How to Love Your Yoni



I was reading the newspaper a few weeks ago & saw an ad on the outer corner of a page with the headline “Love Your Lady Parts.” Reading that, I became instantly filled with joy that there was something somewhere in local media that would herald such a positive message to the women of Portland.

But then I continued reading.

“If a large or thickened labia is keeping you from doing the things you love. . . you don’t have to suffer silently. Labiaplasty is a safe solution & is performed right in Portland.”

What a horrendous letdown.

How could slicing off one’s inner labia possibly be the answer to loving one’s lady parts? In my own mind, I cannot imagine how this could be an answer. But I have a personal inclination to love my yoni. Not all have that perspective.

I do not condemn those who choose to get a labiaplasty in order to find peace & acceptance with their vulvas. What I condemn is the idea that getting a labiaplasty is the only option one has to finding peace & acceptance with their vulva.

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Sensual Experiences of an Empath on a Bus Full of Rain-Soaked Humans

“Breathe next to me. And I will capture a piece of your soul along with mine.” —Marikit dR. Camba

I’m on the #15 bus. It is filled to the steaming brim with people trying to get to their homes on the southeast side of Portland. There are so many people on this bus that people are standing & bodies are aloofly rubbing against each other. All of this is made even more stimulating because it is currently downpouring in monsoon-like fashion & everyone is sopping wet.

I find myself growing excited at the sensual nature of this bus ride — bodies dripping with water, windows fogged, faces & limbs so close to one another that they can feel the heat of the blood coursing through their veins.

I managed to find a seat near the start of the route, but barely. To my left, an older gentleman is playing a word game on his iPad, completely engrossed in bettering his score.

To my right, a young man with a bulging backpack stands in the aisle, his glasses speckled with droplets of water. He isn’t wearing a jacket & is soaking wet. His hair slowly drips onto the palms of my hand. In those droplets, I smell remnants of the product he used in his hair today, which reminds me of being at summer camp when I was 13, & how all the boys, so new in their blossoming manhood, would layer on colognes & aftershaves & hair gels, producing a potent, conflicting fragrance with notes of wild teenaged spirit.

In front of me, a professional-looking man sits & keeps getting text messages on his beeping flip phone that make him smile. And each time he grins, I feel the very little space we have around us in the bus expand slightly with happiness. I notice he has a beautiful jade-green ring on his pinky finger & I admire it.

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Four of My Favorite Sexuality Books — & I’m Giving Them Away

In my office there is a bookcase that belongs completely to me, & on its shelves it stores all of my favorite reads relating to sex & sexuality, feminism, erotica, self-discovery, & other sensual pleasures.

Every book resting on those shelves I consider a treasure, both of knowledge & sentiment. I adore my books, & any that I add to my collection I add with the intent to keep them for the rest of my life. I very, very seldom loan books out. I like the idea of having them always, as though just their being there emits wisdom upon me.

And as much as I’d love to hold onto all of my books for sentimental reasons, I can’t help but think that some of them could serve someone in my community much better than if they were to sit on my bookshelves & collect dust (which they continue to do).

So. . . in the spirit of Spring cleaning, I’m giving away four books from my personal collection.

These four books are very special to me because they were the first sex/sexuality books I read when I began to step into my sexuality & eagerly seek oneness with my sensual, feminine self.

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I Am Not Bisexual

(IPDATE: I’ve recently made peace with the word bisexual as it is used to describe my sexuality. See this post for more.)

There are words in my language that I do not like. Words that, when said, grate on my nerves as if I had been cut open & had tiny bits of shrapnel put inside my wound.

One of these words is bisexual.

The moment I typed out that I was bisexual, I felt a jolt of energy pulsate through my body, as if I had just licked a battery, as if I had been startled by a noise outside & a million tiny hairs on my body stood on end with alertness. I could feel my breath halt for just a few seconds at the utter realization of that one truth: I am bisexual. I ruminated over this one sentence & the rest of the writing for several days after it was composed, not entirely sure if I had the guts to publish it.

And when I finally did decide to publish it, I felt that same jolt of electricity, that same zap of in-the-moment presence that accompanies any hard or exciting or scary choice I make. It’s hard to explain the feeling. It’s part exhilaration, part queasiness, part soulful elation.

I felt those three things again, coupled with that jolt of electricity, when I actually spoke the words I am bisexual to a listening ear. Only this time, the sensations that moved through my body lingered longer. It made me dizzy. I couldn’t stop wondering if I had spoken too spoke, said too much, revealed a part of me that perhaps needed to rest longer.

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Honoring the Darkness

To sit in the illumination of the sun is easy. It warms the skin, its streams are pleasant & becoming. Everyone looks like an angel when golden rays of light are peering down on them.

But to sit in darkness is difficult. To succumb to the cold, deafening silence of solitude, the misery of depression & confusion—to admit these terrors & to speak of them openly feels like a sick glorification. And there is no glory in darkness.

I sit in sunlight with abandon. I sit in darkness with shame.

When I am lightness, I am as weightless as a feather.
When I am darkness, I pierce infinite nothingness.

I do not want people to see my darkness. I do not want them to know the depths I’m capable of. But to deny that it exists within me feels like a gross disavowal of my truth. And my truth is this:

What I feel right now—& have been feeling for months—is a gnawing hunger, one that aches inside my belly as if it were ravenous & craving nourishment. It is a longing I cannot shake, an intense kind of desire to do, to feel, to experience. It is driving me mad. It is keeping me restless.

I have dreams that are wild, borderline nonsensical. I lust for things I have never experienced. I know what it is I want. I know what it looks like, what it smells like, & what it might feel like to have those experiences in my possession.

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