On April 18th, 2012, St. Olaf college students led a discussion about health and a woman’s relationship with the best of her girl friends – her vagina. At "Girl Talk," students began with a discussion of anatomy and general health, and explained to their audience the importance of women accepting themselves and their sexuality. As women, we need to realize that we can break through the societal expectations that claim that women don’t want sex, and can’t engage in any “taboo” activities such as masturbation or porn. Not only are women sexual beings, but they have desires that are perfectly normal and healthy.
We have all heard the commonly used phrase “I am woman, hear me roar.” So ladies, don’t be afraid to connect with your inner tigress and let’s allow our girls to experience the pleasures of the natural kingdom. Although sex, especially at St. Olaf, is considered to be a topic of vulgarity, it is an activity that defines being human. Whether you wish to partake in sex or not is your own personal choice. For those women who are sexually active, it is important to learn how to love yourself before you can reach the coveted “mind-blowing” experience with sex. As was mentioned in “Girl Talk”, the women who engage in the most healthy and satisfactory sex are the ones who are the most informed and comfortable with their own bodies. To do this, it is important to learn your own anatomy and explore the secrets of the “black and scary hole.”
Surprisingly, many women are so misinformed about their own anatomy that they consider the separate parts of the clitoris, urethra and vagina to be all in the same. Come on, ladies! The urethra is related to the urinary track while the clitoris – the mother of many pleasures – is located right above the vaginal opening. It is the only organ on the body used only for satisfaction. Another misconception about our lady parts is that the clitoris is the only source of pleasure for women. Although the clitoris does indeed have 8,000 nerve endings (in comparison with the 4,000 nerves in a penis), women can also reach climax through their g-spot. The g spot, then, is typically one to three inches up the front vaginal wall between the vagina wall and the urethra. In order to reach this spot, communication with your partner is the key to gaining insight about what is pleasuring to you. Don’t be discouraged if you ever have trouble orgasming, whether through the clitoris or the g-spot. It is normal for some women to take longer to reach that point, and realize that you can still have a meaningful sex life without always ending in an orgasm.
Many women wish to learn how to make their sex lives more satisfying, but it is equally important to learn how to treat your lady area right. Even changing up your diet can mean the world to your girlfriend down there. For example, certain foods such as coffee and red meat can give off certain odors...so not sexy! Instead, you should stick to fruits such as pineapple and cranberries to get the desired freshness. In a short list, the speakers in “Girl Talk” summed up what they considered to be the most important vaginal rules in what they referred to as “The Commandments of Vaginal Health.”
The Commandments of Vaginal Health:
Thou shall not douche. Douching, although intended to clean out your lady area, can remove bacteria that is meant to fight off disease and infection.
Thou shalt use soap approved by dermatologists. Instead of douching, soaps that have been tested and approved by dermatologists are a more effective way of cleaning your best friend. Summer's Eve vaginal soap was offered as a suggestion.
Thou shall avoid mouths who have encountered excess amounts of spice or sugar. While engaging in any form of oral sexual activity, the less spice or sugar, the better. Although the added flavor tastes great in your mouth, contact with your vagina can cause burning sensations.
In addition to the commandments, most important and CRUCIAL of the elements of vaginal health is remaining safe. Although everyone is familiar with the basic contraceptives, women often times feel that they are limited to the “Pill” and condoms, but there are a variety of new options for pregnancy and STD prevention.
One interesting option for keeping clean and preventing the spread of STD’s are latex gloves. Many women laugh at the idea of whipping on a pair of gloves while getting it on with their partner, but as was discussed in “Girl Talk,” these gloves can keep your vaginal walls clean. Ladies, we all (hopefully) wash our hands...but do we ever really know what lurks under our fingernails? Although the latex gloves might not get your partner’s sex drive in ignition, safe sex is always sexy.
As far as pregnancy prevention goes, options other than condoms include Plan B, birth control shots and patches. Plan B, a more recent contraceptive, is typically used within twenty-four hours after unprotected sex. This is also referred to as the morning after pill. Although Plan B is at the butt of many college hookup jokes, it can be quite effective in preventing pregnancy.
To connect with your vagina is the gateway to learning how to connect with yourself. Whatever you decide your experience with sex may be, you should embrace your body and all of its functions. In order to find that inner tigress, feel free to explore the boundaries of your relationship with your “tunnel of love.” So remember: safe sex is good sex, know the rules of vaginal health and acknowledge that your sexual experience is completely up to you!