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What I’ve Learned About My Vagina Since Getting Married

Women's Health

Birth control isn't the devil. Ovulation is the golden ticket. And the vagina is not a topic that should be kept on the hush.


These are just a few things I learned about my vagina within the first couple weeks of getting married and actually having an active sex life.

My now-husband and I decided not to have sex while we were dating, and waited until our wedding night. How? I have no idea. There were definitely some close calls, like really close, but somehow, we were able to hold out for more than two years. I've gotten so many different reactions about that one. I'm not sure it's as much of a gasp-worthy moment as I used to think it was. And to be honest, before we got married, there really wasn't any action going on with my va-jay-jay anyway.

To back it up a little, I had a very sheltered childhood and even early adulthood. I felt like if I just thought the word "vagina," I would get popped or hit with a million questions of why I even had it on my mind. And while I understand my parents' attempt to be protective, it left me with lots of questions about my body that I was afraid to ask. I will say the Internet made me feel a little better about being so ignorant when it comes to the most precious part of my body.

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While I got a clean bill of health for my annuals every time I went to the doctor, there were a lot of questions out there and I wasn't the only one who was asking them. Still, I'm ashamed to say I waited so long to find out more about said precious body part.

While the answer is different depending on the woman and her body, learning about my vagina has been a key part of my journey of self-discovery and self-love. Here's what I've learned:

A Little TLC Never Hurts

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Okay, so honest moment: I could probably count on one hand how many times I looked at my vagina with a handheld mirror before I started having sex on the regular. I can be the first to admit that that was pretty stupid. If anything, I should have at least been checking up on it to make sure it was all good. Even though I wasn't sexually active, there were a lot of other things that could have gone wrong; and I would have never known. The few times I did check out my va-jay-jay was from pure curiosity. I started doing mirror checks a lot more after I started having sex, and after I got my first Brazilian wax. I can't even lie I was definitely feeling myself. Let's just say I had a few secret "Hey girl, I see you!" moments in the bathroom.

I realized that even if nothing is wrong, the vagina is such a sensitive and vital part of the body, it's important to show it a little extra attention. I think the most hilarious way I learned how to do this is with kegel exercises. I discovered that this was a simple yet effective way for me to connect with my body even more. I call it "hilarious" because I do them all the time and no one ever knows. It's like an incognito way for me to stay in touch with her and let her know I haven't forgotten about her. In the future, I plan on doing a vagina steam and yoni treatment. Wish me luck!

Birth Control Is Not The Devil

When it came to birth control, I was really on the fence about whether I wanted to take it. I knew I didn't want children right away. (I wanted to wait two years and my husband wanted them ASAP, so we compromised and decided to wait a year). I also heard a lot of different horror stories that women experienced and said it was from being on the pill. From cancer to infertility scares, their stories made me steer clear of birth control at first. I still decided to talk to my doctor about it and she gave me a low-dose pill option.

When we got married, I still hadn't started taking it. But things got real and changed my mind less than a week after tying the knot. There was no way we wouldn't have kids right away at the rate we were going. So far, I surprisingly haven't had any side effects that I can recognize. Of course, every woman, their body, and especially their vagina, varies. I made the choice that I thought was best for me and so far, so good. I honestly just felt at peace about it. And let's be real, the pull-out method only works for so long, and considering we waited to have sex, using condoms was just not on the agenda either.

Say What? – No, I Can't Get Pregnant Every Time I Have Sex

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This leads me to my next point, which marked one of the first indications that I was completely clueless about my vagina. I know y'all are going to judge me for this (I don't blame you, I still judge myself), but it's a moment that I have to confess and be vulnerable about. I had always heard of ovulating, but I didn't know I had to actually be ovulating when I had sex, in order to get pregnant. I know, I should have done better.

My moment of revelation came after our honeymoon. It was one of many times that we had sex and I just knew I had to be pregnant just because of the amount of sex we were having. I was talking to one of my friends about it and she asked if I was ovulating. I looked at my period app and realized I wasn't, and that it said I had no chance of getting pregnant the days we had sex so far. She gave me a major side eye but I'm glad I had that learning moment… as embarrassing as it was.

My Vagina Should Be Celebrated, Not Shunned

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Anyone can see that this is the year of the woman. We're taking over, speaking out, and defending ourselves in ways that many of us haven't seen in years. I'm proud to be a woman and am embracing all of the things that make me a woman, including my vagina. I wish I didn't wait until I was sexually active to learn these aspects about what I consider the most prized and valuable part of my body. Now, it's taken my love for girl power and women's empowerment to a new level. It's not something that should be kept on the hush—and this is coming from one of the most private and personal people out there.

It's something that should be embraced, laughed about, and a key part of what makes me who I am. I'm on this interesting journey of finding myself, so I have to say this truly helped me to fall in love with who I am… vagina and all.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.

Reparations

We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
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