Ya know that Coldplay song we all used to jam out to (aka cry to) back in the day: “Nobody said it was easy. No one ever said it would be this hard.” Well that’s how I feel about having a vagina. Sure—nobody ever said it was easy, but they also never said it would be this hard.
Having a vagina is beautiful, empowering and magical but DAMN, can it get complicated sometimes.
You’ll have Random Itching and Discomfort.
It seems like back in middle school all the bros would talk about having itchy balls. But ya know what we never talked about? Having an itchy vulva.
Yeast infections and BV are common causes of itchiness and discomfort. Yeast infections can be caused by hormonal shifts, diet or products that throw off the pH balance in your pussy. BV (or Bacterial Vaginosis) can also cause itching and can occur when the different kinds of healthy bacteria in your vag get out of whack. Anything that messes with your pH balance can lead to BV—like scented cleansing products. The vagina is a self-cleaning organ, so you can wash with just warm water, but if you want to feel that extra clean use products that’ll keep your pussy happy (like The Honey Pot Co., featured in April’s WIYB!). New partners can also be a cause of BV. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with having new partners (go on and get yours, girl!) but that’s another reason why it’s important to use condoms to protect ya puss.
Sometimes, an itchy vulva is just a mystery, especially in warmer months. You may be walking down the street minding your own business when suddenly your vulva is all like, “HEY GIRL I KNOW YOU’RE IN PUBLIC BUT HERE I AM”. Keep a moisturizing, plant-based product like Momotaro Multi-Use Salve in your bag if you’ve got an itch you just can’t scratch (sampled in May’s WIYB).
Pubes are Complicated.
Pubic hair exists. I saw this one coming—I remember being a kid and seeing my mom naked and asking about her hair, but I had no idea it could ever get this complicated.
If you’re into the bare look, you have to consider your removal options. Waxing can get pricey, and having someone all up in your business with boiling hot wax can be rightfully painful and uncomfortable. Plus, the ingrowns—don’t even get me started. But, it can also leave you feeling sexy and smooth. Shaving creates its own issues. I recently decided to shave after not doing so for a while, and y’all, I went through TWO razor heads and legit used up all the hot water in my apartment. Shaving can also cause mad irritation, and ingrowns, even if you’re being super careful.
Growing out a bush might seem like the easiest option, right? But even that comes with its challenges—it can get totally out of control, and when you go to trim the hedges, you’re putting yourself at risk for nicking your oh-so-sensitive lips (which is actually the worst feeling ever).
Pubes will always be complicated, but certain products can make them less so. Check out Gorgeous Glo Ultra Soothing Hydration Serum (coming in WIYB this summer!). Whether you’re shaving, waxing, or going au-natural, caring for your pubic area is a rewarding form of self-love.
Queefing is a Thing.
To all the strong, beautiful, powerful foremothers who came before me, I have to ask—WHY DID NO ONE EVER TELL ME ABOUT QUEEFING?!
Maybe sex education at my school was lacking (which seems to be the norm, sadly), and maybe my mom just didn’t find the right time to bring it up amongst all my other coming-of-age angst, but I was absolutely shook the first time this sound came out of me during sex. Thankfully, my partner was so chill about it, and actually explained to a mortified-me that it was just trapped air.
I did have a boyfriend in college, though, who got mad at me one time for queefing. It was horrible and scarred me until recently, when I’ve been on a very vocal campaign to normalize the queef. It takes two to tango, after all, and yes—it’s literally just trapped air. Anyone who can’t get down with that can’t get down with me, ‘nuff said. And while I can talk the big talk and walk the big walk, I still have a moment of WHY when I’m doing it doggy and my vag decides to announce itself to the room trumpets blaring.
Your Pussy Might Actually Pulsate When You’re Turned On.
So this one is a little bit more fun than when you accidentally nick yourself shaving or queef in front of your crush.
Have you ever been really turned on and you notice that your pussy actually pulsates? Maybe during heavy foreplay, or just from kissing, or when you’ve been watching too many Michael B. Jordan interviews on Youtube.
There is a science behind it: this pulsing, which can also be described as a tingling or throbbing, can be a physiological response to the increased blood flow to the muscles of the vaginal wall. Science aside, this sensation is just another example of the power of female arousal and orgasm, and another reason why having a vagina is f*cking fantastic.
Sometimes it feels like we came into this whole having-a-pussy thing totally blind, am I right? Vaginas are complex organs that do and say (yes, queefing, I’m looking at you) some uncomfortable things, but learning about and loving yours is all part of the process.
Amazing illustrations by Ariella Elovic. Ariella is an NYC-based illustrator and founder of The Cheeky Blog. On any given day, she’s typically painting boobs or spunky New Yorkers, eating cheese and wishing she had a dog on her lap.
Written by Box Babe, Liz Weske.