Dry as a beach?
In case you missed the recent delights of Cardi B’s “Wet Ass Pussy” (WAP), let me draw your attention to it. Unsurprisingly, a lot of people (mostly white, cishet male people) were very upset about a woman luxuriating in her arousal and vaginal fluids. This is strange, as male rappers have been talking about their cum and sexual exploits for decades. It’s almost like there’s some sort of sexual double standard…
Let’s start by adding some contex to this conversation. Have you ever noticed how an ejaculating penis is seen as something powerful, intentional, and dominant, whereas a vulva is typically something that’s made wet or made to come?
Semen is often given an almost mythical status, as something that can be bestowed upon the receiver. Cum can be a benediction, a humiliation, a conquest, or a finale. Whatever it signifies, the cum creator is in charge of making and distributing their fluids.
In contrast, pussies are almost always referred to in the passive form. A cock will “get hard” but a pussy is “made wet”. There’s an assumed lack of autonomy and agency of vaginas, as if they can only be activated by someone else. Is your pussy passive?
With this passivity comes a powerlessness. “Suck my dick!” can be a request, a command, or an insult. There’s also an implied aggressive dominance. In contrast, “Suck my vulva!” would be assumed, by most people, to be an alluring and intimate invitation. It sounds more like a treat than a threat!
If you don’t know what I mean, when you read the two statements in your head, did you use different voices? What was different about them?
Yes, some aspects of arousal, including wetness, are involuntary, and can be influenced by all sorts of factors from our hormonal cycle to medication. But if your vulva doesn’t need a bucket and a mop there’s nothing to be ashamed of either. Menopause, stress, dehydration, and shitty foreplay, among other things, can all contribute to occasional or consistent vaginal dryness.
That said, I’ve met many, many people who found that long-held shame, emotional blocks, and painful past trauma made it nearly impossible for them to lubricate easily. In this case, there’s some deep therapeutic work that needs to take place. We need to feel safe in our own body, safe with our partner, and go really, really, slowly. All of the power imbalances and assumed pussy passivity talked about above also needs to be unravelled.
If you’re not sure if that’s you, consider whether you get sufficiently lubricated when you play with yourself alone compared with when you’re with someone else?
One key part of this process is non-sexual, sensual touch. It can be incredibly healing, like the kinaesthetic equivalent of talk therapy. With clients who struggle to self-lubricate, they can spend weeks practising a range of touch-based intimacy activities to unfreeze their numb bodies. Mindfulness activities can also really help. These exercises often exclude the genitals, as the focus is on feeling safe and present in the body as a whole. By liberating the genital areas from performance anxiety and expectations, we often find that the fluids start to flow easily and naturally, in their own time.
Still worried you're dry as a beach?
All of that to say, if you or your partner find you’re less moist than Cardi B, it doesn’t have to be an ongoing problem and it doesn’t necessarily require medical intervention.
Potentially, you could really benefit from working with a sex therapist or sexological bodyworker if you want a more hands-on approach.
If the first two sections of this article resonated with you, then it may be that you have some deconditioning and healing to do around your beliefs and your relationship with your genitals.
Let me reassure you, help is available whatever your unique sexual situation.