#LetsTalkAboutIt: Vaginas: The Hole Story

#LetsTalkAboutIt: Vaginas: The Hole Story

Disclaimer: I am not a biologist or vagina specialist but I have owned a vagina for 20 years, and through some self-exploration, chats with doctors and of course, Google, I like to think that I’m in a position of knowledge to talk about lady parts.

So, I have recently been involved in a conversation with my other half about where girls pee from. Not your usual pillow talk I grant you and I’m not sure quite how it came about but I’m very glad it did. Having had this discussion recently with my 58-year-old mother, who was adamant we only have two holes down below, I was horrified to discover that my boyfriend believes ladies pee and poop from the same place.

I would like to point out that he is a very smart man and can definitely navigate his way around my pleasure parts, yet he too said that he would have no clue “where a girl’s urethra is”. He said that he had been given the impression (as he believes a lot of men have), that there is almost an ‘oesophagus situation’ in a girls anus, which alternates between the bladder and the bowel, thus they must pee from their butts. For sure, he doesn’t own a vagina and the lack of education for men on vaginas, besides as a sexual organ, is worryingly limited.

My mother however, has lived on this planet for 58 years and been a proud vagina owner for as long. Yet she genuinely believed that women pee from their vaginal opening. She was absolutely shocked to realise that the urethral opening was an incredibly small little place, just above. With a gentle “Mum, do you take your tampon out before you pee every time? No? Then where does the pee come from?”, her mind was blown. How is that someone can reach this age without having this basic awareness of their own body? Again, the lack of education even for girls on their own body parts, beyond being a sexual organ, is concerning.

However, they are not alone. On an episode of Orange Is the New Black, Taystee was enlightened about the intricacies of her bodily functions and where abouts she pees from. She is told, in the wise words of her friend, the appropriately named Poussey that “Ya’ll there is a main coochie hole and then there’s, like, another little hole just for pee“. This TV sensation hit upon a modern problem that we were not previously aware of. As the prison goes into uproar about the new biological revelation, we are all left questioning the layout of our own bodies and how we are only now aware of them?

I can hear the mumbling already of ‘Well if I didn’t know before, why do I need to know now?’ However, let’s just take a minute and think about this. Our vaginas are pretty darn awesome, they are their own little self-contained eco-system and we really ought to be paying them more attention. They self-clean, maintain their own PH levels and are all impressively unique. Sexual health though can be difficult for girls if they don’t know basic facts about how they work.

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs) are hugely common in women, with it being estimated that over half of all women will experience a UTI at least once in their life. These tend to be caused by bacteria entering that little guy, the urethra and causing an infection. See why it would be helpful to at least know where that is? Women are much more prone to these due to the position of the urethra (near the clitoris, a bit of a target itself during sex), and the relatively short distance between it and the bladder. Whilst men’s urinary tracts are longer (the length of their penis), women have much less distance between their bladders and the outside world meaning UTI’s can turn to bladder infections and so on until it hits your kidneys. Now, they are easily treated at home with lots of fluids, peeing right after sex to flush it out etc. but the other instinct when you hear this information is to go into overdrive with your normal cleaning routines. Women can over clean themselves in an effort to prevent UTIs, but end up upsetting their natural PH levels. If you’re interested in reading more about UTIs and how to prevent them in a healthy way then you can check out the NHS page, it’s super helpful. If you’re not fussed about UTI’s at all I’d still recommend a look, it’s good info to know.

So I reckon if we could teach basic biological facts about the vagina to boys and girls, beyond their sexual function, we could be ensuring future healthy, happy and competent generations. Until this happens I recommend that everyone raises the conversations with the people in their lives, men and women alike (don’t be afraid, chances are most people have seen a vagina). If you’re a lady, why not take out a little hand mirror as Taystee did on OITNB and check your anatomy yourself?  Let’s spread some va-jayjay awareness and as Laverne (from OITNB) says ‘Get to know your own cha-chas, okay?’.

Written by Hannah Todd

Visuals courtesy of previously.tv

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