Welcome to TBH – To Be Honest – Capsule’s monthly column with our columnist and old pal, Brodie Kane! In her latest edition, Brodie gifts herself quite the birthday present – a yoni mapping. Here she shares what happened – and how she feels afterwards.
If you’d told me a year ago that I was going to get my vagina and vulva ‘mapped’, I would have giggled like a little girl and said ‘absolutely NOT’. Hell, if you’d even said the word ‘yoni’ two years ago, I wouldn’t have had any idea what you were talking about.
But one of the great things about the way we women are moving together as a community these days is that things like yoni mapping, masturbation, pleasure and empowerment are much more open discussions, and to quote the queen of self-empowerment Lizzo, IT’S ABOUT DAMN TIME.
It is genuinely fascinating being in a generation where we are witnessing the narrative shift of HOW we talk about ourselves and our bodies, our needs and our desires. And for my yoni mapping experience, it’s even more fascinating how much it helped me on a far deeper, psychological level (at this point, you’re probably dying to google what it is, so here).
Yoni mapping, according to my pal and somatic sexologist Morgan Penn, is vulva and vaginal mapping – by mapping it, we find out where you have pleasure, tension or numbness. It’s ‘mindful vaginal massage’ to allow you to gain information to reconnect and educate yourself.
Morgan says, “Vaginas are receptacles, it’s a space where we can hold stress, tension, pain and trauma. You may not even know what tension you are holding until we give your genitals undivided attention and the opportunity to be seen and heard. Using bodywork we can clear stagnant energy on a cellular level. It’s almost like pushing the reset button which makes space for pleasure, sensuality, fertility and sexual health. Leaving you feeling more empowered, erotic, and connected on a daily basis.”
Now, you may very well turn your nose up at it, laugh at it, be shocked by it, or curious about it. All normal. In fact, when I told my mum I was doing it she shrieked with laughter.
“SOMEONE IS DOING WHAT?????” etc etc.
But in the space of our 15 minute phone conversation, we were actually at the point where we were talking about the lack of discussion when I was growing up around sex, pleasure and the female anatomy. Mum went from laughing to feeling terrible at the thought that she hadn’t talked to me about any of this. I pointed out to her that no, we most definitely hadn’t, but I assured her she was ALWAYS supportive when I needed her – like when I lost my virginity.
But the narrative back then (not only with parents, sex ed at school was much the same), was around how NOT to get pregnant, how to manage your period, and how to avoid getting STD’s (that’s what they were called back then). It’s no surprise women of my generation have stumbled our way into figuring out what sex or sexual pleasure to us actually means. Gosh, it’s only recently become acceptable for women to talk about masturbating – cue Lizzo again!
Enter wonderful women like Morgan, who has so bravely and wonderfully shared publicly her journey to finding the job she truly loves (through the amazing podcasts, The Trainee Sexologist and more recently Sex.Life).
I’m lucky enough to call Morgan a friend who I have listened to and found so inspiring, because women like her are genuinely helping shift that narrative. After listening to her podcasts, and having her on The Girls Uninterrupted and Kiwi Yarns, I decided it was time for me to shift my OWN narrative.
I felt the time was right to do something completely different, to try and be more connected with myself. As a woman who’s been single for 7000 years, and not super sexually active with anyone meaningful in a ridiculously long time, I realised I needed to claim back some of my sensuality. When you have been single for ages or you haven’t been in a proper relationship with someone you trust, there is a lack of major explorative experiences. Why do we rely on others to figure out what makes us tick anyway?
So, it was time to go to vagina and vulva school (my words, if you can’t tell!).
To be honest I’m not sure I would’ve or could’ve done it without someone like Morgan. I’m so in awe of her compassion but also her knowledge and wisdom that I had to give it a whirl.
And, what a fascinating process! I imagine everyone’s yoni mapping journey is different, but actually, what I found the most compelling about mine, was not necessarily the physical experience but what it did for me mentally.
I mean, learning about the vagina by way of a clock is quite something – and as I said to Morgan this should be compulsory learning for all women! Honestly, having a good, physical exploration in a warm, safe and loving environment cannot be underestimated. Like I said earlier, if you’d said to me a year ago that I’d have done this I would’ve laughed. But it was absolutely worth it and my only regret was that this is something we should’ve been doing YEARS ago.
Back to what it did for me mentally, because that’s what I was most blown away by. We, without question, kicked down a few of my walls. My hard exterior. My protective armour. Things I’ve developed over the years as an independent woman. As a single woman. The walls I put up to protect myself in all aspects of my life.
But what I realised is that they don’t have to be up all the time, because what ends up happening is that those walls are actually up around me against myself, not just the outside world. During the whole experience with Morgan I was able to connect with a more loving, softer side of myself. It made me realise how staunch, harsh and brutal I can be to MYSELF. How refreshing it was to feel safe and warm and loved, completely connected to my whole body, without worrying about anything other than how special that felt. Quite the breakthrough, I would say.
It made me realise I pride myself on my strength, my battle-hardy approach to life. But it was bloody nice to discover the softer, warmer side of myself. Breaking news – they can all co-exist!
And I’ll be honest, it feels pretty scary sharing so much of this experience with you all, my thoughts, feelings and emotions written down for all to see. But if I’m such a willing participant in the way our community is changing our own narrative – then you know what? Soft, warm and loving Brodie says do it.