There’s a new book coming out called “Vagina: A New Biography” by Naomi Wolf (Ecco / 400 pages / $27.99 ). I haven’t read it, but I love the title. I did read a review about it though, in the Los Angeles Times online (9/12/12) and apparently Ms. Wolf was inspired to write this book after injuring her pelvic nerve. (I once injured my sphincter but it prompted no literary masterpiece. Damn my lazy muse!)
So, at the doctor’s office (or through her own vaginal research) Ms. Wolf saw a medical illustration with a bunch of nerves branching out wildly to all the erotic zones around the vagina. Eureka! This must be why different women have different orgasms! She thought. (Or something like that.) No disrespect to Ms. Wolf, but to quote Woody Allen, “Every orgasm I’ve had has always been right on the money.”
Wolf feels that orgasms do something to a women’s brain chemistry, which she relates to a feeling of transcendence, making the female brain feel, in her words “like the Goddess.” I wanted to speak to my vagina about this, since I could use feeling like a Goddess. I’ve never felt like a Goddess during sex – even when I was sober. I left my vagina three messages before she finally got back to me. My vagina prefers to be called by her nickname – Gina.
Here’s part of our conversation over dinner:
Me: What took you so long to get back to me?
Gina: I was relaxing.
Me: Relaxing? Doing what?
Gina: Nothing. That’s what relaxing means. Nobody pulling me, prodding me, rubbing me like they’re taking the varnish off an old bureau, and then asking me if I like it. It’s nice and quiet.
Me: I have a question…
Gina: Now that your hormones have subsided, I can finally have some “me” time.
Me: Okay, I get it! Look this Naomi Wolf person thinks you can make me feel like a Goddess. So why haven’t you?
Gina: Who? Are you serious? I’m finally off the clock – and now you’re hittin’ me with this crap? (sighs) I suppose this entails all the things we’ve done wrong – examine why we have low self-esteem, daddy issues, and all that other happy horseshit. Just when ya try to relax…
Me: Look, forget all that. Can you give me an orgasm to make me feel like a Goddess or not? Or make me feel transcendent? Huh? Can you?
Gina: Transcendent? What’re you the Maharishi? First of all, transcendence is highly overrated. There’s not a lot of people on the transcendental plane, let me tell you. And the ones that are there – are either just staring into space or they smell weird. Is that what you want? To stare into space and smell weird?
Me: N-no – I just thought maybe we could reach Nirvana together.
Gina: You want Nirvana? Put on a Curt Cobain CD – other than that, leave me alone.
Me: Sorry! I just thought it might be fun!
Gina: Fun? Fun! Trying to make you feel like a Goddess and transcending you to some spiritually higher cha-cha plane – that’s about as much fun as a Maxi pad. I don’t need this kind of pressure. (she downs a shot of Patron.)
Me: Couldn’t we just give it a try? Naomi says the Goddess is “a gendered sense of self that is shining, without damage, without anxiety or fear.” I want that!
Gina: No you don’t. Do you have any idea how boring you’d be if you weren’t damaged? For one thing, you’d never be able to write this column.
Me: Would to!
Gina: Oh yeah – what would you write about? What Pat Robertson did over his summer vacation? The newest Crock Pot recipe? Get real.
Me: Okay, okay! So what – you think this book is just another elongated manuscript on the effects of dopamine?
Gina: Actually, I don’t give a flying rat’s vagina what it’s about. The whole thing sounds like a big cockamamie alert. Or vagimamie alert. Why don’t you concentrate on your brain – explore that erotic zone. Quit getting sidetracked by me all the time!
Me: This is true. I have terrible judgment when it comes to finding you playmates. (I down a shot of Patron.)
Gina: Concentrate on your work. That’ll garner you money. Money will garner you peace of mind. And peace of mind will garner you transcendence over poverty. That’s a transcendence that’ll last more than 10 seconds for chrissakes. Then if you still have the urge – you can go out and buy some veils at Marshall’s and sing like Minnie Riperton for 20 minutes. Trust me, the Goddess thing will get boring.
Me: You’re right…
Gina: Plus, thinking so much about a vagina is as bad as a man thinking constantly about his penis! We’re supposed to be evolving beyond men – not turning into them!
Me: I never realized how smart you were.
Gina: I was always smart – I was just bombarded by the ‘Mones. Bullying bastards! They took over everything! But now, they’re gone. Think of us as France after the Liberation.
Me: I’m so glad we had this chat! By the way – how’s your dinner?
Gina: A little bland. Next time I’ll order the –
Gina: Very funny.
After that it got pretty late and Gina said she had to go since she had to get up early for her Kegel Pilates class.
I thought about what she had said. So much made sense. I’m sure Ms. Wolf has some great points, and her book is probably very interesting. But as for me, I’ve had my head up my ass for so long when it comes to men, sex and relationships – I really don’t feel like reinserting it into my crotch. I want some fresh air.
And that’s the View from this Freedom Loving Broad