10 Commandments of Having a Vagina

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.


photo source

     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. 😉


Using A Language of Sex Positivity


When I was twelve, I asked my mother what she would do if I was gay, and she said, “I would love you and accept you as I always have, but I would prefer if you were not gay.” Okay…

Fast forward to when I was fifteen, and in a relationship with my first boyfriend. He and I had been having sex for at least a month when I tried to figure out a way to convince my mother to take me to the doctor to get birth control, without revealing to her that I was actually having sex. Very few circumstances warrant any gratitude for acne and heavy periods, but I was ever grateful for the excuse they provided me with for getting birth control pills. However, when I told my mother I wanted to go on the pill to clear up my skin and lighten up my flow, she said, “I just don’t know if I’m ready for you to go on the pill.” Translation: “I’m not ready for you to be having sex.”

I instantly felt guilty for having sex, even though I was crazy about my boyfriend and I LOVED having sex with him. The reality of it is that her comment did not stop me from having sex with him because those were her feelings about it, not mine, but it did make me feel embarrassed around my mother, and it prevented me from having the safest sex possible.

I eventually got on the pill, but I never felt comfortable talking to my mom about sex, or even relationships in general. To this day, I’m not sure if she knows I ever had sex with my first boyfriend.

He and I broke up when I was sixteen, and I turned right around and fell in love with a girl. My mother’s words from when I was twelve years old haunted me: I would prefer if you were not gay. That wasn’t even the worst of it. This was all happening at the beginning of my junior year, and a lot of my friends had just graduated, so I was looking to make new friends. I happened to fall into a small clique of lesbians at my school, which is how I met my girlfriend, and one night on my way out the door to hang out with them for the second night in a row, my mother said in passing, “Wow you are hanging out with them a lot–are you going to turn into a lesbian?”

I knew that fundamentally my mother did not have an issue with homosexuals, but she clearly had some internalized discomfort with the concept. Perhaps she had some internalized discomfort with all sex, and maybe the idea of me in a homosexual relationship forced her to confront the fact that I was a sexual being experiencing sexual relationships.

I do understand the discomfort surrounding parent-child dialogues about sex; I certainly never liked hearing about my own parents’ sexual endeavors–past, present, or future–but I think there were ways in which my mother could have changed the language she used, at the very least, to disguise her discomfort with my sexual activity. Stating opinions and preferences about another person’s sexual orientation and sexual practice will undoubtedly make them feel guilty if their own experiences differ.

This is true of everyone, not just mothers and daughters. If I were to define a sex positive person, it would be someone who understands that there are different sexual orientations, and a variety of sexual practices, and as long as they are consensual, they are all valid. This does not mean that to be sex positive you are always advocate for more sex, and the more experimentation. A sex positive person does not judge one way or another. If someone has a lot more sex than you, or a lot less, or a lot tamer, or a lot wilder, you do not judge if you are trying to be sex positive. The only thing a sex positive person advocates is consent and safety, because if you advocate for a particular practice or a particular orientation, you marginalize those who deviate from your standards. To use a language of sex positivity, you avoid setting those standards.

Now, if we go back and look at the things my mom said to me, how would we alter them to make them sex positive? If I asked my mom what she would do if I were gay, she would say, “as long as you were being happy and safe, I would support you.” When I asked to go on birth control, she could have just not mentioned sex at all, since I was asking about the pill for other reasons, but if she had to address it, she could have said, “It’s probably a good idea for you to go on birth control anyway, since you are in a committed relationship. That way, when you are ready to have sex, you will be safe.”

That’s all it takes to be sex positive, advocating for safety and consent when it comes to sex, and nothing else. Every person should feel valid about their sexuality, no matter what it looks like, so if someone is talking to you about sex, don’t tell them what you think their sex life should look like. Listen and support, and then you can tell them all about your own sex life and expect the same kind of respect, and we can transform the world into a happy, sexy, judgement-free place…eventually.