What I Learned in Bed with Hannah Wydeven

By Hannah Wydeven

Dear Hannah, Since I was a kid, I’ve always thought there was something wrong with my vagina. I think it’s because my pubic hair started growing when I was in 2nd grade. I obsess over going to the gynecologist, and she always tells me I’m perfectly normal. I don’t feel normal, I feel uncomfortably detached from my vagina. Do other girls feel this way?


First. you’re not alone. Many women struggle with the feeling that they are not connected with their bodies or their sexuality because puritanical values permeated our society, repressing sexuality. We live in an age of sexism, homophobia, heterosexism and a host of other -ism’s that can make sex and sexuality feel dirty and even frightening. We are constantly bombarded with messages about sexuality-through family, religion, school, media, etc. No wonder so many women feel uncomfortable about their own bodies. Derogatory words like “cunt” and “pussy” make women ashamed of their vagina.

We are told to worship the form of the penis, but have no room to explore the beauty of our own special vagina. Loving our bodies has been a constant struggle for women, only recently becoming easier to deal with. People devote their lives to helping women better understand their bodies, yet people still want to belittle the conversation about women’s sexuality.

Even if you think your vagina is weird, there is no standard of beauty for vaginas-they are all different which makes them so special! Your vagina may have developed earlier and you may think it looks abnormal, but it’s not. Especially if your gynecologist tells you everything is okay, trust them. Your vagina is great-you just need to take some time to get to know- it better.

To start, find a comfortable space, not just physcially, but mentally-a place where you can be open to new things. Also, be patient. Just because you don’t have a strong relationship with your vagina doesn’t mean that you can’t develop one, but it won’t happen overnight. Give yourself room to feel the emotions and sensations that come with reconnecting with your body.

The best way to understand your vagina is to masturbate. However, your path to masturbation will be a process of self-discovery. There are some other steps you need to take before you take the leap.

First, use a mirror and spend time looking at different parts of your vagina. Don’t be disgusted by your body. It’s the only one you get and it’s super fabulous, so let yourself love it the way it deserves to be loved. Do this until you start to remember what you look like down there. Get to know the in’s and out’s of your special place.

Once you feel comfortable looking at your vagina, move on to understanding it through touch. The “Our Bodies, Ourselves” website details a great self-guided tour of the vagina. Find it at http://www.ourbodiesourselves.org/book/ under the section titled “sexual anatomy, reproduction, and the menstrual cycle”. In a safe space, close your eyes and touch the different parts of your vagina. How does it feel? What kind of sensations do you notice? How do you react? Be present with yourself and aware of your experiences. Once you take the time to understand the way your vagina looks and feels, you will begin to feel more connected, mind and body.

Remember, you lead your life. You choose your sexual destiny. If you don’t get to know your vagina, it will be hard for anyone else to get to know it. Knowing the beauty of your body allows you to share it with your partner. If you’re excited about your sexiness, they’ll be too.

If you need help along the way, there are countless books and websites about women’s sexuality and celebrating the vagina. If you’re blocked mentally, talk to someone, like a counselor, to figure out what’s preventing you from embracing your sexuality. You have to be healthy and happy in mind, body and spirit before you can truly love the beautiful flower that is your vagina.

Dear Hannah,

I was hooking up with a girl last weekend, and while we were going at it, I farted. I was mortified, but she didn’t say anything, and we just kept going. She didn’t mention it later, but I can’t get it off my mind. What do I do?

Stinky in the Sack

Everyone farts. If your hook up didn’t mention your flatulence, she has probably come to terms with it. If you really can’t get your little accident off your mind, make up for it by being extra sensitive to the little flaws you notice in your sweetheart. If she is kind enough to forgive your farty ways, be generous enough to give her space to make the same mistakes.