Your vagina may have big feelings and lots of opinions. My body often knows how I feel before an emotion is conscious before there are words that have formed. I am not alone in this. This is the way of many bodies. The stronger your tendency to dissociate, minimize a need or emotion, or not vocalize it, it is likely your body will do it for you.
While penis owners may get what some call demi-cock (demisexuals need an emotional connection to feel fully turned on or get hard), many vulva owners get infections such as BV, bladder infections, UTIs, and yeast infections. A soft cock or an infection can be seen as the body establishing a boundary. We can count on our vagina to speak loudly when we do not listen to them. The body speaks in heavy-handed metaphors, pain or dis-ease can come in very literal forms.
You may be with someone for the first time or you maybe you’ve been dating for a few months. You could even feel physically safe and sexually cared for by this person. They could be a great lover, but there isn’t the level of emotional connection you need to have to feel safe. A skillful lover who can build turn-on does not ensure emotional safety. It can be hard to recognize this level of vulnerability and vocalize it if you are trying to be easy breezy casual.
Many friends and clients are in open relationships, which can bring in added complexity, jealousy, and vulnerability. You might be outspoken and sex-positive in the world. This does not ensure you can always say what doesn’t feel good at the moment in bed. Giving feedback is a skill that needs to be built, and it is harder if you have a history of going nonverbal because you didn’t feel heard in the past. You may erase your own needs before you give this partner a chance to meet them.
Enter stage left, BV or yeast infection. You can think of them as friends that are demanding you be present with your Girl. They want You to advocate for her. She doesn’t want to be ignored. If you go into your head, about the past or about what doesn’t feel good and you don’t acknowledge it, body will find a way to be heard.
A decade ago I had a romance with someone I met in Hawaii.
Rarely, do I encounter a man who takes my breath away. He was a David statue incarnate with a goofy sense of humor. He was volunteering at a kirtan I stumbled upon. Initially, during the series of interactions I had with him, I felt held and listened to. I loved how he massaged my feet and kissed me. On our first and only night together, I was startled when he approached my vagina like he was aggressively drilling for oil with his fingers.
At that moment, I went cold, got far away, and withdrew into myself. I was in college back east the first time I saw trees encapsulated in ice after a storm, every thin branch surrounded by glistening tubes. I felt like that tree. That freeze coated my limbs and even my vocal cords, stiff and unmoving. The dozens of years I’d skillfully advocated for my own pleasure dispersed like a cloud. Foggy, nonverbal immobility took its place.
Moments before I was highly turned on and it was all erased when he roughly handled me in a way he believed I would like. It’d escalated so quickly, almost stopping as quickly as it started, but the damage was done. As if he’d pushed through some magical portal in the wall of my vagina forcing me back into the past. Repeatedly and callously thumping and bumping every past traumatic experience of clumsy boy prodding that built a home in my tissue. I was a teenager again.
I pictured an elevator with walls covered in buttons and each in and out motion lit more buttons up. He eventually stopped when I asked, and I believe if I’d shared the impact immediately he would have received it with compassion. Who knows what pleasure might have been had if my deep-seated survival instinct hadn’t taken over? Some fight others dissociate.
Sadly, this is an experience that way too many women who have been sexual with boys/men can relate to. Even if they don’t identify as having experienced child sexual abuse, their teens and twenties are often riddled with these encounters leading to a dissociative freeze.
I believe things happened exactly as they were meant to.
I was in a 5-day chiropractic bodywork training and I passed kidney stones on the table on the last day, two nights after this event. In Chinese medicine, each organ correlates with a different emotion and the the kidneys relate to fear. Every time I’d been sexually touched as a child or teen and didn’t want to be I was filled with fear. It made sense to me that his jackhammering knocked that sediment of fear loose from my kidneys.
Due to feeling physically achy and emotionally vulnerable, I chose to not see him the day after he’d spent the night. We had a final meeting at a Valentine’s Day workshop we’d agreed to attend together the same night I passed the kidney stones,. I was delirious but wanted to go. I dragged my body there. It involved doing forgiveness prayers with the person sitting next to you or the partner you’d come with.
Without ever telling him about how mishandled I’d felt, the constriction in my heart melted, and I cried as we exchanged these forgiveness mantras. We cleared our male and female lineages and the human standing in front of us acted as a proxy.
For all the men who have ever hurt me, I forgive all of you, fathers, fathers-in-law, sons, sons-in-law, brothers brothers in law, uncles, grandfathers, friends, ex-lovers, ex-husbands, partners, husbands, I ask that you all please forgive me
Divine Light, Please help us all to forgive each other and forgive ourselves.
Let us all forgive and release ourselves for our hurts, wrongs, and mistakes to ourselves and to others.
While I’d typically advise offering a detailed explanation about what didn’t feel good and why, especially in an ongoing relationship, it was still profoundly healing to directly express forgiveness to someone whom I felt aggressively handled my body. I experienced a reset and a reopening that served as an imprint, allowing my body to find this state again and again.
You may think it’s wacky to talk to your vagina or any body part for that matter.
But just the way you’d have a sit down with one of your favorite people if you slighted them or ignored them, why would you treat your beloved parts with any less care and curiosity? You can do this practice with your eyes closed. Ask them: What do you want me to know? What are you feeling? What do you need from me or someone else? What didn’t I hear? What do I need to say for you to feel heard? Go ahead and take some time to journal about or draw what you experienced.
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