Sex

My Pussy and Me

Men are always so proud of their dicks--to the point where sending women unsolicited dick pics is the texting equivalent of posting a picture of your shitty car to Facebook--so why do women have to feel ashamed of our pussies?

Clarissa Wolff

Clarissa Wolff

Illustration by Tiff Bartel

Her name was Louise, like it's written in French. She tried to make it sound more Brazilian by emphasizing the sound of the "o". Her house was on the end of my street and I often visited with my blond Barbie doll.

When I was 7 or 8-years-old, one of my favorite things to do was to trade Barbie clothes; we would present our collections to each other and negotiate which pieces we'd trade for the day. It was almost like a lucrative business deal--Barbie clothes are some fucking important shit. Louise had this off-white dressing gown for her Barbies, made from a silk-like material with lacy embellishments. It made me very jealous--it looked like something Kate Winslet wore in Titanic, which I managed to watch an incredible 14 times that year. Before I undressed my Barbie, Louise took my Ken and asked if she could play with him for a while. I said it was fine.

When I took my Barbie out of the room to undress her, Louise, along with my Ken, intruded, and my poor Barbie, embarrassed, scrambled to cover herself. Louise started to make Ken talk: "I just wanted to see you naked."

I was shocked. How dare she insinuate my Ken would want to see Barbie naked? How come she felt comfortable enough to meddle in my doll's relationships?

"My Ken has never seen my Barbie naked!" I exclaimed.

"Of course he has! You have two children!" She answered with that kind of certainty and self-assurance unique to children.

"So what?!" I fought back. "My father has never seen my mother naked!" I added, clueless. I think I still believed in Santa Claus too. Oh, how I miss those days.

"Of course he did. You have to see each other naked in order to have children." She still maintained that false sense of authority.

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I fell silent. I gathered my Barbie's clothes, left the dressing gown somewhere on the floor and called my parents. I could not stay at that house for one more second. This moment has been engraved in my mind ever since, as it marks the beginning of my doll's promiscuity.

How dare she insinuate my Ken would want to see Barbie naked? How come she felt comfortable enough to meddle in my doll's relationships?

From that point forward, I would make my Barbies have sex all the time--laying them down naked with my three Kens. I was never heteronormative though; after making the Kens fuck, my Barbies would lay naked with each other.

Although the idea of my parents seeing each other naked seemed completely outrageous, nudity was never an issue at my house--we'd even take showers with the door unlocked. Since I always hated being hot, as a kid, I would strip my clothes off and walk around in my panties during the Summer. After I discovered sex--or rather the concept of it--my parents were concerned that I had become a little too obsessed, and a therapist advised them they should not encourage me to explore it any further. Bathroom doors started to be regularly locked, and I would be escorted out of the room anytime couples would make out intensely on TV or in films. I remember when I watched The Quick and the Dead on our old black and white TV in the back of the house--the only place my father was allowed to smoke when he was still a smoker--I discovered it was possible to have sex standing up. My mind and my world exploded again: sex was possible in so many more ways than I could imagine. I started asking people during family dinners: "Did you know it's possible to have sex standing up?" and started to simulate it with my Barbies.

I was that kid who explained what sex was to every single person in my class: I would ask if they knew how babies were born, or if they knew what the word 'sex' meant. I don't think parents were very happy. I was one of the smartest people in my class--especially sexually, or at least I thought I was--so my classmates would listen intently and ask questions. My definition of sex was something out of an American South Sex Ed class: I would explain that boys have penises, and girls have vaginas and they fit perfectly together. The boy and the girl would have to take all their clothes off in order to make that happen. We were only allowed to have sex when we were married adults, I thought, which was surprising considering just how sex-crazed I was. I couldn't wait to fuck a guy either; Hollywood made sex out to be consistently amazing.

A few years later, my friends and I were hanging out at a pool, and one friend, Karol, asked me "Have you ever masturbated?"

I said I hadn't because, well, I hadn't, and also because her tone of voice left no doubt in my mind that masturbation was bad. The only thing I knew by then was that it had something to do with sex.

When I was 19 or 20, another friend of mine told me that she had never masturbated. By then, I had grown to love it and could not live without getting myself off before bed. I was shocked that she had never touched herself, and my shock increased when I found out she hadn't even orgasmed--not even during sex. She was so gorgeous--shiny black hair, deep black eyes, and skin so perfectly tanned, people would always ask her what product she used: "Nothing." She was a natural Brazilian bombshell.

We talked for a while--I wanted to know why she had never masturbated. After some time, she revealed that she was ashamed of her pussy. This was surprising; I always loved my pussy--how could someone be ashamed of something so great? She went on to explain that her pussy was fatty, and that some stuff appeared from the outside, so she couldn't touch herself without feeling disgusted. I didn't quite understand, and I wasn't really sure how to respond.

I noticed that the 'role' of a woman was to exhibit her beauty; to take pride in her appearance, but not to take pride in her pussy.

Men are always so proud of their dicks--to the point where sending women unsolicited dick pics is the texting equivalent of posting a picture of your shitty car to Facebook--so why do women have to feel ashamed of our pussies? In sixth grade, all the girls liked a boy from an older class, except me, because I was a contrarian shithead. Due to this, I had to send messages to him on behalf of my shy friends--I was the only girl comfortable enough to go up to him and say "Hi, my friends think you're cute."

He asked me if I thought that too, but I dismissed the question. I said that it didn't matter, and gave him a letter that I had written so the other girls could hide their handwriting--the letter revealed everything they wanted to say to him. A few days later, he gave me a letter with his number, and my friends would call him up to ask God knows what.

A classmate of mine had developed boobs before any of us, and because of that, she had more confidence than anyone else. She was a short brunette; confident and very friendly, so when I established some form of contact with him, she found a way to get closer. One day, after school, I was waiting for my parents, the boy yelled "6.3", hard!" to her. She responded "I want proof!"

Of course I knew what they were talking about, so I hopped into my mother's car and asked her if that was anything worth shouting to the world. "Nah", she responded, dismissing his efforts to impress. My mother went on to say that it's so typical of guys to be exhibitionists. I had started to realize that on my own, but when considering my gorgeous friend, I noticed that the 'role' of a woman was to exhibit her beauty; to take pride in her appearance, but not to take pride in her pussy. Our pussies are just supposed to be ugly jizz receptacles, but we're not allowed to tell anyone that.

I tried to comfort my friend--I told her that us girls are lucky; that guys don't have a whole organ dedicated to feeling pleasure, and that she should slowly touch herself however it felt good, increasing strength or speed if necessary. Going home, my mother, a doctor, was again the one to explain how important masturbation was for your health: "Honey, masturbating diminishes stress, strengthens the immune system and helps you sleep--I always say that to my patients! It also helps your skin and your hair!"

Feeling immense sexual pleasure makes you healthy and pretty, but in the eyes of men, it makes us sinners. If it means that hypocritical men hate me, then so be it. Fuck them. For me, the most amazing side effect of masturbation has nothing to do with vanity. Masturbating is a form of self-love and self-care, and it heightens your sexual and physical self-esteem. Our whole culture was formed on making women feel bad about themselves by any means possible. However, there is a simple button that can turn everything around--at least temporarily--and make you feel fucking great. And guess what? It's in your pussy.