The Wonder Down Under
Last week, I had the amazing opportunity of listening to Ellen Stoken Dahl, one of the authors of the incredible new book @thewonderdownunder , speak about some of the latest science on the vulva and vagina! Here are some fantastic takeaways that would be great if we could all get into the contemporary zeitgeist of sexuality information:
??The vulva changes dramatically during puberty and there is no such thing as a *normal* or *abnormal*-looking vulva. Unfortunately, we have a lot of trouble normalizing the vast diversity of vulvas due to disproportionate access to sexually explicit material vs. material meant to appropriately/adequately educate about the female anatomy! This leads many women (and, sometimes, the people who date them to believe something is wrong with them if they don’t look a certain way ?)
⚜️The clitoris has erectile tissue and the clitoral head is really only a small portion (albeit, extremely important) of a much larger organ known as the clitoral complex, which extends all throughout the pelvic area.
?Vaginal orgasms being the “right” way to orgasm is a cruel myth (thanks Freud!?). Research shows 80-90% with female bodies require clitoral stimulation in order to orgasm.
?The Hymen is not what you think (see previous post for more on this one)!
?There is more than one hero in the story of conception (hint: not the sperm). The egg(s)!! Did you know that up to 1000 eggs mature each month and only one makes it to the uterus?? Turns out we were all once quite the egg! ???
?Periods have no intrinsic biological value. (This one really surprised me)!
- Periods are the consequence of spontaneous mucous membrane growth, which is only necessary if trying to establish a pregnancy. Therefore, if not wanting to become pregnant, preventing the growth of the mucous membrane through contraception (and the consequential shedding of the membrane through menstruation) is a perfectly legitimate modern day luxury, if desired.
- By opting to prevent mucous membrane growth and along with it the shedding (period), females can also avoid life-disrupting experiences, such as, iron deficiency, heavy cramping, disruptions in desired activities (e.g. work, travel or sexual activity), and many, many, many others.