In my mid-40s I was talking to a group of mom friends and the topic of vaginal rejuvenation surgery came up. None of us knew exactly what it was, but we all agreed on one thing: the name was really funny.
First off, I love how the word “rejuvenation” is sandwiched between “vaginal” and “surgery”. Only a marketing professional could think of that. Plus, “rejuvenation” is an amusingly transparent attempt to cancel out images of a surgical knife or laser tools hovering near or in one’s crotch. Most women, however, are too savvy to be marketing-manipulated about the most private parts of their bodies. So the title just ends up making us laugh.
That said, if you’re committed to positively marketing vagina-based surgery, “rejuvenation” is a fine choice. It makes the vaginal procedure sound like an all-around enhancement for any woman who’s feeling a little depleted and run down, crotch-wise or otherwise. (Italicized)–> Just hop into the office–walk-ins welcome–for a bit o’ vaggie surgery and you’ll feel like yourself again in no time!
Several years after that mom’s night, I met with my gynecologist. We discussed perimenopausal symptoms and the upcoming Big M. She told me that after menopause the vagina starts “shrinking” and gets “harder.” (Her words. And yes–she). To elaborate, she used the adjective “pipelike.” Aging women are now being compared to plumbing! Rather appalling if you ask me. I mean isn’t there a better way to phrase the symptoms of post menopause to a woman who’s already worried that her not-so-far-off future will include excessive wrinkles, thinning hair, diminished sex drive, and gaining weight around the middle?
Fortunately, my little heart-to-heart with my now ex-gynecologist wasn’t all bad news. There was one positive that arose from this enlightening chat: The “shrinking” part. Allow me to explain.
It’s always been my impression that men are supposedly not sexually attracted to postmenopausal women because we lose all that estrogen that used to make us physically vibrant and sexually irresistible. Now please correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t a shrinking vagina be an asset in terms of attracting and maintaining men, both figuratively and literally? What could be more perfect for men than a sexually experienced woman with a vagina as tight as, or even tighter than, a virgin’s? Perhaps this shrinking aspect is a powerful secret weapon that menopausal women have at the ready but don’t even know they possess.
What a freeing thought, no? I say we frame things more positively. Make the postmenopausal vagina a superhero:
The Incredibly Tiny Shrinking Vaginy!
She’s an inspiration for menopausal women around the world! She may not be attached to an ultra-hot 20-something girl, but with her rapidly shrinking hole, Incredibly Tiny Shrinking Vaginy is a virtual man magnet! Don’t be fooled by her blank look and all that hair covering her face–she’s not as passive as she first appears. Once she lures a man into her vulvar web, she can squeeze him into complete submission! Not even Superman and Spiderman stand a chance of escaping once entangled within her feminine wiles!
Joking aside, I know menopause is probably never going to be something women look forward to. But sadly, in Western society we still, for the most part, view aging almost entirely negatively. So what would a more positive perspective toward menopause look like? And I’m not just referring to the “Yay, I don’t have my period anymore!” aspect. I think the shift has to occur in our views toward aging in general, particularly toward aging women. For starters, we would stop basing so much of a woman’s overall worth on the appearance of her physical body.
A more empowering way to view menopause would be to simply see it as a change and transition rather than only as a loss or decline. After all, everything in life has a beginning and end. Our culture needs to somehow become more comfortable with the end part, which is death. Once we get better at accepting the inevitability of death, the acceptance of all stages of aging would–at least I hope–naturally follow. I’m not saying this change is going to happen any time soon, but becoming aware of the need for it is the first step.
We can also begin making small changes on an individual level, too. For starters, doctors can choose their words and metaphors more carefully when describing the postmenopausal woman’s “plumbing” to their patients. I mean if we can market vaginal rejuvenation surgery with a positive spin, why can’t we do the same for menopause?
To read more by author Amy Kurland you can read her blog at www.thewayiseeit.blog