My vagina the hazard zone (Sarah)

It was an innocent comment. He told me I should realise how much I meant to him because he was willing to sleep with me, even though I have Type 2 HSV (genital herpes). That’s how much he loved me. He referred to himself as “brave”.

It was an innocent comment. He meant well. But something inside of me snapped. If I hadn’t had enough issues with my vagina already (recurrent thrush, vulvodynia, bacterial vaginosis, an overgrowth of cells on my cervix, an embedded IUD), this really took the biscuit: my vagina was no longer just a problem for me but a problem for my sexual partner. In calling himself brave, he had demarcated my vagina as a hazard zone.

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A letter to my vagina (Tiffany)

Dear vagina,
Fuck you.
Fuck you.
Fuck you.
 
It wasn’t bad enough that you made me paranoid about the way you felt,
Made me think that my pubic hairs were too coarse,
Too wirey,
Too aggressive.
 
It wasn’t bad enough that you made me question if you were pretty enough,
Symmetrical enough,
Tidy enough,
Pink enough.
 
It wasn’t bad enough that you made me worry that you smelt too strong,
That people would run away in horror with the slightest whiff of you,
And joke to their friends, “her pussy smells”.
 
It wasn’t bad enough that James **********┬ásaid that you were really hairy,
That he was surprised
Because I didn’t look like a hairy girl.
 
It wasn’t bad enough that you’ve brought more pain than pleasure
Burning with urine infections
Itching with thrush
Jumping at laser beams
Wincing at wax strips
and prickling with razor burn.
 
It wasn’t bad enough that you’ve been inspected by a dozen and a half different healthcare professionals
Inserting speculums
Scraping walls
Collecting cells
Collecting fluids
Peering between my legs with head-torches like I’m the latest discovery.
Burning my cervix
And leaving my unconscious body to wake, alone, with a wad of giant sanitary napkins beneath me.
 
It wasn’t bad enough that you’ve always failed.
Never been good enough in bed
Never been relaxed enough
Never achieved the holy grail of O.
 
It wasn’t bad enough. You had to go and become dangerous. You had to become infectious. You had to become unsafe territory.
 
You’ve left me sore and wounded,
Feverish,
Medicated,
Anaesthetised
And tired.
 
You fucking prick.