“Even If My Vagina Is Faced With Adversity… She Has Given Me Some Damn Good Times.” – Meet Gemma

I know, can you believe it? I’m like that annoying rash that just won’t go away! I’m sat here uploading another post in the space of a week. I call it: my vagina calling. That’s right. I’ve realised that if there is one thing I can control in my life, it is this little safe haven of brilliant fanny chat. A place where I can come and ironically relax. An excuse to open a packet of biscuits and accidentally inhale the lot. An excuse to stay in my room all day listening to 90’s classics and a good distraction to the swollen lymph-node in my neck that is causing me mahoooosive anxiety.

If only Gash Gossip was a full time job. I wish that every day I could be that stylish, hot to trot ‘blogger’ flitting between trendy coffee shops, sipping on flat white’s, wearing fake glasses that make me look like I know what I’m doing. Out on the streets of London, talking to women of all ages, going into schools, communities, health groups, raising awareness, finally changing the sexual education young women and men receive, walking into the house of commons in just my pants! But alas, I am an out of work actor, manager, box office assistant, nanny and I’m moving house – my time is a bit stretched at the moment. So before I am able to traipse around looking for the best writing spot, in the best cafe and meet with the best ladies to talk about their lady parts, striving to make a difference, I’ve decided to go digital in true millennial style. The power of the almighty internet! Not only can you search your symptoms on Google, you can send emails too. 

I recently created a fancy questionnaire and sent it out to some wonderful women to complete. The hope was that from these I could then create short blog posts about their vagina problems, dilemmas, wants, needs, stories, sex lives etc. And the ladies did not disappoint! We finally have some other stories to tell and share with you all. On that note, I will stop rambling on and let someone else do the talking. 

Meet Gemma.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am now finding it really hard not to just talk about myself in relation to my vagina. I’m
Gemma, I’m 26 (same age as my vagina), I love to travel (always with my vagina), and I
am a charity worker (so many potential jokes not enough time.) Much of my happiness
revolves around cats, books, plants, snacks, rearranging furniture, and licking bowls.
(There is real potential there for people to hear that as “licking balls”… or to read it as
“licking bowels”… Ah I do amuse myself.)

Now is the part you can talk about yourself in relation to your vag! 

My vagina enjoys long walks on the beach, candlelit dinners, open fires, Ryan Gosling
(especially in Blade Runner 2049), and all activities involving coconut oil. Although she
has many good qualities, she is not always a particularly great hostess and will
sometimes outright refuse entry to visitors such as tampons, moon cups, medical
instruments and penises. This is not ideal.

I have endometriosis which is pain in the arse. And vagina. And stomach. I had a
laparoscopy at the start of 2015 and am currently on the waiting list for another one so
the endometrial-like tissue which is growing in all the wrong places can be burned away
with a laser. Fun.

I [also] have a retroverted uterus (which might be contributing towards sexual pain), a cervical ectropion (which might be contributing towards sexual pain), and endometriosis (which most definitely is contributing towards sexual pain plus impacts on what I’m putting in my stomach as well as in my vagina). The biggest impact on a day to day basis is dietary: I have already cut out alcohol and dairy and need to come to terms with the fact that gluten and refined sugar need to go, too. I can’t eat very much at once without being in pain, and I have to stick to fairly strict intermittent fasting to be my best most comfortable self (and to fit in my jeans without a crazy painful bloated tummy.)

Sexually speaking there is an everyday impact too, but not necessarily a negative one.
Sex is rarely pain free, so everyday fierce cuddling and shared showers with my man are
just a couple of ways we make sure we get our intimacy fix in a non-sexual way, in case
sex isn’t an option that day/week/month. I think it has actually made us a better, stronger
team.

Also… big also… the impact that the combination of pain, potential pain, sexual stress,
possible infertility and even just the frequent bloating have on my ability to properly
human is huge. I suffer from anxiety when the endometriosis flares up, which in some
ways can be even more painful than the physical symptoms. Luckily, I’ve had time to
learn how to handle my endometriosis and bad days are less and less frequent, but even
so, I normally have to take at least one or two days off work a month because of the
combination of pain and anxiety. A standard 9-5 office job isn’t really an option for me.

How often do you seek medical advice for your lady parts?

Less frequently since being properly diagnosed with endometriosis, but the process of
diagnosis was so long winded that I now consider myself pals with my doctor and always
ask her how she is before she asks me. This is equal parts heart-warming and heart-
breaking.

What would you like to see change about the way women talk about their vaginas?

I think eventually it would be bloody great if we could all be as in love with our vaginas
as men are with their penises, and have the way we talk about them reflect this positive,
confident outlook.

What do you dislike about your vagina?

Nothing. I think vaginas are pretty great little portals for multiple orgasms not to mention
new freaking humans(!) and even if my vagina is faced with adversity in the form of various medical problems, she has given me some damn good times.

Any final fanny thoughts?

I think it’s SO important that we talk about all the problems around women’s health and remove any stigma around it, but I also think there is a danger of getting sucked into this negative space of thinking “Fuck I wish I were a man”. And men don’t get to grow humans! Men don’t get a clitoris (the only body part designed JUST for pleasure), they don’t get half as many nerve endings as we do, and they don’t get multiple orgasms! Even periods can be thought of as something that connects us to nature – I think latest scientific studies suggest that menstrual cycles don’t actually link to the lunar cycle, but I still think it’s kinda magical that they are almost the same length because it means you can use the phases of the moon to know where you are in your cycle! We get to feel like earth goddesses with a
connection to the universe. We should be feeling sorry for the men!

And on that note, in the words of Arnie, I’ll be back.

Soph x

 

 

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