We had to use a communal shower after gym class, and covered up with towels so our classmates and friends wouldn’t see our bodies.
We’d never walk around in the buff in front of our boyfriends, or even husbands, because we felt insecure about our bodies.
We wouldn’t mention, to any man, (even our dads) that we had our periods.
We wouldn’t dare tell anyone that we masturbated. (We barely admitted it to ourselves).
We wouldn’t admit that our orgasms were less than earth shattering, especially to our husbands. “Orgasm” was a dirty word.
Homosexuality was hush hush.
Even if many boomers uninhibitedly romped around Woodstock in 1969, lived in co-ed college dorms, and had sex before marriage, most of us remained sexually repressed and ‘puritanical’ for decades.
We’re starting to discuss our sagging breasts, dry vaginas, loss of libido and weight gain as unabashedly as we talk about new restaurants we’ve discovered, or the latest movies we loved. We search for methods to overcome physical obstacles, so we can look and feel the best way possible. We share our knowledge with our FabOverFifty sisterhood, whether it’s about a new way to hide gray hair between colorings, a new supplement to keep our eyes healthy as they age, a smart new way to wash our faces, or our vaginas. (Curiously, while the word penis is bandied about on TV and in the movies, the word vagina is not! Creepy terms, like “va-jay-jay,” are used to take its place.)
No matter what it’s called, our vaginas need our tender, loving care, because they’re as crucial to our emotional and physical health as our eyes, ears and skin. If our hearing isn’t as sharp as it once was, we can be fitted with discrete and powerful hearing aids. If cataracts are affecting our vision, we can have laser surgery to remedy the situation. If our vaginas are dry, even bleeding and itchy, we don’t have to suffer in silence, or suffer at all. Many safe and effective remedies are available, to hydrate and lubricate them, so we can continue to enjoy sex, not to mention everything else we do. It’s said that if your feet hurt, your whole body hurts. I’d take aching feet over an aching vagina any day of the week!
Along with opening up about our bodies, we’re starting to celebrate all sizes and shapes of bodies, even if network TV still refuses to air commercials that show the female form in all its glory, Did you know that the three major networks won’t show a fabulous new Lane Bryant commercial that features three nude, full-figured women? The heck with the networks. Millions of women have seen the Lane Bryant commercial on the internet. The message is getting out.
Judging by the scarcity of comments on articles and Facebook posts that concern sex and other vaginal matters, many women still are reticent to join the growing conversation. When they’re ready to chime in, the rest of us will be here to listen.