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5 empowering ways to boost your vaginal confidence (and these tips will enhance your sex life hugely)

Whatever you choose to call yours, the vagina is shrouded in more mystery and taboo than any other body part, despite being owned by around 50 per cent of us.

Sometimes seen as a source of embarrassment and anxiety for people across the globe – 45% of people with vaginas in Western countries never talk about their vaginal health with anyone, not even their doctor – it’s also responsible for bringing joy, pleasure and life itself.

Being able to talk about your vagina in all its glory and without shame is so important for empowering you to be able to take control of your health and pleasure, which is exactly why we have so much time for a new book that aims to embrace vaginas in all their glory.

The Little Book of Vaginas by Anna Lou Walker aims to normalise conversation about the vagina, challenge stigmas and celebrate what makes our sexual parts so special and we are so here for it.

Anna discovered that not only are women afraid to speak to their doctors about their intimate parts, their lack of confidence is also wreaking havoc with their love lives. According to research, more than two thirds of millennial vagina-owners have turned down oral sex because they’re self-conscious about their vagina. That’s a lot of missed pleasure. If you’re feeling critical of your vagina, Anna has pulled together the following five steps to fall in love with your vagina - and everyone needs to put them into practise.

Look at it!

So many vagina-owners are held back by a lack of self-esteem, but based on the 44 per cent of women who couldn’t identify the vagina on a medical diagram, many of us are self-conscious about an area we’ve never properly seen.

Anna suggests grabbing yourself a mirror, opening your legs and taking a good look at your vagina. "Gently spread your labia and take in its delicate shape and deep colours. This is you, and you are absolutely perfect," she said.

"Not only is looking at your vagina empowering, but it’s also key for keeping on top of your health. It’s really important to know what is normal for your vagina, and to have a good knowledge of how you looks, so you’ll be quick to notice when something has gone awry."

Practice self-love

Despite centuries of stigma, taboo and shame, let us declare it once and for all – there is absolutely no downside, danger or damage associated with masturbation. It’s natural, it’s healthy, and it feels great.

"Reframing your vagina as something capable of delivering pleasure, rather than focusing on its appearance, can make a huge difference to the way you feel about it," says Anna.

"Masturbation offers a host of health benefits, from relieving period pains to reducing stress and improving sleep quality. And a ménage à moi won’t just benefit your health. Regular masturbation increases your chances of orgasm with a partner and improves sexual confidence."

Create a vagina playlist

According to Anna, there can be great empowerment to be found in lyrics about the vagina. Whether you’re dancing to Charli XCX, bopping to Cyndi Lauper or rapping along with Doja Cat, pour a drink and turn the volume up for your very own vagina-themed party. Here are the songs she suggests:

  • “Soft as Snow” by My Bloody Valentine
  • “Peaches and Cream” by 112
  • “She Bop” by Cyndi Lauper
  • “Work It” by Missy Elliot
  • “Body of My Own” by Charli XCX
  • “Love Myself” by Hailie Steinfeld
  • “Kicks” by FKA Twigs
  • “Doves in the Wind” by SZA ft Kendrick Lamar
  • “Go to Town” by Doja Cat
  • “I Can’t” by Foxy Brown

Talk about your vagina

Anna believes that the best way to feel good about your vagina is to create an environment where you talk about your vagina. "In opening up about your downstairs, you’ll be taking the first step to eliminating the shame and taboo that prevents so many vagina-owners from seeking help and reassurance when they need it," she said.

Studies have shown that so many women are uncomfortable with discussing their vaginal health, even with their doctors. Over half of women aged 35 and under are unable to label a diagram of their genitals correctly and more than 20 per cent say they would not attend their smear test.

"Try opening up to someone you trust, whether that’s discussing something that’s worrying you, making a joke, or simply using the word 'vagina' when you’d usually say 'private parts'. You’ll be amazed how much impact speaking openly about your body has on your confidence," she said.

Respect the power of the vagina

If you haven’t yet learned to love your vagina, you can take comfort in the fact that it definitely loves itself. Vaginas are masters in self-care.

As Anna explains: "When your body goes through puberty, the vagina becomes home to a whole colony of healthy bacteria, which produce lactic acid. The acidity that these bacteria create in the vagina protects it from infections. This is also the reason that over time, you may notice the gusset of your underwear becomes lighter – your discharge has literally bleached the fabric.

"The vaginal eco-system is very finely balanced. Together with discharge, this complex system cleans the vagina all on its own, without a need for any work from the vagina-owner. To thank your vagina for its miraculous cleaning service, simply use a plain, unscented soap around the outer vulva area each time you shower."

Pretty amazing, huh?

Need some final thoughts on how to feel empowered about your vagina? As Anna concludes: "Your vagina. A self-cleaning, baby-making, sexy-looking miracle between your thighs. What a wonder. However yours looks, whatever your history, know that your vagina is absolutely perfect, just as it is. And the best part? Whatever you chose to do with your vagina, from creating new life, to arousing heart-stopping orgasms, it’s nobody’s business but your own."

This article was originally published on Glamour UK.

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