Vaginas are kind of difficult to deal with sometimes. There is the mysterious ecosystem that exists within the vagina that sometimes gets out of whack and causes a myriad of sex and health issues. And then there is the complex societal constructions that have led people to internalize the notion that vagina-owners are inferior to their penis-owning male counterparts. There is a lot of information about both aspects of vagina ownership out there, and so while none of this is new information (I suspect), I have tried to consolidate the 10 most important things to know about having and tending to a vagina.
1. Do not stick dirty objects up there.
This is obvious right? Wrong. We all know not do pull this shit but we do it all the fucking time!! That’s why we really have to think about this one, and constantly remind ourselves of this. Of course no one is going around, picking stuff up off the ground and shoving it up their vagina, but guess what? Letting some random finger you in the bathroom at the club is probably just as dirty. Did you see the sex toy get washed? Then do not put it inside you. DID YOU DROP YOUR TAMPON ON THE FLOOR OF THE PUBLIC RESTROOM? DON’T USE IT. (This is in caps because for some reason I am v guilty of this). And folks, don’t stick a cucumber up your vagina. It’s 2018 and I think that trend is over.
2. Wash with water only.
This is like THE doctrine of vagina-ownership. How many times has your doctor said this? Or a health educator? Or some random sex-positive health blog.? Your vagina cleans itself; that is the most mundane piece of sexual education that vagina owners receive over and over again. No need for soap, capiche?
3. Wipe front to back.
If you do not do this, fecal matter will enter your vagina and wreak havoc in your happy ecosystem. Poop in your vagina=BAD.
4. Do not go and try to balance the pH in your pussy.
Let me reiterate this for you: your vagina cleans itself. That means it also keeps itself in balance. And if it doesn’t, I can tell you (from experience and also scientific data) that pH Balancing wash with loads of chemicals is not going to help! It’s just not. You can try to take a natural route (ACV, Tea Tree), but it is 100% not necessary since a healthy vagina does that on its own!
5. Do not try to “disguise” the smell of your vagina with perfume.
Perfume=chemicals=pH disrupter=your vagina is not gonna smell good in the long run. (Can you say, Bacterial Vaginosis?)
6. Go to the doctor!!!
If something is off with your cooch, get to a doctor ASAP. Your vag is a precious thing and they are unique and sensitive and mysterious like the people they belong to and sometimes you just can’t figure out whats going on when something is going on. I can tell you from experience that the longer you wait, the worse it gets usually, even if you are trying out all the herbal remedies. There are people who go to school for a decade just to tend to your yonic jewel–let them handle the funky stuff because they can fix it ASAP, and you don’t wanna mess around when it comes to the vagina; at the very least it will ruin your sex life.
7. If it hurts, STOP.
Speaking of sex life, what is up with vagina owners trying to suffer through sex when their vagina hurts? I don’t give a fuck if the other person is feeling great, if you are uncomfortable, something is wrong and you need to stop. It could be a number of things. Maybe you aren’t lubricated enough–fine, go back to foreplay for a bit! Maybe your vagina is telling you that you don’t want to have sex with this person. (That’s a thing!!!) But also, if your vagina hurts during sex, it could be a health problem that is worsened by sex. I once had sex with a yeast infection and it hurt like a motherfucker but I let it happen because I was too embarrassed to tell the guy, and you know what happened? That infection spread to my urethra, I got a wicked UTI, went to the ER for it because I could not pee, and then the antibiotics for the UTI gave me another yeast infection. Don’t have sex if it hurts!!!!!! And get to a doctor ASAP if it seems necessary.
8. People can only get in there if you have given your explicit consent.
This is true for penis and vagina owners alike, but is especially important to reaffirm this message with people who have vaginas, who have been conditioned to think they owe their bodies to men. It does not matter if you have flirted, teased, touched, kissed, fingered, blown, or beaten off someone–under NO CIRCUMSTANCE should you allow someone to get in your pants unless you want them to and have given them explicit verbal consent. You never owe anyone any sort of sexual favor.
9. You don’t have to be a woman just because you have a vag.
Perhaps you already got this message by my use of the gender-neutral term “vagina owner,” but this is an important distinction. In fact there are a lot of men with vaginas who probably need to be reminded of these 10 commandments even more than cis women who are usually targeted with vaginal health information. A vagina≠women…not in 2018.
10. You are not better than women who do not have vaginas.
On the flip side, those of us who are vagina-owning (cis) women, be reminded that pussy power is not woman power because there are plenty of women who do not have vaginas, and it is very important not to exclude them from the feminist movement. Having a vagina does not make you more of a woman than them, and it sure has hell does not make you better than them. We are all fighting for equality and cis women do not deserve equality any more than trans women.
And there you have it. The 10 Commandments of Having a Vagina. Having a vagina is not the easiest, but you should worship that thing for all it can do for you. I’m sure you will recite these every day and adhere to them religiously. 😉