*NB: I wrote this shortly after performing in The Vagina Monologues and organizing V-Day at MBC in 2008.
My vagina had never interested me. It was simply there. I washed it, covered it with panties and never gave it a second thought. As a child I didn’t know what to think when a boy pulled up my skirt and probed it with his fingers. I didn’t know what to think when he continued to do it. It felt wrong. It felt dirty. And it was my vagina’s fault.
But the past became half-remembered and was eventually dismissed. I grew up. I saw movies about sex and moans of pleasure and true love. I watched women lost in the sheer ecstasy of the act and wished that I was them. Wished that I could feel what they felt. I wished that my vagina didn’t have to be so quiet and shy.
But when a man kissed me and touched me and made me feel I started thinking of my vagina in a different way. It was only when I found that my vagina could be a source of pleasure did I sit up and take notice of it. I started to yearn for a man to enter my vagina. I wanted to give away my virginity in order to experience what I thought would be the ultimate act of love.
And I got what I wanted but it was accompanied by something that horrified me. There was so much pain, but no blood. I felt myself being pulled part, black spots danced before my eyes as the person who was supposed to be engaging in this act of love didn’t even notice my moans of pain, didn’t stop and didn’t seem to care. I was sore for days. It hurt when I shifted the wrong way, it hurt when I peed, it just hurt.
But after that, I did not abandon the idea of pleasure and vagina. But I insisted on trying again with the person who had told me that he would never push me into doing anything that I didn’t want, then did exactly that. I always hoped that something would magically change into the idea that I had for what sex would be.
After that, my vagina went on break. For a year and a half it was not seen or heard from. But aside from that, I did discover something else. I found how to give myself pleasure. I found the magic climax that made me arch my back and close my eyes and gasp softly. I found orgasm. But I found it alone.
When I tried again and let a man reenter the space between my legs that I had so thoroughly closed, there was no difference. Not at all. I was pushed, my vagina was hurt, and I didn’t find what I was looking for.
Months later my vagina was hurt again. But not by intercourse. By a man’s ego. He stroked my clitoris because he thought that if he made me come he could reassure himself that he was a man. I didn’t. But he never caught on. He needed so much assurance. At first, I was happy to comply. I felt a deluded love for him that made me think that he cared about me and what I felt and wanted to give me pleasure. Not use it to feel better about himself.
He stroked me so much that I became sore. My vagina became red and swollen. I told him that it hurt, I told him not to, I moved his hand away from my clitoris, but he moved it right back. And when his mouth touched my vagina, I hated it. I didn’t cry out in the pleasurable moans that I had been faking for so long. I didn’t put on my perfect performance. I held my head in my hands, I felt the world spinning around me, I did not look at him. And he didn’t notice.
The third time was supposed to be the charm, but it was a curse. This time I hurt my own vagina. I let it be hurt because my own mind had turned against me and I couldn’t think clearly anymore. My vagina was invaded and I couldn’t even feel it, let alone stop it. I was no longer connected to my vagina. I was floating above the floor watching the act, watching this foreign vagina being penetrated again and again and I never thought that it was mine.
My vagina didn’t ache afterwards. My vagina wasn’t speaking to me. I didn’t know that it was angry, all I knew was that it was unhappy. I thought that I needed to change. That I needed to convince my vagina that it was wrong and it was there and it felt everything. But my vagina wasn’t listening.
But as my mind caught up with my vagina, it fell behind just as quickly. I allowed the same thing to happen again. I allowed my vagina to be conquered a second time and held out for more. What was I trying to accomplish? I was hurting. My vagina was hurting. But somehow I thought that it would change. That I would change. That I could find the one thing that I had always been denied. But I was wrong.
And I lost hope. And I lost faith. And I placed a “closed until further notice” sign on my vagina. It was closed to invaders, it was closed to trespassers, it was closed to everyone, including myself. Even when I tried to give myself pleasure, there was none left. My vagina was truly closed for business.
But then something strange and wonderful and incredible happened. And it came from someone that I had never expected it from. This time, when a man touched my vagina, I moaned with real pleasure. But I was scared. I was terrified that my vagina would just be hurt again and after all it had suffered, I couldn’t allow that to happen. My vagina was weary, it was sad and it didn’t believe that sex could possibly be any different.
But when he touched me, when I felt his hands on me, I felt safe. And my vagina felt safe too. Because he was different, because he was gentle and not demanding, because he didn’t want to hurt me or my vagina. I was scared that it would be the same. But it wasn’t.
I was there with my vagina and together we felt everything. And it was different. I didn’t fake my moans, my heart didn’t catch in my throat, I didn’t close my eyes so I could remove myself from what was happening. When our bodies stopped and everything was still, he stayed inside of me. We were connected in a seamless combination of flesh and my vagina savored every moment of it.
Afterwards, we laid there together, our bodies intertwined. I closed my eyes and held him close. And that’s when it happened. That’s when my vagina realized that there was no pain, there were no troubled, frantic thoughts, no apprehension or fear. There was only stillness. As I laid there, my vagina realized that there was hope and there was something different and there didn’t have to be pain. That’s when my vagina found peace.