Updating the blog here to pull old entries from the pros/e/yes archives…in their original order. This project is simply a unification of my personal blog (with a LOT of NSFW entries) and my professional blog.
Good Afternoon! How’s the weather where YOU are? Here, it’s a little bit overcast and damp…and on the chilly side.
Speaking of damp…
…ever get the feeling you’re a bit more, erm, moist than usual? I know, I know…I sound like that old Summer’s Eve “less-than-fresh” commercial. Except, I can promise you, I have never…never…discussed a “less-than-fresh” feeling with my mother. Just — no.
That said, a discussion about moisture in the holiest of holies is one that needs to be had.
I was sharing the information about Poise’s Second Talk with a friend of mine over the weekend, and we both agreed that this type of information is important for women to have. Nobody really ever talks about this part of hormonal changes in women…at least not openly. I got to wondering about the why of that, since in terms of strictly nuts/bolts/plumbing, we’re given all sorts of information about menstruation and whatnot. That information is dispensed with when we’re approaching puberty. But for the changes that occur in midlife? The shifts that lead into perimenopause and eventual menopause? Nada. Even my gynecologist discusses this topic in terms of blood tests and hormone panels rather than the actual symptoms and changes. That could be because he’s a man…but even female gynecologists who have not experienced the shifts and changes in the body lack a personal frame of reference from which to speak to these matters.
Part of me wonders how much of this dates back…and how far? Antiquity? My understanding of religious principles, with respect to the vagina, is that much of our current problems and lack of understanding stem from ancient teachings from different religions. Soooo…I started there.
I pretty much already knew what was said in the Bible about discharge, thanks to my dissertation research. Old Levitican laws addressed clean and unclean discharge (loosely differentiating between menstruation, “clean” discharge, and a discharge that was quite likely gonorrhea). Not surprisingly, the Quran and Islamic teachings offer something pretty similar about something called wudû…and the listed types of vaginal discharge are noted only in terms of ritual purity. Moving on, I glanced in what the Torah has to say. Those who understand that Levitican laws are part of the basic Torah (the first five books in the Bible) grasp that the ancient laws between Christianity and Judaism are quite similar. However, growing up in a Christian church, I had no idea how detailed the rules in Judaism are, with respect to menstruation and ANY OTHER vaginal discharge.
So those were starting points for me, in terms of basic background…which was followed by the mental question of why those laws carried over to modern times. I had several thoughts about shorter life span of our ancestry, related to wars, diseases, childbirth, et cetera, and wondered just how many women in the ancient world survived into the so-called “Golden Years.” That could explain some of why so little discussion about female changes of the vaginal variety actually transpires today. With so much focus on entering into adulthood (as can be seen in cultures all over the world), the heavy-handed emphasis on menarche makes a kind of sense. With tribal elders supposedly being sources of wisdom, I suppose I can see how the less “knowledge” dispensed (particularly given how few people survived to ripe old ages), the more authoritative power an elder would have. Secret knowledge…or something. Whatever. In light of the history of widows in India, I don’t put a lot of stock in religious teachings except to try to understand the histories. For more interesting info on that side of it, I’ll simply refer you to Darrel Ray.
And none of that answers why, at a certain stage of a woman’s life, she starts to discharge so much fluid that it’s akin to wringing out a washcloth after using the bathroom…
…and never mind how the topic of splashy wetness led to discussing these things…
Anyhooooo…for me, my menarche started way early, a good two years before sex ed in school. My mother was not in any condition at that time to approach with weird stuff like dark brown crusty stuff on my panties. I sweartagawd, I was freaked out. Of course, my periods weren’t regular in any way…and I didn’t know what it was. For you men who might not know, periods don’t typically start with bright red blood, and they are not in any way on a regular schedule. I thought…seriously…that I shat myself or something, even though there was no poo smell. I burned those old soiled panties in a coffee can, and just told Mother I needed new drawers. Had she been in a “right” frame of mind, the reality of the situation might have occurred to her…but as it happened, when sex ed actually came up, I was not one of the kids giggling and whispering. If anything, I was just relieved that what I had been putting up with was perfectly normal.
Of course, we were told about other kinds of discharges, but in a kind of scare tactic way…anything other than a pearlescent whitish discharge was probably the result of having the dirty, nasty, disease-ridden schmex. So of course, even at 16 and 17, if I saw anything slightly yellowish, I was worried but couldn’t say anything. Years upon years would pass before I would be sitting on the other side of stirrups, staring into tunnel after tunnel of vaginas…and learning what is and is not normal in the way of discharges…not to mention, the smells that come out of that cave. Still…nothing really prepared me for life after 35, particularly “down there,” and all the changes that happen. Why? Because we don’t discuss “down there” — at least not in polite company…and most certainly not directly and honestly. Well, fuck that noise!
(I keep hearing my grandmother…“Have you no shame, Denise Alexandra?!” *cringing*)
Turns out, there are oodles upon oodles and kaboodles of different websites offering up information about vaginal discharges. In fact, last night while looking up what women might find in the labryinthine world of the webness about wetness, I cracked up at the tabs that were open on my desktop…
…and that is NOT a sight one would routinely see if one were to open my computer…LOL! And…even worse (in a raunchily hilarious way), a conversation with my eldest son…I was searching for a phrase that for some reason was escaping my memory, and in order for him to understand what I was looking for, I had to explain (a bit of) today’s write-up. His facial expression was priceless, let me TELL ya! He had one of those sideways grins that I love, coupled with shaking his head and laughing, “Omigaaaawd, Mom, really?!” Heh, making him react is great. Anyway, the only thing he could come up with was “Katrina & the Gobi” — in a question mark sort of way, which is not all that far off. What emerged was “flood or famine” ~ which is not precisely the phrase I was looking for. Close, but not quite.
Sidebar here: The phrase that kept echoing in my thoughts was “feast or famine” ~ which, in its way is appropriate here, given the topic. I know that thought will probably weird out a few guys, but think about it. I don’t know many women who dislike cunnilingus. Really. Matter o’fact, I enjoy giving head as much as I enjoy receiving it….*cough*…okay, I prefer receiving, of course, but giving is fun, too. What I dislike is facejobs. I don’t know any woman who likes that. I don’t know whose brilliant idea it was to dedicate an entire facet of pornography to spooging all over a woman’s face, but that shit needs to go the fuck away. Evidently, though, it sells…so guys must enjoy the idea. Flip the idea, though. If your woman is flooding large and you’re all up in there with fingers and tongue getting a facewash, does that sound fucking appealing to you?!
*cough* Yeah, so, flood or famine. The Devil and the Deep Blue Something. When I went to Poise’s Second Talk site and listened to what women in my age bracket have to say about some of the changes that go on in our bodies, one of the topics was dryness. Now, I haven’t experienced vaginal dryness in any extreme sort of way, so I can only imagine how incredibly uncomfortable that must be. I can’t imagine how that must itch, actually. I can only mentally compare it with another part of the body that is supposed to be moist and how itchy and sandpapery it feels…and this is something that I think most people can relate to. Our noses are supposed to be consistently moist, and when they’re dry…man, is it uncomfortable.
Speaking of noses, did you know that the second most sensitive point on our bodies is the very tip of our noses? (Guess the first one!) So if you happen to find yourself in search of, say, a pocket rocket or other “back massager” — the place to test it is on your nose. *one finger on side of my nose…the other finger pointing at you* But the OTHER fucked up thing about all things NOSE is how they connect, for women, with our nether regions — particularly after a certain age and/or after having kids. When we sneeze…when we cough…when we laugh…oh sweet mother of baby jesus, it’s annoying as all fucking hell. Seriously. There is DEFINITELY a market for Poise pads, when we’re too old for Pampers and too young for Depends. Oh, and just for fun, if you’re really interested in a lot of (mostly quite vulgar) nicknames for pussy…lol…have a look-see.
In the end, though, the big question of the day was (at the time of the original conversation), “Is the drenching normal?” My immediate questions: Was there any itching? Burning sensations? Foul odor? (No, no, and no.) Then YES, in all likelihood, the discharge is completely normal, even if you feel like you need a soup ladle rather than toilet paper to clean up. Of the different tabs I had open last night that made me laugh, the one I actually liked the best was PMAF link, since it provides answers to things like color, consistency, fragrance, etc…without being alarmist and fear mongering. One thing that I wasn’t prepared for as I got older, and this is something that is kinda freaky, too, is the reversion to the dark brown period blood from the very early days of my “rite of passage” ~ where it’s brown and looks a lot like bloody boogers, but even grosser…like the clotted snot from a particularly long and nasty cold…and this mess is exiting from your twat…so of COURSE the immediate reaction is: “IS THIS NORMAL?!” I mean, who even wants to ask the gynecologist about this nastiness?
And that, gentle readers, is what I live for…cos I’m a giver, you see. Yes, that is totally and completely normal. It is the body’s natural way of flushing out leftover gunk in our uteri. Blood, when it clots and dries does not stay red…it turns brown (as most of us already know, but aren’t used to seeing it on a pad or tampon or in our panties. Smell it if you’re uncertain. If it smells coppery? It’s just blood. If it has a more dank & rank odor, and/or if you’re experiencing itchiness or burning…if it’s green slime…if it’s curdly like cottage cheese or chunkeh …yeah, set an appointment with your gynecologist straightaway. Those discharges are likely symptomatic of something catchy.
One other thing specifically for tampon-users. If you have a really gross smell coming off of you that wasn’t there before and you’re relatively certain that you haven’t contracted an STI, get your fingers up in your cave and search for a stuck tampon. I’m tellin’ ya cos I’ve been there…not only having witnessed this happen to women who simply forgot and thought something was wrong up in there to having experienced it myself. It is one of the worst smells you can imagine, and when you pull that tampon out, it’ll be black, but the smell disappears immediately. The biggest concern with a stuck tampon isn’t the smell, though…the biggest concern is Toxic Shock Syndrome or TSS…if you experience sudden onset of fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches and rash ~ get your ass to the E.R. immediately.
Next week, I’ll home in on the specific STIs that have funky discharges — in both women AND men…what to look for and how to go about treatment…right alongside piggybacking Feminista’s love of all things CONDOM, because birth control methods do NOT prevent sexually transmitted infections.
For now, I’m hungry for some sunny side up eggs and maybe a side of raw oysters.
Happy Hump Day!