Skip to main content

I'll Show You Mine: Jayla

Share |
Submitted by Heather Corinna on Mon, 2011-08-08 08:45

This is our third installment of stories and photographs from I'll Show You Mine, a book by Wrenna Robertson and photographer Katie Huisman, and by all of the women featured in the book, collectively. To find out more about the book, Wrenna, and why we think this is such an important project, check out our interview with her here. Or, you can visit the website for the book to find out and more and get a copy for yourself.

If you would like to ask the person whose body and words are featured in each entry any questions or have a conversation with her, most of the subjects have agreed to make themselves available here in the comments for discussions with our readers. As mentioned in Wrenna's interview, so many people never get the opportunity to talk about genitals in an honest, open and safe way with others, so we encourage you to avail yourselves of the opportunity, and are so grateful to the women involved for making this kind of conversation available to Scarleteen readers.

We're also happy to talk with you as Scarleteen staff or volunteers if you like. Depending on your feelings about your own genitals or those of others, and your experience (or lack of it) in seeing vulvas so realistically before, reading narratives or seeing images like these may stir up feelings for you which are uncomfortable. We're glad to talk you through any discomfort if you like should that happen for you. We're also happy to answer any questions this series may bring up for you about sexual or reproductive anatomy, either here in comments, on our message boards, or through our text service.

Reminder: This post includes a set of unaltered, unretouched and detailed photographs of the vulva for the purposes of awareness and education, not for sexual or other entertainment. If you do not wish to view photos like this, or are in a location where you do not feel comfortable viewing them, you may not want to read or scroll to the bottom of this page. We have left substantial space in between the words and the images so you may read all of the author's narrative without also viewing the images if you prefer.

This post also includes a first-person narrative reflective of the author and their own thoughts, feelings and language, which may or may not reflect the opinions or values of Scarleteen as an organization.

My name is Jayla.

My vagina history contains culture shock, a single father, religion and terrible experiences with men. It confused, sexualized and controlled most of my life.

I remember my first experience with my vagina. I was 7 years old. I was bathing when I accidentally created water pressure and it ran down my vagina. It felt strangely good and unlike anything I had felt before. Instinctively, I felt that I had to keep this discovery to myself because I knew there was something dirty about it. I had immigrated to Canada leaving my home, my culture and my mother to live with my father. We never had the sex/genital conversation.

I had come from a different culture and had grown up with a different set of freedoms. I remember feeling sad when my father didn't allow my younger brother and me to bathe together. I quickly learned to be self-conscious as my native culture was very different from Canadian culture. Growing up in Canada with a single father was difficult. Going through puberty was challenging and having my first period was the worst.

I enjoyed my showers and baths for years. It was where my body felt good; I just didn't understand anything about it. As I matured, I was curious and hopeful about sex. When I talked with my girlfriends, I was excited when I heard about their sexual activities and saw how they carried themselves with such confidence. It was enough for me to try it out. Sex was not what I had expected and I became even more conflicted as I was raised believing that sex before marriage was against my religion. I continued to feel confused and ashamed for masturbating and having sex.

Not until the last few years have I freed myself from all that had oppressed my vagina and my identity. I moved away from my father, I freed myself from religion, and I have opened up to spirituality and to connection. I freed myself from having meaningless sex and eventually met a man who my vagina became very fond of. He treated my vagina in the most delicate and precious way. All of my bad memories and experiences disappeared the day I saw him staring and touching my whole vagina in daylight, just looking at it with his blue eyes. It was also the day I first embraced my vagina and accepted myself. Together we've discovered the depths of my vagina, its details and its abilities, its wants and needs, its likes and dislikes. With his openness he helped free my vagina from its previous life and today I am not ashamed anymore. I have accepted the gift of womanhood and self-worth and I want to share it with you.

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.

Previous posts in this series:

Want some information on vulvas and other sexual anatomy, gender and body image? Check these links out to get started:

More like This

The other day, for no apparent reason, I got the idea that it'd actually be kind of fun and empowering to think of my average vulva as my super, big, GIANT vulva. I suddenly found myself wanting to...
The term "sexuality" can be used a lot like the word "sex." They're both terms we say and hear a lot, but which often aren't clearly defined, or even defined at all. We can take for granted that...

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.