Viva La V.ulv.a.

Okay, so last night I sat and watched a DVD called Viva La V.ulv.a. 

I really do not make this stuff up –  sometimes I wish I did, but not this time.

It is a DVD made by a sex educator Betty Dodson.   I had never heard of her until last week, so it was all big news to me. 

When you look at Betty Dodson, it is a bit like taking couple and sex advise from Betty White from the Golden Girls – actually it is exactly like that.  She is sweet, rather maternal and touching on eighty-two at this point and still continues to educate women about women.

To quote –

Betty Dodson, Ph.D. (born August 24, 1929) is an American sex educator, author, and artist. Dodson held the first one-woman show of erotic art at the Wickersham Gallery in New York City in 1968. She left the art world to teach sex to women. She is widely known as a pioneer in women’s, and to a somewhat lesser extent men’s, sexual liberation, having sold more than 1 million copies of her first book, Sex for One.  Much of her fame has come from her work not only advocating, but conducting workshops for more than 30 years in which groups of about 10 or more women (and at least once a group of men) would talk, explore their own bodies, and mas.tu.rba.te together. “

This particular DVD was just that – 10 women who sit around and discuss their    No really that is what it is.  It is not p.orn movie, though you would be totally correct in assuming it might appear that way.  It is more of looking at your “nether regions” in a biology way, with the aid of your rather eccentric but rather liberal grandmother.

When I thought that I couldn’t cringe anymore – and I cringed plenty – they all sat around with very large mirrors and bright lights, and spent some time examining their vu.lva.s. 

All in the same room.  At the same time.  And no one was giggling hysterically.  And no one was drinking wine!

So each woman gets the mirror and the light and sits splayed, while everyone examines her v.ulv.a, at the same time as Betty and the other 9 woman have a look see.  It’s a bit of a show and tell really.

So woman A is pulling herself open and everyone is having a look, and this is while Betty is using an ear bud (and no gloves I noticed) to point and probe various areas and everyone is going “oooohhhh” and “aaahhhhh” and saying words like “it is so pretty” and “wow that is cute…” and various other things I can’t actually put here.

I have realized a few things in the last two weeks, and that is that my “sexual script” appears to have been written by Swedish Religious Missionaries circa 1821!  I cannot believe how cloistered and how absolutely narrow my map of the world is – this DVD freaked me out – totally!

And then I got freaked out that I was freaked out by.

I really did not want to watch it, but felt I should – actually I “felt I had to” – I am doing a 7 week workshop and body awareness is one of the issues that is covered. 

When this DVD was handed out I started to get that vague nauseous feeling of dread and horror.

But I watched it.

Many things happened for me while watching this video.

First I had to take my hands away from my face, because that is how I was hiding my eyes, so I actually would not have to see what was happening on the screen.

Then I also got to look at 10 woman’s in a non-playboy or hustler sort of way. 

It was not a case of them being explicit so that some horny hairy and overweight 55-year-old man could have a look see and a drool – but rather than these women as individuals and as a group could look at their, and maybe have some understanding and appreciation of how they work – often for the first time. 

They were women all looking at a part of their own body they probably had not looked at before.   Most of them hadn’t – and my guess is that most of the women reading this blog haven’t either.

It was the equivalent of sitting around a table and everyone examining each other’s hands and commenting on nails and the lines, without it being this huge “embarrassing” thing or people squealing.

I think the DVD went on for about 30 minutes. 

The beginning was a bit excruciating for me. I think at the end of the day, when all is said and done, I am actually a bit of a prude.  Betty also used the c-word, but not in a cringe sort of way – though I did cringe, I might have even recoiled.  She uses it freely and in an affectionate way – which is not normally how one would think the c-word would be used.  See I can’t even use the c-word here …….

The realization I was that for one, I have never looked at myself. (I am not quite rushing out to buy a miror or a desk lamp, so let’s all calm ourselves down)

My wax lady and my OGBYN have had more of a look at me than me.  I prefer to avert my eyes in a rather Victorian-lady sort of way.  And that appears is the norm, among woman/girls I have asked.

And why?

Because I have always been taught – I have no idea by whom – that girly bits must always be kept covered.  

Good girls do not look at themselves, let alone admit to touching themselves. 

There is this message that “down there” is dirty and unsanitary and well pretty much off-limits.  And that in turn is what we teach our daughters.

Ever smacked your child’s hand away when she puts her hand on her v.ulv.a? I have!

Then whilst I sat and cringed – I was screwing up my face in horror – watching this DVD, I realized that I had done myself an injustice, and if I was not careful I would be doing the same thing to my daughters.

To raise my daughters and give them the stereotype behavior that I have lived with and force them to think of a part of their body as “dirty” or “shameful” is really a reflection on what I am teaching them, and really what does that do for them moving forward.

Make them hate a part of their body, make them ashamed?

Most women and men – do not understand how women work.  How our mechanics are designed – good grief I recall sitting in my OGBYN’s office while he did a drawing for me – and it was my third child.  Yes I understand the rudimentary mechanics, but I really do not know how I work. 

And for some reason I think that is okay.  However with my recent DVD purchase I am wondering, is it okay?

Listen I have not quite got my head around this – and to be honest I feel a bit punch drunk today after watching the DVD.

I do feel however that there has been some sort of switch.   

Not a direct “on/off” switch that went off in my brain last night, but definitely an awareness that maybe I have got this all terribly wrong, and maybe Golden Girl Betty Dobson is on to something here (please bear in mind this DVD is easily 20 years old, so not only is she on to something, but good grief  I have severely been left behind on this one).

I might not be quite ready to burst into song about Viva La V.ulv.a, but maybe my brain has started to think just a little differently ….. just maybe….. just a little.

Auditioning for Lord of the Rings ……

I have noticed some disturbing trends of late … hair in abundance in places I would prefer it not to be ….

I have reasonably light features but somehow my hair growth makes me look like an extra from Gorillas in the Mist.  I am not referring to Dian Fossey and her research crew, more the gorillas who were actually in the mist.  Right now I could extra for that show with very little makeup.

I have always detested shaving.  It is such a thankless brain-numbing task.  As soon as you are done, you need to be searching for the next new razor blade to pretty much start the job again.

Then you shave and shave, and you end up wearing long pants all week.  So at some point you start to reason, hell, who will notice if I skip one or three months? I mean, who will know? Right?

I tried waxing – initially I tried waxing myself.  This was back in the day when you had a pot and a large globule of brown wax that had a similar consistency to Wilson toffee.

I won’t tell you the part where you put the hairy wax back in the pot to make it hot again so you can re-use it … I will wait a while until you have finished gagging.

Feeling better?  Should I carry on?

Being the impatient personality type I am, I would always figure that making the wax hotter and spreading it in larger areas will cut down my effort and increase my results in a shorter period of time.

The problem is that when you spread a 30 x 20cm square of boiling hot brown sticky wax on your leg, you always realize as it is going on, that it is so hot that it is burning your skin off.  But there is nothing you can do once boiling wax is being lathered on your leg … by you!!

The wax eventually dries and cools.  You realize you are now faced with the next step of the operation – you have to rip it off.

Wax like plasters, does not work if done slowly.  One has to grab the corner, brace yourself and just rip it off.

One of the many problems with using wax that is too hot, is that it has now burnt/melted/adhered the first few layers of your skin to the wax.

You know this, as you can already feel the sensation of the “sunburn” under the wax now that it has cooled … but you need to rip it off.

You do toy with just leaving it there, putting pants on and hoping in time it will slowly fall off, but if you have tried this in the past, you realize there is no easy option to the dilemma you are now facing.

So you bear down and rip the wax off.

It takes the skin off (as you predicted) and because you are about to faint from shock, and have not ripped the wax in the correct direction, and inevitably you leave half the hair behind.

You are left with a third degree burn that is so sensitive it is starting to blister, and patches of hair that did not come out with the wax.  Sweet plan this, execution however has been left wanting!

It is all very demoralizing, and makes you start to think being hairy is not as bad as they say.

For several years I reverted back to shaving and then using chemical hair removal stuff.  The problem with Immac/Veet or No-Hair is it usually smells like toilet disinfectant.

You have to lather it on your areas that you wish to be hairless – certain areas you wish to be hairless, while in certain areas you wish to well, retain some, well bush – the result is that you are left standing in a prone position in the bathroom lathered like a toffee apple, and then have to remain spread eagled for about 5 – 10 minutes while your growth is being dissolved.

It is all a bit humiliating and again you start weighing up how bad too much hair actually is on  girl.

There are few moments where I am ever left undisturbed in the bathroom.  The chances of being lathered and left alone spread eagled in my bathroom for 10 minutes, is a sweet sweet dream, but not realistic.

I returned to waxing, but paid someone money to hurt me.  This relationship worked well for about a year, but it really is just not fun.

I also take exception to someone working in my pubic area without at least buying me a bottle/glass of wine first.  So that relationship ended, and all the hair grew back, and it brought some more hair with it.

I have reverted back to shaving.

Which brings me to my next problem – ever tried shaving with three kids in the bath with you?

I am not even going to comment on the obvious hygiene issues and the slightly off-putting hair floating on a sea of oil in the bath.  But there are logistics constraints that need to be factored in.

The result is that shaving has stopped being a standard bathroom procedure and instead has turned in to an occasion, and event shall we say.

When the hair on my legs starts to overlap on my socks then I realize that possibly I need to schedule some shave time.

But that being said, that is actually not the main gripe  of my post today.

I have a lovely ring which I like nothing more to show off and have people gush adoringly at.  The problem is that while showing off my ring I realized I have tufts of hair on that section of my finger between my knuckle and the first finger joint.

What the hell?

Never noticed it before, but there we are – I have tufts of disturbingly dark hair that in some cases are long enough to fall ON TOP OF THE FEK’N DIAMOND!!

I am sure that people looking at the ring have noticed and have decided not to mention it … a bit like when someone you are speaking to, spits at you and it lands on your bottom lip.

You know it is there, they know it is there, but there is just not a polite way to address it.

Pretty much like my hairy finger tufts … I thought I would shave them off to solve the problem IMMEDIATELY.  But the sane part of me did reason that this would of course cause a slightly larger problem in 3 – 6 days.  So I am going to go and have the fekkers waxed.

I am a bit embarrassed at how I am going to ask for it … I might end up getting a Brazilian wax just to not make it awkward when I ask her to wax my fingers.  I mean if I can lie there like a porn star, then finger tufts should definitely be less of a problem – right?

I realize that I should not be blogging about tufts of hair on my hands that make me look like a cast member from the Hobbit, but there you are I am nothing if honest – which brings me to my next problem.

Why, why, why in Darwin’s picture of evolution or your version of creation, would women have hair around their nipples!!?

Is there any purpose to these stray hairs that start off rather insignificantly and then next thing you look they are long and thick and even starting to curl a bit like ribbon on a present … it is all disturbing.

The other day I had to pluck a granny hair off my chin … surely it is only a matter of time before I start having to use that little gadget-that-cuts-your-hair-in-your-nose-and-ears thing.