Girl talk? How about vagina talk?

We all have initiation rituals when it comes to female friends. Perhaps you like to welcome a new member to your friendship group by taking them to your favourite bar. Maybe you test the waters with a shopping trip. It may even be that you don’t consider yourself truly friends with someone until one of you has held the others hair as they puke into a toilet at Walkabout.

throwingup

While all of these rituals hold a certain level of charm, my favourite way to test the friendship waters is by talking about my vagina – in detail.

Now some of you may be recoiling at the idea about hearing about my vagina (which, FYI, is very hurtful to her), but hear me out. By talking about my vagina, I am giving a gift to the other person, a free pass if you will. It is my personal belief that every woman on the planet, who isn’t already doing so, is desperate to discuss their fun-fun parts.

It seems to me that there are a lot of things conspiring to keep the vagina hidden. Tampon adverts never discus where the tampon is going, thrush creams like to discuss the ‘internal’ and ‘external’ rather than saying ‘slather it on your vag’, and even the vagina itself lends itself to this agenda. Unlike a penis the vagina leaves no bulge, there’s no hint from a clothed woman that anything exists between her legs. And so, as things go, the vagina ends up un-discussed with no one inquiring about what exactly vaginas do.

Because vaginas do a lot of things that don’t fall under the categories of: give birth, pee and bleed once a month.

vagina sweat

Sometimes a vagina will become very sore, or itch, or go very dry. Sometimes they will leak or make a fart noise during sex (that’s called queefing children). And sure you can go to your GP with these problems (and you should), but you’ll never get that personal touch that goes beyond health statistics and a friendly nurse smile.

What a woman really needs when she’s having a bad vagina day is for another woman to turn to her and say: “ME TOO!”

This is why I like to offer this glorious avenue of conversation to the women in my life. Of course, you have to judge correctly whether or not your confession of feeling ‘yeasty’ today is going to go down well. This is not a conversation that you can just throw to the new supervisor at work after only meeting her 10 minutes ago. However, most of the time you’ll find that your vaginal confession will be met with a look of relief, like you’re finally unloading a secret that you’ve both been burdened by carrying.

vaginamy

“Sandra,” you could say. “I feel like my vagina is doing something funny today.”

“Oh mine gets like that all the time. That’s why I drink so much cranberry juice.”

Women experience pressure on a daily basis to be perfect, no more so than when it comes to sex. For a woman experiencing thrush or cystitis for the first time, it can feel like you’re abnormal, like you’ve let the side down. Vaginas aren’t supposed to be itchy; they’re supposed to be little fun holes of perfect joy, right? Wrong.

It’s only by opening up these avenues of conversation that we can relieve some of the pressure women face.

Because, ladies, you will get thrush. And cystitis. And a whole host of other problems (just wait until you get pregnant or menopause). But why hide this away like it’s some dirty little secret? I’m not saying that we should announce our lady-part woes at a board meeting, but let’s not perpetuate this sexual-goddess bullshit.

Talk about your vaginas, you can thank me later.

Things I have learnt from ‘growing-up’

Now that I am a successful grown-up person, I am often plagued by under privileged none grown-up people with questions on how they can emulate my maturity. After all, I have left university with a degree, set up home in London and landed myself on the career ladder of my choice. In the words of the M People, I am movin’ on up.

So what pearls of wisdom can I depart to the masses? I tell you it was hard to narrow it down to just this list but I’ve given it my best shot. Think of this not so much as a blog post/ Buzzfeed list rip off, but as a digital bible into twenty-something survival.

Come children; let me guide you through the joys of becoming a grown-up.

When you grow up your heart dies

1. You are an office foetus

When you enter your first job out of university, no doubt you will be filled with oodles of self-confidence about your abilities. I mean, you did all those internships, didn’t you? And you practically ran that student radio station. Oh, how those freshers marvelled at your authority. You can’t wait to step into your Don Draper style suit and reinvigorate your new office with your youth.

Don Draper smoking

However, I am here to tell you that you are not a person. You are a foetus. For the first few months every conversation you have with your new co-workers will involve them marvelling at the fact that you, someone born in the 90s, is allowed to drink. You’ll also be hit with weird abbreviations, like AOB… Since when did everyone start using AOB?

2. Money Disappears

Oh wow, look at that salary you’ve been offered. Doesn’t it seem huge? Imagine all that money a month. You’ll be loaded, nothing but parties, booze and Marks and Spenser’s shopping for you. Of course you’ll first have to pay national insurance. Then income tax. Oh, and have I mentioned you’re also part of the company’s pension?

And then there’s rent…

That zone 2 travel card…

Bills…

Holy shit, how much is council tax?

New girl: Your life is like gossip girl expect your all poor and old

3. Relationships are… different

Something strange happens to you out of uni – you’re expected to date. If you’re like me, you’ll find this very disconcerting. Isn’t dating something only the Sex and the City girls do? Whatever happened to awkwardly standing next to your crush at a party and drunkenly shagging later after a game of (ironic) spin-the-bottle gets out of hand? Sure the food in the restaurant is nice, and you feel very sexy ordering that glass of red wine, but it’s just not the same as a Lord of the Rings marathon in bed, basking in the sexual chemistry that is Frodo and Sam.

Frodo and Sam

4. People get on with their lives

Many of us have a nice illusion that our friendship circle acts like a solar system. You, of course, are the sun and the rest of the group happily orbits your little sphere of being. This egotistical and safe belief is bit by bit dismantled by real life. The people in our lives have lives of their own to lead. They have jobs to take up, places to move to, and partners to romance with. A good friendship will weather this and even grow, but not all relationships can last through the storm. It’s a natural part of life but that’s not to say it doesn’t suck.

I need you to text me and tell me everything will be okay - Parks and Recreation

5.  So where do I go from here?

Growing up I found that life had set itself out very neatly in front of me. I would go to primary school, then high school, college, university and then finally I would get a job. From the ages of 6 till 21, this plan sat very nicely with me. That was until I reached the ‘end’. Because all that bullshit about school being the greatest time of your life is just that…. bullshit. Once you step out into the real world you realise how little of your life you’ve really lived and that in front of you is this great expanse of possibilities just waiting for you to dive in. It’s fantastical and scary all at the same time. There are places to go, things to do, new people to meet – I don’t even think Buzzfeed could list all the things ahead of you.

Bugs life: Someday I'll be a beautiful butterfly

So my final piece advice is this – never wait to feel grown-up. Stop waiting for that end point. Don’t grow up, get up and live it. Quickly before you start reading another listicle.

 

I get all my images by typing random words into Google, followed by the word ‘.gif’. Therefore I own nothing and if you want things taken down or credited you can just ask, silly sausage. 

Real Life vs. Internet Life: Is the rivalry coming to an end?

The cardinal rule of the internet is that you will never understand it. The moment you think you have it understood, the second you feel comfortable, something will happen that will make you do a double take. Take this blog for instance. Now I am the first to admit that I have been a bit… negligent. That’s the only word that can sum up my act of leaving it desolate and abandoned for nearly, what, three months? Four? I feel like I’ve treated it like I do my house plants, and my house plants have never fared well.

But unlike my house plants, this blog hasn’t withered, which is what I mean when I say the internet is a strange place. This month, on Oct 11th my blog received nearly 6000 hits in one day – ONE DAY! Why did this happen? Where did you people appear from? Why do you all love that one post I did about Ewan Mcgregor’s penis? Jesus, get your act together internet.

Of course, stranger things have happened on the internet than just my blog getting a self-esteem boost (yes, the reason I am writing on here again is down to flattery, I’m weak like that). Take for instance http://fortydaysofdating.com/ – I know you’ve all heard about this viral sensation.

Meet Jessica and Tim from FortyDaysofDating

If you haven’t (jesus, have you lived under a rock?) then let me sum up the project for you. Two attractive friends spent fourty days forcing themselves to be in a relationship to see if real emotions, or as tumblr likes to call them, ‘feelz’, could develop. If you want to know the results of this social experiment, I highly recommend that you give their blog a read through as it is a fantastic read, but this particular blog post isn’t about the love affair between two hipsters but the idea of our lives and the internet. Or rather, our emotional lives and the internet.

I can’t help but wonder, as I look at two people write openly and honestly about love, sex and friendship, whether or not the boundary between our online lives and our virtual lives is slowly disappearing.

I will be the first to admit that my virtual persona is very much a calculated construct. When I update my Facebook, I careful present to the world a version of myself that I would consider cool – whatever that means. I post pictures of myself in bars, I show myself smiling and I only ever reveal the things I’ve succeed in. I never show myself as a failure. I don’t want people to see my emotional break downs.

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My need to present myself in a certain light is another part of my blogging absence. Around the time of my departure from ladybitsandbobs, I suffered a pretty nasty break-up. Not nasty in the sense that there was yelling, but nasty in the sense that it hit me pretty hard. For a long time it was all that I could think about, so naturally it was all I wanted to write about. But how do you write about your feelings regarding another person, when said other person can just go a quick google search and have it before their very eyes?

When I look at the fourty days of dating blog, I wonder if what those two people revealed was true to themselves. Are they telling the whole truth? Because when it comes to relationships and the fall-out of a relationship, people can discover sides to themselves that can be pretty ugly.

We all leap at the chance to show people that we’re eating in fancy places, but would need the threat of death to reveal to the world how we get ourselves through our emotional hiccups. But maybe this is changing.

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Maybe in the future facebook will be replaced by something that isn’t reliant of taking people’s lives on face-value. Could you see yourself using the new social media called FEELZbook?

‘Today Heather has watched two seasons of Sex and the City in one sitting because she is trying to convince herself that singlehood is amazing and not an indication of her failed love life.’

‘This evening Heather joined an online dating site because she is lonely.’

‘This morning Heather deleted her online dating profile because all the men scared her and made cats a very viable option.’

While these statuses would by no means gather me cool point, and are nowhere near as transferable to the likes of instagram, I wonder if this is where our internet lives are heading. And if this is what the internet of the future is made up of, what would your future profile say about you?