Lieutenant Professor Olga Rockenstein (name changed, but barely) stood before the Sexuality of Women class like a bulldog personified. “Here we are going to talk about SEX!” she said. “Vaginas. Clitorises. Ovaries. STDs. Bisexualism. Lesbianism. Female sexual pleasure. Gender bias. Sexism. Sexual violence. Rape. And we are going to talk respectfully. If you can’t handle it, there’s the door.”
The small-town college classroom fell silent, including the formerly snickering male I’d heard reference the “easiest A” and “best class ratio” ever. Of the forty-plus students, females outnumbered males three to one the first day. By the second class, two guys remained. (The professor later admitted that she plays her “militant lesbian card” on day one to
intimidate weed out the non-serious.)
Before that class, I’d never spoken openly about sexuality or heard another speak so candidly about issues I quickly deemed vital. Unlike my grade school sex ed. classes, which emphasized erections, menstrual cramps, intercourse and abstinence, Rockenstein taught us to respect, understand and celebrate our bodies. It was about dang time.
Early in the semester, she assigned Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues. After paging through the poignant true story collection, I went home and decided to check out my own vagina—as in look at it, for real.
I sat before my bedroom wall mirror, legs open wide, dumbfounded; I nearly had to force my gaze “down there.” Once I did, tears filled my eyes; I wasn’t horrified or awestruck, but sad. Had I really gone nearly two decades of life without so much as a glance? My gyno and boyfriend knew more about what laid beneath me than I did…
Thankfully, I’ve learned a lot since then.
Vagina derives from the Latin word for sheath, or the case for a sword. Some women are understandably offended by the term, taking vagina to mean a case for a penis or harmful object. (There’s nothing wrong with housing a penis, obviously—but our lady parts are so much more than that!) I personally feel that vaginas encase our female sexual pleasure centers, and there’s a lot of power there.
Whether we call them vaginas, va-jay-jays, pussies, coots, twats, boxes, girly bits, lady parts or nether regions, our vaginas are beautiful components of our bodies, sexuality, relationships and health. With Valentine’s day approaching, I thought it was an ideal time for Girl Boner to pay tribute.
10 Fabulous Facts About Vaginas
1. Vaginas facilitate pleasure. The clitoris, a tiny organ just inside the vaginal lips, has over 8000 nerve endings exclusively dedicated to female pleasure. (We gals luck out in this regard; the penis only contains 4000.)
2. Va-jay-jays are resilient… “The vagina has an incredibly rich blood supply which promotes rapid healing, even after injury or childbirth,” Dr. Alyssa Dweck told Shape magazine. The same goes for the insertion of large penises and sex toys.
3. …capable and strong. Vaginal muscles are our reproductive system’s quads, supporting everything from the ability to tighten during sex to urinary control. While they gradually weaken with age and childbirth, we can keep and regain strength using kegel exercises and sex-ercise (routine sexual play).
4. Excited vaginas grow. Vaginas average 3 to 4 inches in length but can balloon out to up to twice the size when sexually aroused, according to Dr. Lissa Rankin.
5. Vaginas love healthy food! A diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats helps keep the vagina healthy, while preventing dryness. (The same foods make way for a healthy libido.) Dr. Laura Berman recommends drinking plenty of water and limiting alcohol, soft drinks and coffee for added perks.
6. Pussies appreciate play. Sexual play solo or with a partner helps minimize stress, vaginal dryness and libido lulls. Masturbation is particularly important for managing menopause symptoms, says Berman, as well as for learning what we most enjoy.
7. Vaginas self-clean. Consequently, physicians discourage douching, which can disrupt the balance of healthy microorganisms that protect against harmful bacteria and infections.
8. Each vagina has its own unique smell, based on a variety of factors. For the most pleasant aroma, practice positive hygiene and eat namely healthy foods, including sweet fruits. Cranberry juice and probiotic sources, such as yogurt and kefir, may be particularly helpful.
9. Vaginas house the G-spot, the area known for the producing the most powerful orgasms. “The G-spot can be found by inserting your index finger into the vagina with palm facing upward and making a ‘come here’ motion with it,” says Dweck. “It may take some practice to connect with your G-spot, but it’s so worth it.”
10. Routine coot stimulation helps us think sharper, according to Dr. Patricia Bloom. It’s also linked with boosted longevity. (Long live Girl Boners and all who embrace them.)
Girl Boner Challenge:
Whether you’ve done so before or not, take time to observe your vagina in a mirror or camera image. Journal about your thoughts, or write it a love letter. V-day is near, after all. ♥
Have you observed your vagina lately? What terminology do you prefer? Which fact strikes you most?
If you haven’t yet signed up for the Beauty of a Woman BlogFest II, which takes place next week, you still can. I’m also happy to announce the brand spankin’ new Girl Boner Facebook page! Pop by and “like” it to stay fully in the GB loop. The vagina party’s already begun…