Menopause Kuel Category Expert: Lorraine Miano
It happened again. This time it was even better than the first and it lasted a whole week.
Let’s start at the beginning. Exactly one year ago, my husband and I celebrated our 40th Anniversary in Aruba with a group of friends (6 couples who have all been married 35+ years).
I shared that experience in an article entitled “Adieu to the Taboo”. It centered on one beautiful Aruban evening under the twinkling stars during a dinner conversation among the six couples. It was an awakening of sorts, especially for the male portion of our group. We talked all about marriage, menopause, and libido, which all led to a very frank conversation about vaginas.
“Here’s to all our Vaginas and the men (or women) who love them!”
Normalizing Use Of The “V” Word:
Specifically, about normalizing the use of the word, as well as celebrating this magical part of our female anatomy. There were uncomfortable moments, blushing, and awkward conversations.
However, by the last evening of our vacation, we were comfortably toasting “Here’s to all our Vaginas and the men (or women) who love them!”
So, it came as no surprise, on another perfect Aruban evening, one year later, in the same courtyard of the Aruban mansion, under the swaying palms and twinkling lights, that I began our evening with the promised toast. This time, we were five couples, two of which were not present at our prior soiree.
There was one gentleman, who was present a year ago, who continues to blush, feel uncomfortable, and even yells for us to “STOP!” (albeit with a big smile), but between his wife, and the other eight of us, we are working on bringing him into the fold (no pun intended!). Into the V-Club!
The term “vajayjay” became part of the daily vernacular.
What began as a simple (yet possibly uncomfortable…at least for the newbies) toast, turned into a weeklong V-Fest. The stimulating conversation began in the courtyard and soon extended to our rental van for the ride back to the hotel, where all 10 of us got real comfortable real fast.
Well, maybe it took a little longer for a few. Of course, jokes were included, but they were mostly tasteful and respectful. We did however receive the ultimate ab workout with the laughter that ensued. One of the hubbies even said he would have paid money to take that ride with us.
The term “vajayjay” became part of the daily vernacular. This was used mostly by the men, and quite possibly because they aren’t fully comfortable saying “vagina” yet. But they are working on it. I’m proud of how far they’ve come.
Great Memories Were Made:
During the rest of the vacation, there were numerous opportunities for discussion and photos. We found them everywhere and took advantage of sharing them in a group chat. Great memories were made!
The vagina remains a mystical yet fascinating part of the female anatomy which is still not referenced comfortably in mixed company. There are those of us in the women’s health and wellness world who are stepping up to encourage the discussion. In the meantime, as we pave the way for healthy discussions, here are some vaginal facts you may find interesting and want to share!
Woman’s Collective Private Parts:
* You Could Be Using The Term “Vagina” incorrectly. Often it is used to describe a woman’s collective private parts, but it is actually the muscular tube that runs from the vulva (which refers to the external female genitalia, including the labia and clitoris) to the cervix.
*Vagina Is Derived From The Latin Word For “Sheath”. The term dates back to the 17th century. Appropriate, right?
* Your Vagina Is Self-cleaning And Perfectly PH-balanced At Less Than 4.5. Lactobacilli are the “good” bacteria that dominate the vagina; they help to keep pH levels normal and prevent the growth of infection-causing bacteria. So, avoid using douches, as well as scented and perfumed soaps and lotions down there.
“Kegels not only help with urinary incontinence but with sexual satisfaction as well, by tightening the vagina.”
These products can interfere with the natural balance of vaginal bacteria, leading to yeast and vaginal infections or bacterial vaginosis. Instead, choose safer options that leave the vagina properly pH balanced. I’ve curated some of the best in my Menopause Market.
*Research Has Found That Vaginal Depth Can Range From 2.7 to 3.1 Inches. It is estimated that during sexual arousal, its depth can range from 4.3 to 4.7 inches.
*Your Vagina Could Benefit From Pelvic Floor Exercises, Known As Kegel Exercises. Kegels not only help with urinary incontinence but with sexual satisfaction as well, by tightening the vagina. This can make sex more pleasurable and more likely to lead to orgasm.
7 Foods That Are Healthy For Your “V”:
*What You Eat Can Affect The Scent Of Your Vagina. For instance, eating these 7 foods may cause unwanted odors: coffee, onions, asparagus, fried foods, cheese, sugar, and alcohol.
Whereas these 7 foods will not only help your vagina smell nice but are healthy as well: pineapple, cinnamon, watermelon, peppermint, plain yogurt, celery, and cranberries! Beware, however, if you notice a particularly pungent smell or your vaginal scent has changed dramatically, it could be a sign of infection, so it’s worth getting it checked out.
“This magical piece of female anatomy is worth mentioning, as its purpose is strictly for sexual pleasure”
*Pubes Have A Purpose! They provide a protective barrier to genital tissues, especially at the sensitive vaginal opening, as well as acting as a buffer against friction.
The Magical Piece Of Female Anatomy:
*The Clitoris. Although not actually part of the vagina, this magical piece of female anatomy is worth mentioning, as its purpose is strictly for sexual pleasure. The tip of the clitoris (what you can see) has an amazing 8,000 nerve endings (more than double that of the penis!).
As you can imagine, this is the most sensitive part of a woman’s erogenous zone. The majority of the clitoris (about 4/5’s) is submerged in the body, encircling the vagina. It can be as long as 5 inches! Most women can only reach climax through clitoral stimulation, and this is perfectly normal. A recent study found that a mere 18% of women can reach orgasm through only having penetrative vaginal sex.
Member Of The V-Club:
There is so much more to the Vagina, especially what happens to it during peri and menopause. Can you say “dry??” I’ll be writing more about it in the future. For now, I’ll hope you’ll join the conversation as a member of the “V-Club!” All are welcome. You just need to have true, deep respect and appreciation for the Vagina…and a little humor doesn’t hurt.
T-Shirts are coming.
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About the Author:
As a post-menopausal woman herself, Lorraine Miano discovered her passion of offering menopause advocacy, support and resources to women in all phases of menopause through health coaching, proper nutrition and preventive lifestyle choices. She received her certifications as a Health Coach and hormone health expert from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition. She has been able to help even more women by writing and publishing her first book, The Magic of Menopause: A Holistic Guide to Get Your Happy Back!
Lorraine loves to encourage her clients with her mantra “Menopause is NOT an ending! IT IS a new beginning!” When she’s not advocating for “the change”, you can find Lorraine traveling with her husband Richard, quite often to visit her 5 grandchildren who call her “Nonni”.