Hey gorgeous! Did you know your vagina is AMAZING!
I think vaginas are underestimated. Even though it seems that some people are obsessed with them, there needs to be greater respect for the beauty, pleasure, strength, flexibility and life-giving powers of the vagina.
Let's be clear, the vagina is the female genital organ inside the female body from the cervix to the vulva, and the vulva is the external visible parts of the female genitals which include the labia majora and labia minor, which are visible on the outside. However, I'm going to talk about both the vagina and the vulva together since they are so interconnected. That's right, you are not Mrs. Potato Head with separate parts just stuck together. Your body is an integrated unified being, and your vagina is the doorway to whole body pleasure.
1. Vaginas Are Like Fingerprints.
Each vagina is different and uniquely you. Like your fingerprint, it is your body's individual design and not like anyone else's. There is no standard issue model and there is no "normal" vagina. Your vagina IS beautiful and fabulous just the way it is. Like a unique snowflake or flower, your vagina is the fingerprint to your erotic self.
Unfortunately, a lot of women don't even know what a healthy normal vagina or vulva looks like, so they are fearful that they might be different. This is largely propagated because of the pervasiveness of the pornography industry which frequently will airbrush out a women's labia minora resulting in a smaller and more adolescent appearing vulva. They do this to be more "discreet" - yeah, like pornography could ever be considered discreet.
Female genital plastic surgery is now a lucrative growing business in the US and beyond, with cosmetic surgeons heavily marketing to women to "improve appearance". I feel that unless there is a medical reason for female genital surgery it is no different than female genital mutilation, just promoted for cosmetic reasons and profiteering from women's bodies rather than for adherence to patriarchal religious doctrines.
There has been no long term studies done on the effects of female genital plastic surgery and the reduction of the labia and vagina results in a significant loss of pleasure receptors as well as potentially causing scarring, infection, pain, excessive tightness necessitating physical therapy, and other complications. The American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology published a report in 2007 warning that most female genital cosmetic surgery was not ethical, acceptable, standardized or medically warranted.
Your body is designed the way it is for to support you to have outstanding orgasms, health, and protection of your lady parts. Getting to know your vulva and vagina will help you to love and appreciate the incredible female body you are blessed with. Your vagina and vulva are perfect just the way they are!
2. The Vagina-Brain Connection
Naomi Wolf writes in her book "Vagina: A New Biography" that the vagina is not only deeply interconnected with the brain through the complex female pelvic neural network, but that it's also a part of the female soul. This means that for a woman to become aroused, she must be mentally turned on and excited, and orgasms can be a deeply spiritual experience. This involves the activation of the autonomic nervous system through deep relaxation and sensual touch which allows a woman to enter into an altered state of consciousness that precedes and facilitates the experience of orgasm.
Thus it's true, foreplay is essential for women, because lovemaking and arousal is not as simple a physiological response as it is for men, who have much less complex pelvic neural networks. Women need to be slowly relaxed and eased into opening to ecstasy through their whole beings - mind, body and soul. The deeper the relaxation and trance state, the more incredible the orgasms become!
3. Women Are Multi-Orgasmic
It's amazing blessing that women are able to experience multiple orgasms! The ability for women to be multi-orgasmic allows us to access deepening levels of pleasure, sensations, expanded consciousness and connection with our higher selves. This is nature's gift to women that supports us in enjoying lovemaking and demonstrates that for humanity, sex and love is not just about making babies, it's about connecting deeper with our lovers and ourselves, and is a portal to higher states of consciousness and spiritual communion. While men can learn to control their lovemaking to also experience multiple orgasms it is harder for them to do so.
However, many women are unable to orgasm, or have yet to experience an orgasm, let alone multiple orgasms. I once attended a women's circle on the subject of sexuality with over 20 women of all ages from mid-twenties to mid-eighties sharing about their feelings and experiences of sex, orgasms and erotic love. Many older women in the circle reported not knowing what a real orgasm was until they were in their forties or even sixties! Know that this is learnable, and through emotional release work, the calming of the nervous system, healing of past traumas, and sexological bodywork, many blocks that may be preventing the nervous system from truly relaxing deep enough into the experience can be released and new sexual experiences are possible - at any age.
Additionally, most women do not orgasm from vaginal intercourse alone and need clitoral stimulation to climax. Getting creative through erotic touch can open the gateway to higher levels of pleasure. Orgasms are fabulous for health providing many physiological advantages from reducing stress and supporting restful sleep, to soothing menstrual cramping and headaches.
4. The Clitoris Is HUGE
When most people think of the clitoris, what they think of is just the tip of the iceberg. The tips or glans protrudes above the vaginal opening, offering a key spot for sensual stimulation. However, their are over 8000 nerves of the clitoris which extend throughout the tissue beneath the surface, inside the vagina and through the vulva and perineum. There are more nerve endings in the clitoris than in any other part of a human body, including the penis, which only has 4000 nerves in contrast. It is an organ specially designed for incredible pleasure!
The clitoris actually has 18 different interconnected parts that work together to facilitate pleasure and orgasm, including the labia minora, the G-spot, the tip, the shaft and more. Author Rebecca Chalker wrote a wonderful book called "The Clitoral Truth" which elaborates on the true extent of the clitoris and it's pleasure receptors. Through learning about the anatomy of the clitoris, women can learn enhance their sensations of pleasure and understanding of our bodies.
5. Vaginas Are Flexible
I remember in junior high, having a female friend mention that she couldn't figure out how to fit a tampon in her vagina, let alone imagine how it could ever someday fit a penis. In the same fashion, many women wonder how it's possible for a baby to actually exit their body through the birth process. Truthfully, women's bodies are AMAZING and the vagina can actually expand quite extensively when relaxed and the hormonal orchestra is right, such as during arousal or childbirth.
Ina May Gaskin, considered the grandmother of modern midwifery, writes in her book "Ina May's Guide to Childbirth" how when a women is relaxed in natural childbirth, the vagina and vulva can open rapidly and easily. She shares a story of one woman who she witnessed give birth, who's yoni opened really WIDE and quickly during pushing for the baby to be born, and later reported that she silently repeated to herself the mantra "I'm gonna get HUGE!" during childbirth - and she did so as to easily and quickly birth her baby.
Thanks to this story, at the moments before I gave birth to my second child at home, my husband shouted out to me: "Your getting HUGE!" He thought that would help. Dads, I don't recommend that, but I do find it quite hilarious now.
Unfortunately many women are told in pregnancy that they are too small to give birth vaginally, and are coerced into c-sections. This is just not true, as women's bodies expand during childbirth and it's not possible to look at a women's vagina and say whether or not she is capable of birthing her baby vaginally or not before hand. During the time of labor and birth, the main issue preventing women from birthing vaginally is stress.
Imagine if you had to take a poop and there were 5 people in the bathroom telling you to push, push, push. I know many people who cannot go to the bathroom away from home, because they need that total relaxation and privacy, and public bathrooms with other people in the adjacent stalls cause tension and discomfort.
It's similar for birth because we need to relax deeply and have privacy to open up so vulnerably. In my first labor, I sequestered myself in the bathroom during labor and that's when I relaxed enough to let my baby descend and begin pushing. Thanks to having good support, relaxation and privacy during labor, I have ecstatically birthed two big babies naturally at home, 8 lbs and 9 lbs, with no tears and quick healing.
Vaginas are not ever just one size. The inner lining folds in upon itself, collapsing the internal space, only to expand with relaxation, arousal and lubrication. This incredible ability of the vagina to expand when needed seems to continue to boggle the minds of mothers to be and doctors.
6. Vaginas Are Strong
It may be soft and hidden away inside out bodies, but our vaginas are powerful and strong. Better and more frequent orgasms, an improved sex life, and prevention of back pain are all results of optimal pelvic floor strength. Kegel exercises are a popularized technique to strengthen the pelvic floor, but can actually cause worsening of problems due to not addressing all the muscle groups that are involved in pelvic health, including the glutes, and actually causing over-tightening of the pelvic floor.
Katy Bowman, a biomechanist who teaches functional movement, recommends that women squat daily to strengthen the gluteal muscles and improve pelvic floor tensility, support and strength. Deep squats with the heels and feet flat on the floor and toes facing forward several times a day is the most effective way to incorporate daily movement that enhances pelvic floor health, vaginal lengthening, flexibility and most importantly postural and pelvic alignment.
Another more effective way than Kegels to increase the strength, support, health, and somatic awareness of the vagina is through a Jade Egg practice, also known as vaginal weight lifting. The Jade Egg is an ancient practice for women's health and wellness that is regaining awareness and popularity today. The practice involves inserting a smooth egg shaped crystal (usually jade though sometimes other minerals) into the vagina and learning to control the movement of it up and down. This strengthens the entire muscle system and increases somatic awareness of the muscles inside the vagina. Kim Anami is a popular modern teacher of the Jade Egg practice and she calls it Vaginal Kung Fu. Kim has a legendary vagina that is so strong, she can suspend from a Jade Egg inside her body heavy objects such as a bowling ball or surfboard.
Vaginas truly are AWESOME!
Love yourself the way you are, appreciate your body for the gifts of pleasure and life that it provides you.
Let's all honor and respect women's bodies together!