…Including how to learn to love the mess.
I love to talk about vaginas. There’s just something about the word -- so literal and unafraid -- that makes me happy. It wasn’t always like that though. In fact, growing up in a Southern WASPy family, I never even heard the word vagina. It’s not that we used euphemisms instead -- no, I didn’t have a Pretty Princess Pocket or a Happy Honey Hole -- rather, we just didn’t talk about vaginas at all.
At some point though that changed. Suddenly being all delicate and precious about vaginas -- something that half of the world has -- just seemed ridiculous. I started screaming vagina loud and proud from the hills and as anyone who knows me will vouch -- never looked back.
And it’s in that spirit -- the spirit of VAGINA! -- that I present to you five of my favorite stories inspired by or in honor of my absolute favorite body part.
1. 7th Grade // Fall
I ask my brother who’s a year ahead of me in school if I can read him my first homework assignment for Life Science. It must be a good day for us because he agrees. I begin. “An orgasm is a living creature.”
He laughs. “No, um…that’s not right.”
“What do you mean?”
“Go look that word up in the dictionary.”
The next day when Tiffany makes the same mistake I did -- only this time in front of the entire class -- I'm so so thankful we live in a house where there’s always a Webster’s Dictionary within reach. Also, a little curious about this "orgasm" thing no one is talking about...
2. Sophomore Year in College // Summer
I decide to check out this whole bikini wax business I’ve heard people talking about. (I’m old. Bikini waxes were not ubiquitous yet.) I make an appointment at a salon on 6th Avenue, a few blocks from my dorm.
When I show up, a Russian woman ushers me into a corner of the salon that is blocked off by sheets. She has me pull up my dress and take off my undies. After a thorough examination of my stubbly only-ever-been-shaved pubic hair, complete with lots of exasperated sighs and disapproving tongue clicks, she beckons someone else into the “room.” She introduces the girl, who is about my age, as her daughter. And then they get to work.
It’s a tag-team waxing session that involves the daughter holding my legs in contortionist positions while the mother pours the hot wax, and starts yanking my hair out like a farmer pulling corn during harvest.
There’s grunting (the mother), giggling (the daughter), and quiet yelping (me). When they’re finished, they leave me in the room, my entire region red and sore, beads of sweat seeping through my dress.
It’s several years before I muster up the courage to get another bikini wax.
3. Immediately Post-Grad School // My Mom’s House
I go to my mom’s house to have dinner. When I arrive, she starts giving me things with which to decorate my new apartment. “Do you have sconces?” she asks. (As though the answer to that could ever be yes.) “What about a pitcher for water?” Um, what? “Would you like an antique Chippendale mirror?” Cause that’s a question people answer “no” to.
And then she starts loading me up on basics: dish rags, an extra set of sheets. And finally: towels.
I am standing next to the linen closet, arms out, while she piles towels into my arms.
“Hand towels?” she asks.
“Sure,” I say, starting to feel a bit sheepish since I am, after all, supposed to be an adult.
“What about washcloths? Do you need washcloths?” she asks.
“You know, Mom, I have to say… I’m not a huge washcloth user.”
“Well,” she continues as she sorts through the washcloths, “You never know. You MIGHT get a boyfriend.”
“And he’ll need washcloths?” I ask, totally confused.
“No,” she replies. “But you will.” She plops a stack of old washcloths on top of the towels.
And suddenly I get it. My mom just gave me a pile of washcloths she used to clean her vagina with after sex.
Even worse? I kept them. Which should give all of my houseguests enormous pause.
4. Spring 2010 // My Living Room Couch
I have a kidney infection.
Because this is not the type of information I want to share with the world, I call my mom for some sympathy. I tell her how much pain I’m in, to which she replies, "You know, you can get those from sex."
I reply, “Ew,” realize this isn’t going anywhere good, and make an excuse to hang up.
A few hours later, I get this email from her.
"You do have to be careful and protect your kidneys. Hate to tell you this, but we can get those infections from having sex, especially if the man is well endowed. And I am SURE that is too much information from your mom. I can hear your squealing all the way to my house now!"
Why YES, Mom, that IS too much information from you. Also, "we?" "WE?!!!"
"EW MOM GROSS. You get them from bacteria. Let's just leave it at that."
Minutes later she responds:
"Yes, because during intercourse the penis can hit the bladder which then releases bacteria that causes the infection. I guess there is a reason for small penises after all."
5. Fall 2011 // Work
Coworker: Daisy, have you met Mary?
Mary and I look at each other...
Me: No, I don't think so.
Mary extends her hand. We shake.
Me & Mary: Nice to meet you.
Mary: Oh wait! I did meet you! Last week!
Me: [puzzled look]
Mary: Yeah. You were talking about vaginas.
And yet -- because I talk about vaginas so often -- I still can't place where we met.
Clearly, my vagina is important to me. And it should be important to you as well. Well, not my vagina. Your vagina. (Unless you’re a good looking guy with a great job and an amazing sense of humor. In which case: my vagina. Which means taking care of it is a priority. IF YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN. Kidding! I mean, not really, but…)
Seriously though: Making sure my vagina is in excellent shape is imperative. Which is why I never miss an annual exam and take intimate health seriously. My vagina has so much potential -- I want to make sure it’s always prepared to do and be its very best.
But let’s be honest. Sometimes vaginas can get a little moody. There can be chafing or a rash, dryness, itching, irritation, or, even though we don’t love talking about it, odors that are just a little off.
It’s nothing to be embarrassed about and even better, it’s nothing you can’t do something about. Vagisil can help you take care of your intimate health every day with the products and information you need to be at your best.
I mean, if you love your vagina as much as I love mine, it can’t hurt to give it a try!
Register to Receive a Free Vagisil Moisture Kit.