I ate an incredible chocolate chip cookie today. It gave me a lot of pleasure. It was just delightful.
I’ll get back to the cookie in a bit.
Like many people, I have two hands, two eyes, a mouth, a liver, two lungs, a heart, two legs, and many other body parts including, yes, a vagina. So if I can talk to a doctor, a friend, an acquaintance, or a stranger about pain in one of those other body parts, why is it considered taboo to discuss pain in my vagina or any other body part involved in procreation?
I don’t personally have vaginal pain (aside from the occasional yeast infection, etc.) but if we discussed these things more openly, it wouldn’t have taken me years to find out that the blood clots I got with my period weren’t normal. And while I don’t happen to have pain in my vagina, vulva, or related areas, plenty of others do.
The taboo seems to trace back to pleasure. Apparently, the problem with discussing vaginas and penises has to do with the pleasure we get from them. I got a lot of pleasure from that cookie this afternoon, yet it isn’t socially inappropriate for me to talk about my mouth. There’s just no logic to it. Apparently sexual pleasure is to be shamed while all other pleasure is acceptable, at least in my culture. But who does that help? I see absolutely no reason why that should be the case.
Many people of all genders express discomfort when discussing genitalia. I don’t get it. Every single one of us is here as the result of sexual organs. Think about it: would you exist if no one on the planet had a uterus? The vast majority of us are here because of a penis and a vagina, even if they never came into contact with one another. It amazes me how many men think vaginas are only for sex; unless they were born through C-section, they once came out of one!
Today I learned that a friend has vaginal pain. She had never mentioned it before, referring only to more socially accepted forms of chronic pain. She said she’d probably never discuss it again. But why should that be? And the topic of how pain in other parts of the body affects sex really needs to be a post all its own. If you have chronic pain, has your doctor ever asked if it’s had an impact on your sex life? Mine haven’t. But they should have. Every single one of them (in the appropriate specialties) should have!
So I’m saying it loud and proud: I love my vagina! It is as important a part of my body as any other (and more than some…. I’d give up an appendix or tonsils before I’d give up my vagina!) If you have pain or other symptoms in any body part that’s taboo to discuss, feel free to share it here. I will give it the respect it deserves, and I suspect most of my regular readers will, too. After all, it is as much a part of your body as your shoulder, your skin, and your kidney. So why not discuss it?
Which is why I titled this post the way I did. Let’s start with at least being able to say the word itself!