Why does this happen?

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0PT1M15T1C
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Why does this happen?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Sun Feb 16, 2020 11:53 am

Hi, so I find myself asking a lot of questions lately and I hope that's okay.

It's nice to actually be able to ask questions, most of my sex ed teachers have been male and just don't fully understand how all of that works for people with female bodies or I've been too scared to ask.

Im curious, so I was tested in the past for STI's after a scare because they don't teach about the diversity of vulvas whatsoever, for me I notice like I have bumps sometimes, and turns out that it was nothing, just one of the things about my body that just is sometimes. The doctor examining me said that everything looked fine and healthy, but I never ended up asking her why sometimes I get things like pimples or just why some of the bumps that are there are there. I'm going to be honest and say I've viewed porn looking at this and never saw anything on the actors such as that but also know porn is unrealistic and that a lot of times the people in them have "ideal" bodies, vulvas and penises.

I guess I'm just curious as to why those sorts of things happen, and sometimes it can be painful so is there anything I can do to prevent against it.

I also want to ask, is it possible that that area is just sensitive? I notice for the most part it happens after I get my period or after shaving.
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Re: Why does this happen?

Unread postby Siân » Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:12 pm

Sounds like you've already done the right thing by getting this checked out to be doubly-sure, but yeah it's not unusual to get spots or ingrown hairs around your pubic area. Different people are affected by things like razor rash to varying degrees, and for some shaving or the irritation from periods and period products, or wearing tight underwear for long periods of time can lead to blocked hair follicles or similar.

In terms of prevention, to some extent it might be a quirk of your body, but things like breathable (e.g. cotton) underwear, staying clean with water and maybe gentle soap, keeping harsh products away from the skin there, going easy on the shaving (reducing the amount, using fresh blades, shaving only in the direction of hair growth when you do) and letting your skin breathe completely at night e.g. sticking to just loose pj bottoms can all help.

And we love your questions! Really glad you feel able to share them here :)

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Re: Why does this happen?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Sun Feb 16, 2020 12:28 pm

I notice applying lotion reduces the amount the razor affects it as well as yeah, using a new and clean blade,I personally hate shaving but I also hate hair so it only goes so far. Although I know hair isn’t “dirty” I always view things shaven as clean, a big part of it is that I don’t really have dark hair anywhere else, shin pads for soccer significantly reduce how much hair grows believe it or not, or it just gets ripped off, or irritated by swear, I don’t really know to be honest, just know I don’t have a lot of it. I’m thinking a big part of this might be my packer now really thinking about everything I’m doing, having something like silicone (with corn starch on it) constantly rubbing might cause irritation.

With the things you mentioned as far as prevention, I do most of those, personally hate cotton underwear, prefer spandex boxers because I’m an athlete, I also pack and find cotton just does not work for me, so to some extent I’ll have to live with that. However I keep things clean, I hate things being untidy, just a little quirk I guess, staying clean is a priority for me. Also have never used harsh products, at most soap on the outside because that just makes sense but nothing goes inside my vagina. And as far as sleeping it’s typically just shorts or loose boxers so I don’t think that’s a huge part of it.

But then also, as far as (and I’m really hoping I’m getting all the anatomy right because I’ve done way too much research to get it wrong lol) I’ve always had little bumps I guess above the clitoral hood and between my labia majora and minora. Again, really hoping I have that right, I told the doctor that’s what I was concerned about and she just said that everything looked fine. I’ve just never seen that before on anyone else and as far as that, I’m just curious as to what it could even be. It’s not something that’s changed, not something that goes away for periods of time then comes back it’s just there, would that just be another quirk. I really wish I asked the doctor a little more but honestly I was there alone and terrified I could have an sti, she also was touching me in a place where I strongly dislike being touched (she took a lot of precautions to make sure I was as comfortable as could be and I asked her to do it btw. She also explained each thing she was going to do or touch before she did it which was nice.) it was just new and scary for me.
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Re: Why does this happen?

Unread postby Siân » Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:01 pm

Again, it sounds like you're doing the right things, and from the description in your final paragraph I'm not hearing anything concerning - and am really glad you got such a good nurse! - it sounds like you just have textured skin there as part of your bodies normal variation.

With shaving, the only thing I can think of as another option is to turn to trimming to bring your hair to a quantity you feel comfortable with minus some of that irritation - really it's personal preference at this point whether the asethetic or the irritation bother you more.

You're right that packing can cause irritation, particularly with certain materials - you said "something like silicone", do you know what yours is made of? It may be worth reaching out to the manufacturer/seller and double checking if it's safe for prolonged skin contact. If not, you can use packing underwear that puts a barrier between your skin and your packer. Make sure you're also keeping it clean and if it can be boiled to sterilize do so regularly.

0PT1M15T1C
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Re: Why does this happen?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:19 pm

I remember seeing it as being silicone when I did the research but looking it back up, all in finding is that it’s made from “real-to-the-touch SuperSkin material” I’m almost positive it’s silicone, when I bought it they instructed me that just soap and water work fine and I do that daily.

What I do right now because I’m on my period I wear I guess briefs? And that puts something in between, you’re supposed to use corn start to keep it from sticking because those suckers stick like you wouldn’t believe. I could probably pack with two pairs or get packing underwear though.
It’s a popular brand and I’ve never heard of it causing problems. I also don’t pack very often as when it moves it looks like I have an awkward boner. I’ve never heard of boiling a packer though.

Is the textured skin piece fairly common? It’s something that make me feel really gross because I haven’t seen anyone else with it and bumps are typically viewed as weird.
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Re: Why does this happen?

Unread postby rubyted » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:59 pm

Hi there, hope it's okay that I'm jumping in on this topic!

I haven't personally packed before so don't have a lot of wisdom to share on that topic, but I agree with Sian that getting packing underwear could be the best way to go, or I'm interested to see if wearing two pairs of underwear would work for you. I'm not sure if you've seen this article, but there's a great section on packing that might help you out:
https://www.scarleteen.com/trans_summer ... ssion_gear

In terms of the textured skin piece you were talking about between the clitoral hood and labia minora and majora, I'd say that's fairly common and if you checked it out with your doctor who didn't see anything wrong, I wouldn't worry about it too much. It sounds like you're talking about Fordyce spots:

"Fordyce spots, or sebaceous granules, are a non-STI dermatological condition characterized by clusters of small (1 to 3 mm) elevated bumps or spots on various parts of the body. They can appear pale red, yellowish-white, or skin-colored and most commonly appear on the glans or shaft of the penis, the scrotum, the labia, or on the edges of the lips. Fordyce spots are a variation of sebaceous glands, which are normally responsible for lubricating the skin and hair follicles. Fordyce spots are a highly common condition, presenting themselves in around 70 to 80% of the adult population at any given time." (from the University of Santa Barbara's Sociology Department's Sex Info section)

I first heard about them here:
https://www.scarleteen.com/article/advi ... n_my_penis

And here's another article going into more detail about them:
https://www.healthline.com/health/fordy ... #diagnosis

They shouldn't be painful, aren't dangerous and don't require any treatment. Perhaps you can do a little googling and let us know if that description sounds accurate to you?

0PT1M15T1C
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Re: Why does this happen?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:32 pm

As far as packing with two pairs of underwear I don’t notice a difference whatsoever to be honest with you, doesn’t show and isn’t a problem. If anything it holds my packer better and makes me sweat less. Packing underwear is insanely expensive (I’ve seen it roughly $65 a pair) and I’m my opinion, for me, I don’t see it as worth it when I don’t even pack often enough to make it worthwhile. I’m aware of different types, and packers I can use, and honestly for what I use my packer for, it’s not a big enough problem for me. I’ve been packing for quite some time now, and honestly, it would be different if I wanted to wear it while working out, but I just want it for the pure idea of knowing there’s a penis in my pants, especially on days dysphoria is bad.

I think that’s definitely what’s going on, they still just look so strange, like it’s great to know that they’re normal. I just think a piece of it was that I was looking at it for so long in fear of it being an sti, something that couldn’t be cured in the case of what it looked like. They aren’t painful whatsoever, the pimples or whatever sometimes are but I think with a little more research, on this site actually I should probably fix a few things as far as shaving and maybe my period products. Maybe the brand I’m using just isn’t for me, also because I still wear guys underwear it does fit differently. As far as the spots, it starts above my clitoral hood and goes about half way down my labia, I just view them as so gross, and although it lines up with everything it’s just not something I find attractive and maybe that’ll take some time. For me they are like a light skin tone colour and stay that way, the size also fits. They go down both sides of my labia, and end up as just one line of them as they go down, however they are not symmetrical and that bothers me more and I don’t know why exactly because my vulva is most certainly not symmetrical.
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Re: Why does this happen?

Unread postby Mo » Sun Feb 16, 2020 8:28 pm

I wonder if it might be helpful to see what happens if you take a break from shaving for a little while, to see if you notice fewer bumps. There are ways to minimize ingrown hairs from shaving pubic hair, but that particular method of removing pubic hair is known for ingrown hairs and there isn't a way to guarantee you won't have them. It's hard to know if what you're noticing are ingrown hairs from shaving or Fordyce spots (or perhaps a combination of both) but it could be useful information to see if taking a break from shaving changes the number of bumps you see.

I hear you saying that they feel gross to you, but I hope that you can eventually feel more okay with them. Genitals are, far more often than not, going to be a little asymmetrical, or have some small spots or bumps or ingrown hairs; that's part of how bodies are. If most of the vulvas you've seen have been in porn, then it's likely that you've seen a very tiny example of a very specific way that vulvas can look and be groomed, but that's not a "correct" or "ideal" way for them to look, or even a way that the majority of people find most attractive.
I know that me saying this won't make you magically feel great about these small bumps, but hopefully you can be less bothered by them over time.

0PT1M15T1C
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Re: Why does this happen?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Sun Feb 16, 2020 9:04 pm

I want to clarify this piece, I feel like I may have made it sound like I shave more than I do, I don't notice a difference when I do or don't shave. I keep things tidy, for sure, but I also don't shave as often as I think you might be believing? Although ingrown hairs may happen, that's definitely not this. It helps to know it's more common but idk, it's not something I enjoy. What really helped a lot was, and I'm not sure where but I know it was Scarleteen, someone mentioned the instagram account @the.vulva.gallery on instagram, and definitely learned a little bit from there. Being trans sucks in it's own so I don't know how well I'm able to make peace with that, thankfully that dysphoria isn't insane all of the time, and my hope is that surgeries will improve.

I think my biggest fear is like having a partner point them out as something they aren't, like I actually was tested and I'm glad I did that, but it's just not fun looking at them at all..I do think it's nice hearing (or I guess seeing in this case) that there's a lot of diversity, and also that it seems fairly common, which I really didn't know about. With shaving, I like things looking tidy, I hate it clean shaven because for me it's triggering, but also I find I just dislike having lots of hair. There's an in between I like and that's how I roll, and I think that's okay. I spent so long viewing them as an sti after being in a really bad situation, and thought I'd be stuck with those consequences of what they did to me, even physically for life. So I think that'll definitely take time to work through, for something I viewed for so long in fear and humiliation, thinking no one would ever love me because of it, that's definitely going to take some time to undo, even though I've been cleared by a doctor.

As a side note it really gave me a clear idea of how important safe sex is, I would stay up at night crying and couldn't tell my parents that I wanted to be tested out of fear they would find out what happened to me and blame me, following that I also needed to go to a specific clinic and be of a certain age (in my case 14) to be tested alone. It was repeated and I was shown pictures in health class of worst case scenario sti's and that terrified me. I never want to go through that again, it's so important for me to be safe, because in a way, I was able to escape that somehow, they had done it to other people as well and somehow, nothing. I'm so so grateful for that and treat it as so, I love and use the phrase no glove = no love, it's mandatory especially knowing how common sti's are among my age range.
I have so many more questions but I love learning and exploring this topic so much, I think so much of what y'all do here is incredibly important and it kind of gives me an idea of some of the options I have when I get a bit older. So I hope that it's okay that I keep asking.
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Re: Why does this happen?

Unread postby Sam W » Mon Feb 17, 2020 8:24 am

It's absolutely okay that you keep asking questions! It's what we're here for :)

With that fear about what a partner might assume if they saw these bumps, you could almost think of it as a litmus test for a partner. If they ask about them and accept your answer, then that's someone who shows they trust you and won't try to shame you for things. If they ask about them and refuse to believe you, or point them out in a way that's rude or mean, that's a sign it's time to put clothes back on because they clearly are not the partner for you.

I do want to add that it's okay if these bumps don't feel great, or even okay, to look at right away. If they were tied up in fear that they were a reminder or result of the abuse you dealt with, it might take some time to get okay with them.

0PT1M15T1C
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Re: Why does this happen?

Unread postby 0PT1M15T1C » Mon Feb 17, 2020 9:22 am

Okay yeah, that would be a pretty good way to look at it, as like a test, and I'll keep that in mind for sure. I think it'll take some time to get used to, but knowing they aren't a bad thing is good start.
Thank you :)
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Re: Why does this happen?

Unread postby Amanda F. » Mon Feb 17, 2020 10:54 am

0PT1M15T1C wrote:I'm going to be honest and say I've viewed porn looking at this and never saw anything on the actors such as that but also know porn is unrealistic and that a lot of times the people in them have "ideal" bodies, vulvas and penises.



You are so right that porn is unrealistic! It doesn't show even close to the true variety of healthy bodies that exist in the world (not to mention the variety of ways in which people like to have sex). You've gotten some great advice in this thread but I did want to throw in a couple more pieces which might help to explain what's up with the bodies we see in porn, and why your body is great just as it is :D

Bare Bodies: Reality Checking Mainstream Porn

Sex on Screen: Reality-Checking Mainstream Porn


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