And remember: do not have sex for the next six weeks. Humiliation seized my body as I stepped down from the stirrups and gasped at my blood pooled on the cold tiled floor. My vagina felt ashamed and over-exposed.

Bob The Pussy Pipe Carver was awesome though. Six weeks later he drove me cross country to LA as I continued to bleed uncontrollably. We stopped at Burning Man on our way where we got to walk naked through the dust after screwing one last time in his tent. And then he was a really good sport when I abruptly dumped him upon arriving in LA.

The Pussy Pipe

Chapter 4: My vagina arrived in Southern California with no clue of what demoralizing adventures lay ahead for her. I regularly combed through the LA Weekly for amusement, but found myself morbidly transfixed by the vaginal reconstruction ads for plastic surgery which promised to make one’s labia smaller. Again, where had I been all this time? I never knew my vagina could be too big, much less that I need to repair such a condition. And even more insidious were the laser vaginal rejuvenation ads. Apparently the inside of my vagina was wrong too. Sheesh, how could I have not known? As if the pedophile look wasn’t enough; I also needed a pedophile-friendly, tighter twat too. My vagina began worrying that she just wasn’t good enough.

Deciding I’d had enough with men, I forayed into my bi-curiosity phase where I immediately found that shaved-bald was the preferred pussy hairstyle required by the two women with whom I was temporarily gay. Let’s back up a sec. My first infatuation was with a woman who flirted with me by asking if I had an innie or an outie. I had no idea what her confusion was about: I was wearing a midriff fitness top revealing my belly button in broad daylight. Then her eyes dropped down to my crotch. Holy shit, do I have the right vagina for this woman? Again, how could I have not known that there is such a thing as an innie or an outie vagina, and that it plays an important role in mating? As I tried to muster the fortitude to consummate my first lesbian sex act, I began nervously fearing that her most-likely-outie vagina was going to overwhelm me. Hemming and hawing and trying to stall her I timidly asked, “So, like, what do you, uh, do about all the, uh, like all the stuff that comes out down there all the time?” And without skipping a beat she eagerly assured me, “Oh honey, you just push that old stuff aside to make way for the fresh stuff!” My vagina shuddered.

But really the most educational take away from my short bi-curious phase was that vaginas are beautiful, soft, inviting and fragrant. However, my brief stint as a lesbian also revealed that I wasn’t gay: my vagina did require a penis to make her happy. Which leads to more men with their unsafe penises and unrealistic projections on my vagina.

One was a fling with Lou, Pussy Freak Number Two, who gave me a seething yeast infection and then insisted on playing gynecologist with me on his kitchen table to treat it (not kidding). Lou was a bit too familiar and skilled with this procedure for my comfort. My vagina broke up with him immediately. There was also this guy I met while speed dating who wanted me to wear clear lucite high heeled stiletto pumps and bend over in front of his wall-to-ceiling mirror. Clearly my vagina ended that abruptly. Oh, and there was this older gentleman I briefly dated who upon looking down at my crotch for the first time said with a devious smile I couldn’t quite decipher, “Oh, we’re gonna have fun with that.” Again, I didn’t know whether to laugh or to cry. My vagina was mortified. What the fuck does that mean? My vagina wasn’t having it, she dumped him.

On a lighter, more uplifting note: contrary to the LA Weekly’s demands that I must have a smaller, tighter vagina; one of my massage therapy client’s homes offered a much more liberating perspective. While he snored face down on my portable table, I’d ogle at his framed, pencil-sketched pussy portraits lining the top of his walls. All the way around the perimeter of the room I would marvel at the untamed, unshaven floral vaginas of his lovers. And these ladies had wild, undulating, trumpeting lips like Greek sirens luring men to their demise. And there were so many of them! And each one of these illustrious sea-creature crotches was completely different from the next, as unique as headshots. His room was a veritable portfolio of mesmerizing pussy magnificence. Yet not one looked like my little innie. As I loaded my table back into my car, my vagina again wondered if she was cut out for LA.

I will say, in her defense, that when my vagina doesn’t like someone, she banishes them in strange and mysterious ways. In one case she was so skeptical of an impending encounter that she induced a sudden and cataclysmic coughing fit. In the middle of making out with this creepy guy (don’t ask) as his hands edged towards my zipper, I suddenly began coughing uncontrollably. Like coughing so violently that I couldn’t stop all the way through him climbing off of me, putting on his coat and uttering, “See you at the crossroads,” as he flashed me a peace sign and scurried out the door. My cough then instantly ceased. I literally never saw him again. Another time it was a sneezing fit brought on by this friggin’ ‘tantra dust’ powder. Same result: the dude bolted. And then there was this sudden spell of debilitating nausea. An older gentleman had skillfully lured me into a compromising situation (again, don’t ask) when I literally was overcome with a gagging nausea so strong I ran out of the cabin, never to return. Needless to say, my vagina had my back. She’s a fierce and abiding protectress.

Chapter 5: In the interest of time – and because this is a blog, not a book – I’m going to skip over all the way-less-dramatic, yet infinitely more vagina-enhancing events of moving away from LA, finally partnering with my life mate and getting to fuck condom-free like a rock star, giving birth to two healthy boys and then getting my tubes tied twice to avoid any more condoms.

Although, this does feel like book-material to me: I know I’m not the only one with vagina stories! Got an anecdote to add? Is there a story your vagina is dying to tell? Her own unique perspective? Email me with it!  Let’s get this pussy party started!

There have been many pussy-loving men and women in my life — my vagina’s had a good run. I sigh in nostalgic rumination as I fast forward to today with my fifty-four-year-old dried-out, thin-skinned, itchy bitch of a punani – while Doja Cat sings Woman over the radio as I write. You go Doja Cat with your twenty-six-year-old juicy pussy. I’ll see you on the other side in another 26 years or so.

Meanwhile my husband’s been pretty bummed lately about my Lume bender, having rendered inert what little remains of our sex life these days. And this reminds me of what my pelvic floor therapist friend also told me: No need to use soap down there because she’s self-cleaning. Ahhh yes, my vagina is self-cleaning! Nope, she does not need soap, shaving or surgery. Just a little bit of tender loving care, which I’ve found in Honey Pot Soothing Lavender Vulva CreamFeel like you’re walking around with a cactus between your legs? Why yes Honey Pot I do feel like I’m walking around with a cactus between my legs! And so I bought a tube of the heavenly salve and slathered it all over my burning vulva. Ahhh such sweet, soothing relief. My vagina said thank you.

Ahhhhh Soothing Lavender Vulva Cream

“I was suffering from bacterial vaginosis for 8 months when an ancestor came to me in a dream and gifted me with a vision to heal myself. With her help I created The Honey Pot to solve for what other brands wouldn’t, through the power of herbs.” LOVE YOU. MEAN IT.

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Rachel, Untethered
Spirituality meets zerofux