I spend an exorbitant amount of my free time worrying that I have an STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection).
By now, I have spent hours, maybe even whole days of my life, in the Waiting Rooms of Walk-In-Clinics because I have had one of the following:
- An ingrown hair.
- A yeast infection.
- A cervix. (Seriously).
Clearly there is a problem here.
It could be that I am a totally paranoid turkey. (This is at least half true).
But, I refuse to believe that all of my traumatic, incorrect self-diagnoses are solely my fault.
Sex ed. taught me, taught many of us, a whole lot about shoving condoms on bananas, but very little about genitals. While I must have the Chiquita logo memorized, it took me years to learn where and how awesome my clit is, and obviously I still haven’t got the cervix quite figured out.
As a result, I have been forced to turn to the all-knowing Google about my junk.
However, through the aforementioned terrible experiences, I have learned that, just like my sex ed. teachers,:
GOOGLE DON’T KNOW SHIT ABOUT MY VULVA!!!!!!!!!!!
So, if you happen to have a vulva, let me save you loads of time n’ trouble.
While I clearly don’t know all the fucking facts about what one could look like, I strongly encourage you to teach yourself about your own body.
It will feel so good, trust me.
Here are some suggestions to help you figure it out:
- Find a great doc you can trust, and have them talk you through a pelvic exam. A good gyno will have a mirror to go with their speculum and they can use it to show you all your different sexy parts. If you happen to live in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I suggest checking out the Halifax Sexual Health Centre. If you don’t, try a Planned Parenthood Clinic in your area. Oh, and while you’re at it, you can have the doc take a swab sample and do a pap test, to check for some STI’s.
- Buy your own speculum! If you don’t know, a speculum is a plastic thingy that kind of looks like a duck’s bill. They are used in gynecological exams to spread the vaginal opening wider so as to get a better view. If you buy your own for roughly $5 at most pharmacies, and pair it with a handheld mirror, you can do your own at-home exam and see what yer bod looks like! This is really cool, but can also be kinda freaky if you’ve never seen inside yourself before. Which brings me to my last point:
- Read some books! When it comes to genitals, reading books can often be far less terrifying than doing a Google Image search. I recommend ‘Taking Charge of Your Fertility’ by Toni Weschler, or ‘Read My Lips: A Complete Guide to the Vagina and the Vulva” by Debby Herbenick.
Do at least one of the above, and you can go forth and fuck with less fear, knowing that you know what’s up.