Friday, March 12, 2010

If you are not in pain, you are insufficiently feminine

So, can I just say some things? I read the feminist blogs. Obvs. And I am always seeing shit people find that is supposed to make ladies better ladies. Like makeup or impractical but pretty shoes, diets, plastic surgery, banishment of the appearance of intelligence, humor, and/or self-esteem, and fucked up shit that is supposed to make your vagina "tighter" or "more youthful." Today I saw an ad via Feministing for something called "Hymen Gel" that is supposed to tighten middle aged ladies' vaginal canals. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYY? (this should be read inwardly in the whiniest voice possible) I am going to make some points that are numbered because writing full paragraphs with topic sentences and shit is not conducive to the rage:

It is possible I have edited these ads in MS Paint.

1. Having a "youthful" vagina AKA having an intact hymen (which has very, very little to do with whether or not one is a virgin, BTW) is a creepy aspiration. Fetishizing virginity is messed up in that it leads to the sexualization of young girls by gross adults and perpetuates the societal myths about sexually experienced women being "used up" like old duct tape.

2. One of the ads asks whether there is a "gap" in your "relationship." If this means that your tired old vagina is just too big and saggy for your man's tiny penis and it gives him performance anxiety, then, well, that is fucked up. Because if your PIV sex is unsatisfying for your man, then CLEARLY there is something going wrong with the V! The natural state of your vagina is wrong and you need a pink, girly GEL or CREAM or SPRAY or DOUCHE to fix it, you icky, icky, girl.

3. This product and its thousands of marketplace brothers and sisters perpetuate the idea that heterosexual PIV intercourse is the only legitimate form of sexual expression and that women should be applying weird muscle-contracting gels to their ladyparts in order to MAKE IT WORK GODDAMMIT, because heaven forbid we try something else. It privileges the heterosexual male's pleasure and disregards the fact that for many women, vaginal penetration can be fun but doesn't really do it for us.


4. Perhaps most importantly: COMPLETE DISREGARD FOR FEMALE PLEASURE. Now, I'm not going to go set up one of those quiz widgets to survey all y'all, but from my own experience and those of my straight female friends I've actually talked to about this, I'd say a product that makes it "feel like the first time" is pretty much the most unappealing thing ever. I've got no regrets about my sexual choices, and The Sexy Gay Jesus knows we've all got to start some time, but I would say that without a doubt my first (and second) times having the PIV were really quite painful. I know this is not everyone's experience, but at least a little bit of pain is fairly common for women and girls their first time(s) out, and the idea that we would willingly recreate a "tight" vagina to eliminate the "gap" in our sexual relationships is completely ignorant of this fact. OUCH.

So fuck you, Hymen Gel. I am not broken, my vagina is not "too big,"* and if that hurts some man's precious penile-focused ego, then TOO BAD. Applying medication that makes your vaginal muscles seize up so that your husband can feel like a big man who fucks teenagers is WRONG and, I'm assuming, painful. I'm sorry for the women who have been convinced by the patriarchy that it is their fault if PIV isn't a rollicking, youthful, multi-orgasmic experience for everybody involved, so I don't want to tell women who buy this shit that they're stupid. THEY are not stupid, they are trying to cope with the culture and/or relationship they live in. But it is sad. Sad, sad, sad. And people need to know that and know why. While I certainly understand that people's sexuality is variable (between individuals and at different times of our lives or even our days), if in general, you're not enjoying it, if you're doing yourself more emotional or physical harm in order to please someone else than you are receiving pleasure, you're probably doing it wrong. It might be time to reevaluate. Go to a sex therapist, don't buy Hymen Gel. For god's sake, please don't buy Hymen Gel.

*I'm no gynecologist, but I do know that a vagina cannot be "loosened" by "too much" sex. It can permanently change in size through the process of childbirth, causing the muscles of the vaginal wall to slacken some. For some women this may become a legimate health problem  if it leads to prolapse, etc. HOWEVER: giving birth is actually one of the biological purposes OF a vagina, so if you do choose to have children, you're not doing anything to your body it wasn't meant to do. Meaning: YOU'RE NOT BROKEN.


  1. Does it come with a packet of fake blood for maximum first-time simulation? And a squeaky mattress and crummy boombox, to simulate the cheapo apartment my first time took place in? none of these things are conducive to fun :(

  2. I hope it comes with a coupon for one of those plasticky extra-long single mattresses and a "dorm delights" air freshener just to make it more authentic for me.

  3. Brain bleach, stat.
    Seems to me there'd be ways to fake up a nice gory show for these sickos that would not actually cause pain or discomfort for the person obliged to provide the show. Still makes me want to barf, though.
    Human beings are not bubble-wrap.
    No reason sex should ever hurt, and a society that prides itself on being liberal, etc., should have long ago begun to tell the young how to make sure it won't. I'm sick of hearing how much worse off it is in the Middle East or whatever--let's clean up our own back yard first.
    Glad to see this stuff being called out.