I find it mildly amusing when men complain about the complexity of the female orgasm or dealing with their female companions during PMS, periods, pregnancy, and other singularly female experiences. Oh, it’s hard for you to observe? I live with a vagina attached to my body, but please tell me more about how hard it is on you.
Listen, I love being a woman. You know this because I run thefemalecondition.com, an entire website dedicated to the marvel that is woman. But, can I take a minute and be honest with you about what it’s like to have a vagina?
Vagina, Vagina, Vagina, It’s all About Her
It begins the very day a girl is born - hello, nice to meet you, you have a vagina. There is no owner’s manual, but we need to start prepping you for the immense responsibility of it now. Unlike a penis that just needs to be washed regularly and jerked off sometimes (I may be over simplifying here, let me know in the comments), vaginas need special doctors, products, and of course, protection.
Most days, I feel like my life is more about her and less about me. It’s as if I am here, but she is running the show. I can categorize my vagina responsibilities into two main categories. 1) things that I have to do because I have a vagina or maintenance and 2) protecting her or as most of us are taught, keeping my legs closed.
When you think of a vagina, what do you think of?
Ok, after sex. Periods, of course. Periods are definitely uncomfortable and expensive, but they are just the start of the maintenance a vagina needs. I doubt men give much thought to the fabric of their underwear. I do, my vagina prefers a nice breathable cotton. Hair or no hair? And if no hair, how to remove the hair without super pissing off my vagina. Waxing sounds good until you are there with that gross bucket of wax and some lady with her hands between your legs - ouch and ew. The beach is amazing for reducing stress and my skin loves the feels. My vagina, however, hates it there. Sitting in a wet swimsuit looking all sunkissed while it dries - nah, my vagina isn’t into that.
It might sound like I am being dramatic, but if you’ve ever had a urinary tract infection (UTI) or a yeast infection then you know that a sick vagina makes your whole body feels like it’s shutting down.
Keeping My Legs Closed
People who don't care about me care about my vagina.
I know what you're thinking, thirsty dudes and jealous ex-lovers. Yes, them too.
It isn’t just thirsty men and jealous ex-lovers who care about my vagina, though. It is also politicians and government officials. Literally, ALL of the people who decided that period products need a luxury tax, my health insurance should be more expensive because I have a vagina and I could make a baby, seeing an OBGYN costs specialist prices, and what seems to be an endless amount of people trying to shut down Planned Parenthood and end access to birth control and abortion.
I worry more about those who want to take my reproductive rights than I do about the what seems to be an endless number of people who want to touch my vagina.
Let's talk about them too. The part of the population who is willing to lie, cheat and force their way into my vagina if that’s what it takes. For them, getting inside her is a quest. A quest that I frequently don't want to be a part of. But, she is a part of me. The desire to get near her is the desire to get inside me. Me, the human attached to the body part you care about. The entrance fee to the fun house. How many tickets do you have to pay my personality to get me to open my legs? And it's all on me to protect her. I have to keep her healthy and safe and then protect myself from the emotional toll of people who are only nice to me because they hope to meet her.
I Didn't Choose the Vagina Life. The Vagina Life Chose Me
In many ways, having a vagina defines my reality.
While having a vagina can be a real pain in the bottom (pun intended), I wouldn’t trade this female life, the uniqueness that is the female body, and our crowning jewel, the vagina.
My vagina is why I care so deeply about women’s health. Why so much of my time is spent speaking to women about our vaginas. And not just the fun stuff, like how to have more orgasms. The other stuff too, like the potential danger of using tampons, why spending our insurance dollars at Planned Parenthood matters, and, of course, that you should never let anyone inside your body unless you truly want them there.
A healthy vagina is a happy vagina. And when my vagina is happy, I am happy.