Gynecologically Speaking

Gynecologically Speaking – Jenna Lyles

     Your underwear say Naughty Girl. Gynecologically speaking, you are not a naughty girl.
You’ve seen more wear and tear on porcelain Christmas ornaments. You like vanilla sex. You like
missionary. You like subtle twists on missionary. You’re the kind of gal who’s only amenable to oral if
you’ve showered in the last hour or so. You are gunning for more sexual adventure, yes, but you don’t
know how to go about it, and maybe that’s because you’re Catholic or just good old-fashioned shy, but
it doesn’t matter. It’s time to fly your freak flag.


I’m prescribing: new dating app bios lousy with winky faces and cat emojis; a book on tantric
orgasms; a small, handheld mirror; a coupon for $2.00 off Publix KY Jelly (yes, they sell that).


     Your roommate says that Bacterial Vaginosis is “basically the common cold” of the vagina.
Gynecologically speaking, you just have sensitive vaginal flora—and you know this. You have known
this since you were eight and suffered recurrent yeast infections while your pals, notably unyeasty,
sat carefree in their sopping wet bathing suits. So don’t pretend this is unexpected. Don’t you dare
say this came out of left field, after you invited that girl from Tinder over last night. The one who said
she didn’t do this a lot, but then brandished a Tantus strap-on with such ease that she is, veritably, a
Tantus employee. She fucked you and she fucked your PH balance.


I’m prescribing: a week’s worth of Metronidazole, taken by mouth twice-a-day for seven days. No
alcohol. Alcohol on this antibiotic will give you explosive diarrhea, but you knew that too, didn’t you?


     Your cashier says she hates pads. They’re like diapers she says, scrunching her face up with
as much conviction that you momentarily forget her opinion is totally unsolicited. Gynecologically
speaking, not everyone feels comfortable using tampons, Heather from lane #16. Not everyone can
look past the medieval practice of literally corking their cunt in addition to being taxed and
infantilized for a bodily function that would warrant an Olympic event if it were happening to a
different kind of body every month.


I’m prescribing: a bottle of Aleve, an assortment of cute cloth pads, and enough buyer’s confidence to
say “Toxic shock’s not really my thing,” the next time you’re passing through.


     WebMD says you have genital warts. Catgirl87 says you have genital warts. Your best friend
says you have a rash, but she also thinks you have genital warts and is lying to make you feel better.
Gynecologically speaking, vaginas are like snowflakes in that no two are exactly alike. What’s kept
you up until 2:00AM frantically prowling the web are harmless papillomas along your labia minora.
These finger-like fronds differ from the cauliflower-shaped warts associated with HPV (which,
statistically speaking, is an STI so common that it’s downright impressive you have not already
contracted it). You would know this if anyone had bothered to give you a decent sex education. If your
sex curriculum were not so phallocentric that, to this day, you cannot take a swig of Mountain Dew
without pondering its deleterious effect on sperm motility.


I’m prescribing: comprehensive sex education; dental dams and finger condoms (yes, they sell those);
search locks that will prevent you from accessing WebMD more than twice in a 24-hour timespan.


     Your mother says hopefully you grow out of this “adoption thing.” She says, at least lesbians
can still have babies, it’s not like your uterus calcifies when you come out of the closet.
Gynecologically speaking, if you don’t want to rip your fucking taint birthing a child you never wanted
to birth—don’t! Pregnancy alters a woman’s body forever, and ask any woman that’s ever breastfed:
her tits were never the same again. Plus, think back to a time immemorable, when, after you were
delivered, you cried for three month’s straight. It wasn’t enough what you did to your mom—26 hours
of labor—you were colicky, too. You really want to risk waltzing into karma’s den after that shit?
Gynecologically speaking, you don’t need a child to pass through your body for it to be yours, and you
certainly don’t need to give birth to be a mother.


I’m prescribing: patience and legislative strength; incontestably safe living conditions; sensitive
teachers, and playmates, and parents of those playmates, and strangers who tell you and your wife
that you have a beautiful family.


     Your dad says he’s thankful he doesn’t have to worry about boys with you, unlike with your
sister. Gynecologically speaking, it doesn’t matter who’s penetrating you. Pieces of shit come in all
shapes and sizes; all sexes and genders. You’ve met men who you were confident would be good,
supportive partners. You’ve met women who lied to get into pants, who were aggressive and didn’t
listen to you when you said No. What your dad is talking about—abuse—transcends some ridiculous
rite of heterosexuality.


I’m prescribing: a cold hard look at gender norms; a delicate discussion on abuse within same-sex
relationships; a tentative promise that, yes, he can still walk you down the aisle.