Vagina Love is Self-Love

The world thinks that vaginas are scary and gross. Maybe it’s because women menstruate? Interestingly, “menstruation is the only blood that is not born from violence, yet it’s the one that disgusts you the most”- Maia Schwartz. Its as if vaginas are dreadful like Voldemort from Harry Potter, “[S]he who shall not be named”. So, we try to relinquish her power by giving her diminutive names or simply referring to her as ‘down there’ like she’s some enigma. Well, this is a patriarchal world and that is not a mystery.

Patriarchy simply put, is the belief that men are the head of the family. Women are seen as less than men, and then children come last in terms of familial and community influence. The penis is seen as more powerful because it penetrates a woman during sexual intercourse. And because of this action, men are seen as having more physical ability than women. This belief is so embedded, that people are convinced God is a man.

Photo by Mariam Soliman

The result is that vaginas are misunderstood and neglected. Some girls don’t know what their feminine essence even looks like. She also has a fragrance and this too is disparaged. There is a whole industry that tries to get women to alter the smell of their womanhood with harsh chemicals. Trust me your flower doesn’t have to smell floral, to be seen as one.

Photo by Eye for Ebony

Tragically, labiaplasty is on the rise. This is cosmetic surgery on the vagina to change her appearance, to make her lips smaller like those of porn stars. The bottom line is that woman don’t feel like their vagina’s are beautiful. I don’t know if it is the male gaze that has created this perception. Or, is it a result of woman constantly comparing themselves to the images they see in the media? As pornographic media is mainly made by men, it is probably due to the combinations of these two reasons.

Why do we constantly compare ourselves to others?

Theodore Roosevelt said, “comparison is the thief of joy”. If there is one sure-fire way to make yourself feel miserable it’s to judge yourself inadequate in relation to others. I think people compare themselves to others because they want to feel accepted, that their existence is valid and that they are approved of by society. This makes sense as we are social by nature. But this does become problematic when you can only approve of yourself only after you have gained the approval of others. So as women, it is problematic when we can only approve of ourselves and our vaginas when we feel men have approved. We need to love and approve of ourselves and therefore, our vaginas.

Photo by Boris Smokrovic

There is nothing wrong with your vagina. She’s mighty and she wants you to acknowledge her. We all know she’s capable of powerful things like birthing new life and epic healing orgasms. I think vaginas are beautiful, and like a snowflake, no two are exactly alike. We should embrace our unique vulva’s. It’s essential for self-love.

Show love to your vagina, because that is caring for yourself. Do not douche or use invasive chemicals to cleanse her, wash her with clean water. I do not think her natural scent is embarrassing or shameful. Stand up for her, no means no, don’t let men pressure you into having sex. And, if she’s not sufficiently turned on it’s okay to say I’m not ready for penetration, I want more foreplay.  Your pleasure is just as important as your partners. Women have become chronically dissatisfied with hetero-normative sex. In a study conducted by OMGyes, it was found that only 17% of women orgasm from vaginal penetration. If you’re a woman this is no surprise but if you’re a man reading this, yes you read that right. Only 17%.

“From 2015 to today, we’ve conducted in-depth interviews with over 3,000 women, surveyed over 15,000 and conducted the first-ever nationally (US) representative studies about the specifics of women’s pleasure and touch with over 4,000 more women, ages 18-95 – in partnership with researchers at Indiana University School of Medicine, Indiana University’s School of Public Health and The Kinsey Institute. Our research has been peer-reviewed and published.”

The truth is many women fake orgasms. The time has come for us to be honest with our lovers and say, this is just not doing it for me. The patriarchy thinks, that vaginas are just for birthing babies and men’s pleasure. But the truth is most men don’t consciously believe this, they would love to be the stud you dream of in your fantasies. So, we women need to illuminate the true path of female sexual ecstasy for our lovers and therefore, ourselves.

Photo by Leighann Renee

Protect her, use protection. Don’t be scared of buying condoms, it shows you are taking care of yourself. With South Africa’s high HIV/Aids infection rate we just can’t be having sex without condoms. A realistic adult insists on protection. Unless you and your partner are planning for children of course. 

Wear breathable underwear to prevent yeast infections and its more comfortable, not this tight synthetic fabric nonsense. Look at her with a mirror, she’s not a monster whom you’re afraid to make eye contact with. But she is powerful and deserves to be adored, just as she is. Find a partner who respects her, but don’t forget to respect your vagina first.

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