My relationship with my vagina has been characterized by guilt for most of my life. My earliest recollections of any awareness of my vagina was when I was a young girl and my mother told me if I ran the water over it in the bathtub that I would get warts. I don’t know why she told me this, but from that point onwards I believed that touching it and making my vagina feel good was wrong. It was something I should feel ashamed about and keep a secret.
I remember when I first got my period and how painful it was. It would always come when I wasn’t expecting it and it would stain my clothes or bed sheets. The sense of shame and loss of control was unbearable. I hated my womanhood. I hated my vagina. I wouldn’t even touch it…I didn’t literally reach down and physically touch my vulva till I was fifteen years old. Another person didn’t look at it or touch me there until ten years later. My vagina was dirty and it was a source of pain and frustration. I did not care about losing my virginity because I couldn’t stand the thought of letting someone see me and possibly validate my worst fears - that I was worthless and inadequate.
Many years later, when I was finally able to trust someone to look at my vagina - to give my vagina pleasure - I was told that my vagina was beautiful. I was told it was exemplary. Those words; that sentiment liberated me. It changed everything. It released me from the chains of guilt and anxiety I had worn for years because I didn’t have the courage to talk to other women about my fears. I opened my mind and began to initiate conversations with other women about their sexuality, their vaginas, their sexual experiences. With this freedom to communicate came a freedom to explore and experiment. Bit by bit, I learned that my vagina was amazing not just because of it’s infinite possibilities, functions, and powers, but simply because it was uniquely mine.
As I move forward with my life, I have to remember constantly that my vagina is amazing because I find that there are always experiences and people to distract me or dissuade me from this truth. I am my own Vagina Warrior.