Why can’t we comfortably talk about our sexual organs and how they work?
Warning: Today and in the next few Healthcast’s I will be discussing the female anatomy and sexual response. I will be speaking as if you are my patient in my office and graphically explaining the anatomy of the female body during sex, e.g., and how orgasms involve many areas of stimulation how the body responds to various stimuli. if you want to put on earphones or move to a private area so others will not hear this discussion, then please do!
I wasn’t an OBGYN very long, in the 1980s, before I realized that many of my patients, both old and young, were unaware of their own sexual anatomy and were appalled at the idea of touching their own vulva or vagina for any reason. When I did their pelvic exam in my office, they rarely understood what the proper names for their own anatomy was, such as what the name vulva (the area around the outside of the vagina), or clitoral hood (the skin that protects the clitoris) meant or where these areas are located. I realize that things have changed a lot in society’s role of women and in an expanded latitude in the sexual freedom of women in the US, however during this time I did not find that my patients became more comfortable talking about their own sexual anatomy! The age of my female patients and their marital status didn’t seem to make a difference in their anatomical knowledge. When I would do their pelvic exam, I always described what I was checking and whether they had normal anatomy or not. I’d point out the G spot, cervix, and clitoris, as I checked them for abnormalities like fibroids and ovarian cysts, and often they would stare blankly at me like I was speaking another language. This discussion today and next week is the result of those repeated interactions with my patients, in order to educate my listeners as to their own female anatomy and why knowledge of your body is necessary to experiencing great sex.
Why can’t we comfortably talk about our sexual organs and how they work?
The reproductive organs are hard to talk about in this country because we are still living in a sexually repressed society that considers sex “dirty” instead of beautiful and healthy, and we learn from very early that “touching ourselves” even in private, is “bad” or a sin. This relegates anything sexual to hiding our sexual feelings, repressing our desires even from our spouse and being embarrassed of our own naked bodies. Other countries don’t have the same inhibitions. For example, we were in Austria at a spa while we experienced a road trip in Europe when I realized that the American standards were not the same in other countries. My husband and I decided to go for a swim at the spa right after we checked in to a hotel-spa in 1999 in Innsbruck, Austria. He and I put our suits on and robe and proceeded to the pool. We were confused when there was just one locker room to change and as we walked in together, we were met with dozens of beautiful naked bodies. We were taken aback as we had not experienced this at home in the US and were uncomfortable with completely disrobing…. everyone at the spa tried to explain to us that that nakedness was required, and I am embarrassed to say we went back to our room…. At that time, I had not progressed to the point of being comfortable naked in public. However live and learn and thankfully I don’t feel that way anymore the human body is beautiful, no matter who you are or what you weigh, and it is a miraculous “machine” that we should be proud of! I admit that the American beliefs seem to be stuck in the Victorian era: The human body should be covered and is nasty or implies loose morals to show too much of your body. This also extends to the belief that “nice” or “good” women should not enjoy sex, and certainly shouldn’t masturbate or use a vibrator to satisfy their sexual desires. What society holds out as its standards and what women do privately are generally different, but the shroud of secrecy that blocks women from sharing information with their girlfriends, spouse or doctors blocks American women from developing a healthy attitude about their own sexual anatomy.
Let me preface the following generalizations with a reassurance that many American women do not have repressed ideas about sex, however there is a silent majority of women who are not comfortable with sex or their own sexuality,
Human beings were built to have sex. The goal of the two sexes in humans is to procreate and to fill the earth with children. Our Creator gave us sex to bond us to another person to form families, but He/She also gave us sex as a beautiful expression of love, and a satisfying and elevating act that brings us pleasure. Sex is healthy and dilates blood vessels, relieves stress, while it also sends blood to the brain and causes every neuron in the brain to be stimulated. There is no reason a healthy person should deny themselves, and often there is not a suitable partner to have sex with so masturbation is the answer to bringing about an orgasm and relieving anxiety.
However, many women still believe masturbation is a “bad” thing and they remain frustrated and unfulfilled if their partner is not available, or they don’t have a partner. One of the important benefits of masturbation is the fact that you must touch yourself and learn where your “pleasure areas” are. A woman also can learn what type of stimulation she likes, and what type of orgasm is her preference. In this way she can “practice” bringing herself to orgasm, and she will inevitably learn about her anatomy and what areas are sensitive to stimulation.
A word about masturbation. Masturbation is not a sin. Babies are born sinless and when babies are in the womb, they touch their genitals and masturbate. We see babies stimulating themselves before birth all the time on ultrasound studies of pregnancies. There is nothing evil about touching your own body, investigating your own sex organs or bringing yourself to orgasm. Orgasm is a natural way to release anxiety and to calm yourself. We can come to orgasm with another person or by ourselves to achieve these goals, and it is normal and healthy.
Some women enter marriage with very little experience, and they expect their husbands to know what to do to make them sexually fulfilled. How can a man know what you want unless you tell him or show him, and how can you do that if you have no knowledge of your own body? I have had a few patients who were so repressed by their religious beliefs that they married and could never consummate their marriage because they could not get over the belief that sex was dirty and it was evil to touch themselves. They could not get it out of their mind that they husband “should know” what to do but these men would have to have ESP to know what to do! If we can use an analogy to the hair care tools, we use every day, our hair dryer and flat iron or curling iron. I doubt many of you have hair care tools that you just ignore and pray that your hair will become beautiful by just wishing it will! Let me reassure you that women cannot take control of their sex lives if they have no working knowledge of their own bodies and how they work! More importantly, believing that your partner has ESP and just knows what to do to make you sexually satisfied is just as much a fantasy as wishing your hair into a beautiful style!
So, if you want more control over your life in general, and sex-life specifically, then I will teach you some basic reproductive anatomy, physiology (how the sexual areas of your body work) and where you should concentrate your efforts when trying to achieve sexual satisfaction. This Healthcast will have some homework that will require investigating your own anatomy if you have not done so before. Next week you may want to have a mirror available to look at your external anatomy.
I am always amazed at how miraculously we are created! We have the ability to have amazingly wonderful sex because of a variety of erogenous areas, located in many areas that are sensitive to touch and friction, and we have the ability to procreate and deliver babies with the very same anatomical organs as those that we need for sex.
Sexual Anatomy is the basic platform from which to build knowledge of how our sex organs work. Our primary sexual organs are in our pelvis and around the outside of the vagina. They are innervated primarily by sensory nerves and organs with clusters of sensory nerve endings that respond to touch, stretch and friction by sending pleasurable messages to the brain and when climax occurs, endorphins (neurotransmitters) are released in special areas of the brain and we feel wonderful…. like we have just taken a drug! Endorphin release is the goal of all sexual activity and is what keeps us coming back! The key to this female sexual system successfully working is very individual. Every woman generally has the same anatomy, but she responds differently than every other woman. Learning exactly what areas in our own sexual anatomy feel good to us is vital to directing your partner or yourself to successfully obtain an orgasm and endorphin release.
Next week we will specifically describe the anatomy of the sexual organs as well as the erogenous zones that women are sensitive to touch and stimulation. Please join us to learn about your sexual self so that you can ask for what you need to be sexually satisfied.
This Health cast was written and presented by Dr. Kathy Maupin, M.D., Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Expert and Author. www.BioBalanceHealth.com (314) 993-0963