I was faking it…

one woman’s search for orgasm

Posts Tagged ‘vulva

Hello my name is Vulva

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“She’s always been there with you—it’s time you got to know one another.”
                                                                                       – Solot and Miller, I Love Female Orgasms

I confess, I didn’t know what the word ‘vulva’ actually meant until this morning, when I looked it up on Wickipedia. I was aware that it had something to with vaginas, but wasn’t exactly sure which part the ‘vulva’ was—was it that strip of pink flesh running along either sides? Or perhaps some internal tube that the baby squishes its way through during childbirth?  Nope.

this is a vulva

this is a vulva

The vulva includes all the parts of the vagina that a Brazilian-waxed nude sunbather exposes to the sun as she lies on her beach towel next to the pool, and according to I Love Female Orgasms authors, Solot and Miller, the first stage in tapping into one’s sexual potential is becoming intimately familiar with its design:

“Take out a mirror, sit back…set a light so you can see well, and take a look down there,” (source, p.69)

Easier wrote then done.

I know body exploration is a normal part of womanhood, but I must admit, the thought of inspecting my own vulva brought out the awkward virgin in me.  Yes, the same girl that had once, while experimenting with a cervical sponge had to get a pair of tweezers to remove it (thank god that worked because I would have died of embarrassment if I’d had to go the emergency room)—was feeling a little nervous about this mission.

One thing was clear: if I was going to do this nobody could know.

And so, at 7am this morning, while my fiancé was still sleeping, I gathered up my courage and snuck into the bathroom carrying my trusty genital diagram in one hand, a notebook in the other and wearing nothing but a tee-shirt.

We live in a fairly small apartment, with an equally small bathroom. The counter extends only about half a foot out from the wall, allowing barley enough space for us to cram our assortment of normal (toothpaste and shaving cream) and un-normal (a spare bike tube and patch glue from the tire I was patching last week) toiletries.

this is a volvo--it is not a vulva

this is a volvo--it is not a vulva

I probably should have considered these the state of our bathroom counter before I hoisted one foot right into the middle of it–but I guess I was too focused on getting a good ‘view’ of myself in the mirror behind the sink.  Sure enough, not ten seconds into my inspection a loud clattering sound erupted into the calm quiet as a roll of dental floss, a toothbrush and a bike tire lever tumbled onto the tiled floor.

I waited for the fallout, trying to imagine how I would explain myself,

“What are you doing in there honey?”
“Oh, nothing, just checking out my gearbox.”

After several more seconds of listening for the tell-tale footsteps, I breathed a sigh of relief—he had not awoken. I took a seat on the toilet, using an eye-shadow mirror instead, and resumed my work.

I’ve never much thought about the shape or appearance of my private parts before. Though the subject of penis size seems to be an unending source of pride and frustration amongst men, I’d always assumed that for women, a vagina is a vagina is a vagina. However, recently I learned that there is actually a porn-industry defined ideal of beauty when it comes to female genitals,

Women’s vulvas in porn nearly always have the same basic ‘look.’ The look includes having inner lips that are pink, symmetrical, and smaller than the outer lips, and shaved public hair. If wanna-be-female performers’ genitals don’t have the ‘preferred’ sized and shape, they either don’t get the job, or they may get cosmetic surgery to change them (source, 71).

Really?  There’s a vagina standard?  As if the boob, lip and ass standards weren’t enough?  The whole idea sounded pretty ridiculous to me–until I found myself sitting naked on a toilet with a tiny oval mirror thrust between my legs and realized that  my genitals do not meet the porn industry standard!   The Inner lips stick out like a drooling, oversized tongue! 

Not only have I never orgasmed, but now I find out I have a freakish-looking vagina too.  Why hadn’t any of my boyfriends ever told me?

Lucky for me, the trusty genital diagram which I’d dropped on the floor along with the dental floss, had landed with the cover exposed: the words ‘I Love Female Orgasms’ smiled up at me. It was a direct sign from the Clitoris goddess (previous post): Don’t give up, Jaquie. This is about your enjoyment–not how you look.

Infused by her guidance, I picked up the mirror.

I’m glad I did—because I did learn a lot. After thirty years of living in my body, it only took me about ten minutes to discover all new parts of myself, the labia majora, the clitoral hood–and was amazed at how complex and yet delicate the pink vaginal tissue is when you really look at it—like a slice of tiramisu.

Though I feel a little silly that it took me so long to do such a simple thing, I’m happy I finally know what’s down there now because, as they say, knowledge is power. And that is exactly what I need as I prepare myself for phase two of the I Love Female Orgasms recovery plan: masturbation.