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Whose Vagina Is It, Anyway?

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Anonymous asks:

I'm a 32 year old woman being driven up the wall by my fiance always telling me he can tell I'm playing with my toys when he's at work because I'm loose that day. I swear to him up and down that I haven't and even tell him the last time that I have done something like that. But he doesn't want to hear it. He always says I'm lying about it all. Why somedays is my vagina tighter than another day? Is there a position during sex that would make my vagina tighter? I already do those "pee exercises." Please HELP!!! I'm sick of being accused of something I'm not even doing.

Heather Corinna replies:

I think there's a sounder, healthier solution than trying different sexual positions or doing more kegels. Because the problem here isn't your vagina.

I don't think the problem is your partner being uneducated about vaginas, either. I'm not even he is even earnestly feeling the physical differences he’s reporting. Even if he is, we’ll experience a different feeling with sex than we expect or want sometimes. But in a healthy dynamic, that's usually how we’ll frame it, as things just feeling different, no big whoop. We might ask to try different positions or different sexual activities to experience what we're looking for, or may just explore that new feeling without seeking something else at all.

That's sound for a whole bunch of reasons, including the ways we treat a partner with care, respect and courtesy. But it's also sound for another reason.

Let's say you ask me for a ruler to measure something. I don't have a ruler. But! I have magic playdough! While you were looking at me as if I'd lost my mind, I'd say you can use it just like a ruler, even though magic playdough can change shape or form to a pretty amazing degree, change temperature or texture, and could even change in terms of how it looks or feels based just on what I think and feel. Despite being very impressed with this incredible stuff, you'd likely ask me how magic playdough could be used as a ruler, since I just made clear it can’t possibly be an accurate tool for measuring anything.

How, indeed.

Genitals are not at all like rulers but quite a lot like magic playdough. Their size, shape, texture, temperature and other properties change all the time. How they change and feel is very strongly influenced by what we are thinking and feeling. And when genitals are interlocked, all of these things are happening for more than one person at once, with more than one body, so telling how one set of genitals feels separately by measuring with another set is impossible.

You can know you're likely outside a healthy dynamic when a person has made a pattern of baseless accusations, despite your objections, exasperation and hurt. You feel like your sexual body is living under constant interrogation, so you can know something is wrong with your relationship. You understand this is your vagina, and your body, not his, right? Of course you do. But he does not. That’s very bad news if you want a healthy relationship.

It sounds like no matter what you do sexually, or what information you give this person, this won’t stop. And, personally, continuing an intimate relationship with someone like this sounds about as appealing as chewing glass.

I think the only potentially sound solutions are a) this guy dedicating himself to ongoing counseling, work he goes into and participates in with a strong understanding his behavior is really messed up and with a strong desire to change it or b) you getting out of this relationship. Since you're engaged, I assume you’re very invested in this relationship and may prefer the first option to leaving. Just know that counseling can't do squat if he doesn't deeply invest in it, want to change AND stop with this behavior right now for good. My vote is for Plan B. You can stop all of this yourself right now by taking and keeping yourself and your vagina far, far away from someone like this. You’ll both be a lot happier if you do.

You can find out more about your body for yourself: here are a few links to fill you in on the ever-changing nature of your vagina and parts of your body surrounding it, something people who like vaginas and the people they're part of usually find fascinating, not infuriating. Our Bodies, Ourselves just released a new edition this month: if you don’t have a copy, go get one. It can fill you in about your anatomy, and there's also information in there about healthy and unhealthy relationships I think you could use.

written 20 Oct 2010 . updated 21 Jan 2014

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