Ladies, raise your hand if you’ve ever had a sexual encounter and later wished you could knock on that person’s door and ask for your vagina back. A great many of you are probably feverishly waving not one but both hands in the air. Chances are you’re not alone at this moment.
It’s this kind of response about regrets that sparked Pamela Love, Ph.D., a certified professional life coach, to write the book, I Want My Vagina Back, $14.95).
“It’s more than a book for me. It’s a movement for women to make values-driven decisions when it comes to sexual behavior,” says Love, founder and president of PM Love Enterprises. “We’re living in a time where anything goes with no mention of what happens when we do ‘anything.’ Too many of us are ignoring the consequences. I’m seeking, through this book, to help women understand the long-term results of their attitudes and actions in order to be more conscious about their decisions.”
Each year billions of dollars are spent on vaginal diagnostic and surgical procedures that range from pregnancy, childbirth, abortions, hysterectomies, STDs and more. This doesn’t include the psychological expenses that accompany these decisions.
I Want My Vagina Back speaks to married, single, widowed and divorced women of all ages. What makes this a powerful teaching tool is that the real stories cut to the core. They will make you cringe, cry and not question making better choices. One woman explains that no one taught her to say ‘no,’ which is why she allowed men to insert objects in her body. Another woman discusses not being able to get enough of her lover’s loving during an extramarital affair. He ended up giving her more than she bargained for–HIV. Then there’s the virgin raped during a fraternity party by a friend whom she also discovers is sleeping with men.
“We think about things when we purchase them because they have a dollar amount. Women often don’t consider the value of the vagina,” says Love. “We’ll consider the value of our hair. When there is a problem, we’ll spend lots of money to get it fixed. There is a value attached to certain parts of our body. Often those are the parts that are exposed. The parts that aren’t exposed we don’t always think about the value. Some of that has to do with what we’re not being taught. It’s about values.”
Have you also noticed that after becoming intimate with a man, even if he was abusive, manipulative or not worth your time in the first place, that you find yourself unable to break free from the memories?
“Psychologists and other mental health professionals will say there is some phenomenon that occurs where there is a connection what you’ll call a ‘soul tie,’” she says. “Long after the sexual encounter women can be affected emotionally and even spiritually. You’ll hear pastors and ministers talk about this. Once you have connected yourself with someone else, he has left a part of himself in you. There becomes a tie.”
Love recognizes that too frequently women use their vagina as “power.” Frequently, it’s to manipulate men by having sex. This can be tantamount to playing Russian roulette. Women, she says, must be accountable and responsible for their own behavior and not use what’s between their legs as a tool or treat to use with men.
“We’re not considering the consequences. Examine your values and identify them. As you become clear, look at how your actions align with your values. If you’re saying you don’t want to have sexual encounters that will leave you emotionally depleted or in turmoil, consider the relationships that you’re involved in. If you’re asked to engaged in sex and you’re meeting someone for the first time, then think about those kinds of things. You can not go back and get your vagina.”
RETHINK YOUR SEXUAL BEHAVIOR
• “Make decisions that protect your future, not your feelings.”
• “Don’t adjust your values to fit your actions. Instead, let your values align with your actions. It is then that you will have a life with fewer regrets.”
• “Forgive yourself and heal from past experiences. Know that you can move on in a way where you can make better decisions and have consequences that you can live with.”
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Senior Editor, EBONY Magazine