I just read an incredibly painful article on “Vagina Atrophy” in Elephant Journal that I’m shocked that Elephant Journal published without a counter point. If I read this article without knowing what I know as a sex educator that specializes in working with women, I would be terrified. This article is one woman sharing her painful experience with her own relationship with her vagina as she passes through various stages of life.
When she hits midlife, she shares that Vagina Atrophy is a far-gone conclusion of female aging and informs us that this future belongs to most of us. I feel her pain and her story brought tears to my eyes. But, I’m sorry — telling all women that Vagina Atrophy is a future that we can all expect, is simply uneducated, myth-promoting and terrifying. Your vagina is not Medusa. You do not have to expect that your vagina will turn to stone as you age.
Let’s start here. If you are a female-bodied person, you have a vagina. Your vagina will physically and spiritually evolve/change as you do over time. If you are trained to believe, not educated or simply have fear and shame around your vagina, you may feel like your vagina is like some great big void inside of you — a dark tunnel whose purpose is to be used to receive another’s pleasure, birth children, menstruate and mostly be a body part you need to maintain and clean up after.
Yes, vaginas — like a good life — are messy. It would change women forever if they could embrace the hot messiness of their vaginas and their hormones. Your vagina is not neat. It leaks, has various scents, looks unique from female-bodied person to female-bodied person, and it is a portal to the mysteries of life. The vagina has been worshiped, hated, misunderstood, marketed, and shamed. If you have a vagina, I would like to invite you to get to know her and her secrets throughout your life.
I do not believe that your vagina “has to” atrophy as you age. That’s an unfortunate myth. But I do believe that if you are not willing to get messy with her, listen to “her” voice, keep touching her, and keep in conversation with her every day — your vagina will numb out.
Vaginas are a portal to the feminine and hold the energy to a creative, powerful and pleasure-filled life. Vaginas are our portal to pleasure, to a life well-lived and to the mystery of the female soul.
Vaginas do not close up without us closing up and disconnecting from her first.
I invite you to hold her and get to know her. There is so much potential with our fabulous, extraordinary and messy vaginas. And if you feel that your vagina has turned to stone, there is no shame in that. Your vagina is simply waiting for you to find her again. Love her today.
By: Pamela Madsen