This article is by Maggie Harrison-- a rural Pennsylvania-raised, currently New Orleans-based writer and creative whose work covers everything from wellness to social media to grief and loss. Head to her website to learn more about her work, or follow along on Instagram or Twitter.
If you don’t like Valentine’s Day, we get it. It’s got a lot of baggage, plus there’s the consumerism/heteronormativity/ Hallmark Holiday of it all. On the other hand, though, there is something special about a designated day for celebrating love, whether that be romantic love, self love, love for friends and family (pets and plants included), or any other kind of love that’s present in your life.
Brief anatomy refresh: the vulva is essentially the external part of your genitals, made up of the labia, clitoris, and vaginal and urethral openings. No two are identical in appearance, though they’re all equally fabulous. Vulva health is central to sexual health- one of its main functions is sexual response, essential to arousal, orgasm, lubrication, and conception (if that’s the goal), and even aids in hormone production. Like other systems all throughout the body, the reproductive system is incredibly smart and capable of self-regulating.
This doesn’t mean it can’t get knocked off course, whether that be from internal or external factors, and such disruptions to your vulva’s health may be caused by and/or result in a variety of associated ailments, from STIs to yeast infections and more. It’s okay if it does! Truly, it happens to everyone, and there are plenty of tools for getting back on track.
On a less physical, more spiritual and emotional level: the vulva is a deep source of power, pleasure, freedom, and grounding. Queen Vulva does so very much for us, and I think we can all agree that she’s certainly deserving of her own holiday. And because she is so central to love, there’s no better day to dedicate to her than February 14th.
1. Use a balancing, nourishing, vulva-health-friendly oil to give your vulva a massage, whether the goal is orgasm or simply just to soothe, stimulate circulation, and relax.
2.Eat something fermented or take a probiotic. Your vulva houses what’s essentially its own little city of friendly microbes, among the great metropolis that is your body (cool/strange/fun/weird!). Ingesting healthy bacteria supports vulva health from the inside out. An external, natural probiotic wash can be wonderfully supportive, too!
3. If you’ve never gotten to know yourself with a mirror, Charlotte York-style, we highly encourage it.
4. Stress takes a toll on the body, vulva (and general reproductive health) included. Use your V-Day to unwind and find some calm. Light some candles. Maybe indulge in tip #1.
5. DO NOT respond to any V-Day texts from toxic exes. You and your vulva both deserve better.
Happy celebrating! And just in case you need a reminder: you and your vulva are both gorgeous, strong, and worthy. Have fun getting to know one another- you both deserve some time and care.
DISCLAIMER: These products have not been approved by or evaluated by the food and drug administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. The information provided should not take the place of consulting a physician. It does not and should not replace treatment from a medical professional. If you need medical advice or assistance, you should consult a physician.