Originally published on Scoop Empire September 11, 2015
I’ve had a handful of young Arab girls ask me questions about their body that should be common sense. But it comes as no surprise because of the patriarchal lens our society has glued on that people have chosen to demonize women’s anatomy and its natural occurrences. Add ignorance, myths and stereotypes to that mix and you have a modern society of women where the vast majority neglects vaginal health, especially young women.
Since my day job involves a looooot of vagina (no, I’m not a gynecologist or Brazilian waxer), I’d like to spread the knowledge I’ve come to gain after much research and wisdom about the most amazing organ in human anatomy!
1. It can do all sorts of cool stuff
First, let’s clear up some misconceptions: 1. You have three holes down there (check it out). 2. You do NOT pee out of your vagina *face palm*. 3. Your vagina can’t be tight or loose. It’s a muscle, meaning it’s elastic; so relax, all is good down in that hood.
Your vagina is like a high-tech body organ; it’s self-cleaning and hella strong. Your clit has twice as many nerve endings as a penis and it’s like a control center with all kinds of buttons that do all different things (press the buttons!). Oh, and IT GIVES LIFE!!!
2. Your hymen is not your price tag
Because of “sharaf” and whatever illogical reasons folks have come up with, there is a certain value that is put on a woman’s hymen, the membrane that surrounds the opening of the vagina. Unfortunately, there are people in our society who believe that if a woman does not bleed on her wedding night, she is not “pure”.
You can be a virgin the first time you have sex and not bleed. #WallahBro! Women can break their hymen from a lot of activities aside from sex, such as horseback riding, bike riding, exercise, etc. Also, a hymen can be higher in the vaginal canal, meaning it most likely won’t break until childbirth. Oh, and you can be born without a hymen.
So does a hymen define your “sharaf”? No and no one should, other than yourself.
3. You can exercise it, seriously
So, your vagina can flex and you should totally flex it! The pelvic floor muscle, which holds up pretty much everything down there, is used for all kinds of things: pregnancy, preventing incontinence (peeing on yourself), and pleasure. Just like any other muscle, your pelvic floor can get weak over time if you don’t exercise it. The muscle gets especially weak after getting pregnant and giving birth because the pressure that is used to carry the child for nine months and push that thing… I mean, baby out is damaging.
So how do you keep your vaj buff? KEGELS. Kegels are the coolest exercise in the world because you don’t have to put on yoga pants or go to the gym to do it. All you do is contract your muscles as if you’re trying to stop yourself urinating, but don’t actually do it while you’re urinating because it will cause damage. You can do them in the car, while watching a Turkish soap opera… I’m doing them right now… and nobody knows!
4. If you don’t check it out, you could NOT get pregnant and possibly DIE
Preventative care seems like common sense, but because there are so many stigmas and myths floating around, young women don’t want doctors anywhere near their vagina. At the end of the day, it’s your choice, but keep in mind that just because it’s untouched doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
Without a pap smear, blood test or ultrasound, women will not have much indication to whether they have a cyst, disease or cancer. The growth of a cyst on your ovaries or pelvic cancer could mean the ultimate damage of your reproductive organs, which can lead to death — or what Arabs consider worse: INFERTILITY!
It is recommended that women should have their lady business checked out by the age of 21 or the first time they have sex. So do yourself a favor and don’t die because of stupidity.
5. You should explore for your sake and for others
The body is like a new neighborhood. If you don’t leave your house and explore the neighborhood, you’re not going to know where the best shawarma spots are. And when a guest comes to visit, you’re probably going to take them to a shitty shawarma spot and everyone is going to be disappointed and pretend they like it *que fake orgasm face*.
What’s my point? Explore your body; it’s a beautiful neighborhood with all sorts of hidden gems. What goes on in your pants is your business, so don’t mind what others think and don’t be ashamed to masturbate. It’s totally natural; just make sure you lock the door!
6. If you’re wondering if your vagina looks normal
It does! Don’t look to porn for a “normal” looking vagina — nothing in porn is normal. Each person’s body is like a unique flower and each flower blossoms differently. Appreciate your flower; take care of it and show it some love!