This is a reoccurring interview that the TFC blog conducts with random women. The idea is to show how varied and unique each woman's sexual experience can be. To protect the interviewee's privacy, she will be identified as her favorite flower.
TFC: When is the last time you looked at your vulva?
PO: I usually give it a cursory glance in the shower, but I can't remember the last time I took out a hand mirror. I don't really have any mirrors in the house except for the one on the medicine cabinet, so not looking at my vulva is akin to not seeing the back of my hair, or not being able to make sure my pants don't make my butt look funny.
I remember the first time I looked at it, though. I think it was inspired by a scene from Fried Green Tomatoes, (but it could have been Steel Magnolias). At any rate, I was somewhere between ten and twelve and a scene in a movie that has some sort or rural Southern theme and a bunch of woman sitting around with mirrors to their crotch caught my interest. I was really surprised at what I saw when I saw it myself.
TFC: What does it look like to you?
PO: Lumpy. I've gotten used to it over the years, but it's taken me a while to recognize it as my own. My inner labia hang out below my outer labia, so there's a bit of volume. If I wore tight pants camel toe would be a serious issue. A friend of mine once told me that hers hung funny too, and some guy she slept with in highschool told her it looked like roast beef. I've adopted that, because it didn't happen to me, and, well, it kind of does.
TFC: Age at first orgasm and how did you achieve it?
PO: Looking back I realize that I've had little orgasms off and on as long as I've been masturbating (since I was four or so) but they were never such mind blowing events, so even up until my first partner induced orgasm two years ago, I always considered them small releases and not "real" orgasms. It was my first "real" orgasm that made me realize that the shape and size doesn't matter as much as the release of tension.
TFC: What does an orgasm feel like to you? Do you have a definition for orgasm?
PO: It's totally clitoral and takes a while at a very specific rhythm. I have no problem mixing it up, when it comes to sex, but if I want to come, there's not a lot of variety. The first time I had an orgasm with a guy, and one that was more explosive than the self induced kind, was with the man who's now my husband. It felt sharp and immediate. Now I have a very flexible definition, so all those little releases I used to describe as "comfortable" I now call orgasms.
TFC: When was your most recent orgasm and what were the circumstances?
PO: I honestly can't remember. I still don't get a lot of them, so I'm happy enjoying sex in other ways. It still feels great even if there's no big bang. I'm lucky in my own way, they often come as little surprises. Because I don't expect them, when they do happen it's a special bonus.
TFC: Have you ever had trouble reaching orgasm? if so, how did it make you feel?
PO: I pretty much always have trouble reaching orgasm. It's not even a guarantee if I'm doing it myself. For years I thought I was totally deprived of some amazing experience, but I've been lucky to learn that it's different for everyone. I'm not envious of women who can orgasm all the time. I'm also not envious of men just because it seems like it's so easy for them, which wasn't always the case. I used to resent men for that, which didn't make sex a particularly bonding experience, even if it was with a serious partner.
TFC: Have any nicknames for your vulva?
PO: I don't really consider my vulva as something separate from myself so it's never struck me to have a nickname. It would be like naming my left arm. I got really mad the first time my husband made up some cutesy name. He thought he was being endearing, I thought he was separating me from the part that he wanted to have sex with. I'm kind of one minded like that.
PO: What is the best piece of sex advice you've ever received?
A good friend gave me this one in our very early twenties after some guy freaked out about her stubble: Don't shave your legs for a man who's not going to be into you if you didn't get a chance to shave your legs.
(TFC is always looking for more women's vulva perspectives. If you're interested in sharing yours, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org)