It has long been the case that women have been taught to be shy of their own genitals. A woman’s pussy has not always been considered her domain. A woman’s pussy has often been considered something that has belonged to others even to the point that basic care of one’s own genitals is left in the hands of others and sometimes even not given sufficient attention by the owner. Much like doing one’s own breast self-exams, getting familiar with your own vulva can help a woman learn more about her body and better know when things are happening that could indicate a problem. Thus, the time has come where doing a vaginal self-exam is no longer something that only vegetarian health-club hippies do, but is instead something that all women do. Thus, for all the women out there, get naked (well, below the waist, anyway), grab a small mirror (try for one with a long handle or one with a base that lets you adjust the angle), some lubricant (if you think you need it), a sanitary napkin or a medical grade latex (or non-latex) glove, feminine wipes and a flashlight. It is time for you to go where few men have gone bef … erm, scratch that, let’s go pussy spelunking!
(Note: Either do this right after you have bathed, or clean yourself up before you start. Trust me, you don’t want to be exploring yourself and then realize that you’re distracted by vagimusk when it could have easily been prevented by a wash cloth and soap. Don’t do this during menstruation and don’t do it after using any vaginal products. Some women use speculums for this, you can buy one, if you really want to.)
(To the men that have read thus far - please tell your wives, girlfriends, confidantes, … moms … about this.)
First and foremost, it is a good idea to get familiar with your own anatomy. Thus, I have constructed a map:
(DO NOT LOSE THIS! You might get lost!)
And, a more detailed map:
1. Mons Pubis
2. Clitoral Hood
4. Opening of the Urethra
5. vaginal opening
6. Labia Minora (Inner Labia)
7. Labia Majora (Outer Labia)
9. Pudendal cleft/fissure (cleft of Venus, kitty cleavage)
Remember: This is for you to use to monitor your health so that you might be able to spot problems early and so that you’ll be familiar with your body - this will not replace an exam by a doctor. Don’t think that if you do this you can skip your next pelvic exam! Do this and also go to all your check ups so that both you and your doctor are well aware of the healthy state of your most adventurous bits.
Wash your hands and find a comfy place (that is really well lit) where you can easily support your back and spread your legs open. (Some women do this while squatting with their back against the wall, but I don’t want a lawsuit because someone tipped over and hurt themselves or ended up with mirror shards in their crotch, so please do this while sitting.)
Bend your knees and spread your legs wide enough to have some working room. Put your feet close to your ass, it is difficult to do this and reach everything if you just have your legs wide and laying flat and straight (most people don’t even have sex or masturbate in that position and you’re trying to access the same parts, so give yourself some room).
The first thing you need to do is to check that the manufacturer sent you all your parts - or, at least, the parts you should be paying attention to at the moment. Please check the maps above and identify each part on the list. If you can angle the flashlight beam so that it reflects off the mirror and onto your vulva, that will help tremendously.
Now it is time to get dirty. You’re going to finger your pussy in a way entirely unlike what your sexual partners (including yourself) have in the past (unless you’ve done this before, you clever girl, you). Use two fingers to spread the outer labia first. If needed, move the inner labia away from the outer labia on one side and then the other to check the area between them. The first time you do this, you’re just getting used to what you look like. You’ve had this area your whole life and it really should be as familiar to you as possible. Next, spread the inner labia apart and try to have a look into the vagina. (Note: the vagina is only the vaginal opening, the part other than the urethra that actually goes into your body and occasionally serves as a baby teleporter. The vulva, which includes the area from the mons pubis to the perineum, is not the ‘vagina’.) In the vagina, look as closely as you can and notice the reddish-pink walls* with little ridges (just like R-r-r-r-ruffles, you have r-r-r-r-idges!). Those are called ‘rugae’ (unlike the musical genre, reggae) and according to many men, they feel good sometimes. Make sure that you don’t have any extra things growing down there. You don’t want little beasties, sores or bumps. If the area is red or irritated, if it itches or if it looks like you sat in a bowl of dry curd cottage cheese then check with your doctor**.
BEFORE you put your gloves on, reach down and touch some of your vaginal discharge and get a sense of what it feels like. Basically, it shouldn’t be lumpy. Some women may find this decidedly icky, but it is your health that you’re concerned with right now. Chances are, there are much grosser things in your mouth than in your pussy and if you’ve got good hygiene habits, you stick your fingers in your mouth every day. Also, you’re going to wash your hands right after this anyway, so you may as well get dirty with it and learn something new. Mentally note what the discharge felt like and then use your feminine wipes to clean your fingers and put on the glove (if you opted for that instead of the sanitary napkin) or just wipe a little discharge onto a feminine napkin. Once you’ve done so, check out what your pussy juices look like. Now, if you haven’t observed this already in the process of being a woman, your pussy juice (a.k.a. nectar, discharge, fish oil, etc.) tends to change some throughout the month. What is to be expected, though, is a musty-ish smell that can range from a vinegarish clover smell to a sweet, light ‘fishy’ smell. If it is stinky, you either need to clean yourself up more or you should check with your doctor. It may be clear or a little white-ish and can be thick or thin. Yes, that’s confusing, but if it is anything but the above, that’s an indicator that you may want to check with your doctor.
Time to feel around a little more. Relax your muscles as much as you can without releasing your bladder (another thing I don’t want is a slew of emails from people saying I was responsible for making them piss on the floor). This shouldn’t be uncomfortable, and being tense might make it so. Please relax. Soreness from something like this may also indicate a problem that you may want to check with your doctor about.
To get to know yourself a little more, put your fingers inside the vagina and feel around for bumps (there should be ridges, but not much more than that in the immediate opening of the vagina - use lube for this if you need to, but don’t wear the gloves, they might inhibit what you’re feeling with your fingertips).
If you’re all clear, then, yay! Put your panties back on, wash your hands and go about your day.
*Pregnant women may have a bluish tint that is noticeable if you’re using a speculum.
**Said curds are often an indicator of a yeast infection.
Originally written 08-25-08