Whose Vagina Is It, Anyway?

Q: I’m a 32-year-old woman being driven up the wall by my fiancé always saying that he can tell I’m playing with my toys when he’s at work because I’m loose that day. I swear to him up and down that I haven’t, and even tell him the last time that I have done something like that. But he doesn’t want to hear it. He always says I’m lying about it all. Why some days is my vagina tighter than another day? Is there a position during sex that would make my vagina tighter? I already do those “pee exercises.” Please HELP!!! I’m sick of being accused of something I’m not even doing.

A: I think there’s a sounder, healthier solution than trying different sexual positions or doing more kegels. Because the problem here isn’t your vagina.

I don’t think the problem is your partner being uneducated about vaginas, either. I’m not even sure he is earnestly feeling the physical differences he’s reporting. Even if he is, we’ll experience a different feeling with sex than we expect or want sometimes. But in a healthy dynamic, that’s usually how we’ll frame it, as things just feeling different, no big whoop. We might ask to try different positions or different sexual activities to experience what we’re looking for, or may just explore that new feeling without seeking something else at all.

That’s sound for a whole bunch of reasons, including the ways we treat a partner with care, respect and courtesy. But it’s also sound for another reason. Genitals are not sound tools for taking accurate measurements of anything (which is likely why we don’t use them to figure out what size drapes to buy or as a quick fix when we’re baking and we can’t find the darned measuring cup). Their size, shape, texture, temperature and other properties change all the time. How they change and feel is very strongly influenced by what we are thinking and feeling. And when genitals are interlocked, all of these things are happening for more than one person at once, with more than one body, so telling how one set of genitals feels separately by measuring with another set is impossible.

You can know you’re likely outside a healthy dynamic when a person has made a pattern of baseless accusations, despite your objections, exasperation and hurt. You feel like your sexual body is living under constant interrogation, so you can know something is wrong with your relationship. You understand this is your vagina, and your body, not his, right? Of course you do. But he does not. That’s very bad news if you want a healthy relationship.

It sounds like no matter what you do sexually, or what information you give this person, this won’t stop. And, personally, continuing an intimate relationship with someone like this sounds about as appealing as chewing glass.

I think the only potentially sound solutions are a) this guy dedicating himself to ongoing counseling, work he goes into and participates in with a strong understanding that his behavior is really messed up and with a strong desire to change it, or b) you getting out of this relationship. Since you’re engaged, I assume you’re very invested in this relationship and may prefer the first option to leaving. Just know that counseling can’t do squat if he doesn’t deeply invest in it, want to change and stop with this behavior right now and for good. And you can stop all of this yourself right now, and prevent dynamics like this ever after, by choosing to take and keep yourself and your vagina far, far away from someone like this. You’ll both be a lot happier if you do.

You can find out more about your body for yourself: Here are a few links to fill you in on the ever-changing nature of your vagina and the parts of your body surrounding it, something people who like vaginas and the people they’re part of usually find fascinating, not infuriating. Our Bodies, Ourselves was just released in a new edition this month: if you don’t have a copy, go get one. It can fill you in about your anatomy, and there’s also information in there about healthy and unhealthy relationships that I think you could use.

Photo of San Francisco Bay to Breakers participants in 2005 by Flickr user joethedork under license from Creative Commons 2.0 

Comments

  1. This guy sounds like a jerk. Have you tried pointing out that maybe his dick is just getting smaller?

    • I’m going to put a vote in for all of us supporting kind, thoughtful and sensitive approaches to everyone’s genitals, okay? I’m all about feeling anger towards anyone treating anyone the way this guy is treating this woman, but at the same time, I think going for the flip side of these kinds of insults only enables this stuff, which I’m sure none of us wants for anyone.

      Cheers!

    • you go girl! lol

    • LOL, I was thinking the same thing. But not even in a snide, trying to get him with his own medicine type of way. Perhaps he’s just so focused on wanting to accuse you of having fun without him (god forbid!) that he just can’t get himself as hard as usual. Then again, just like the responder stated, it could also be that he’s just dead set on “proving” his false accusation that he’s actually convinced himself he’s feeling something different. I guess it’s better that he’s accusing you of playing with yourself rather than having a secret partner, but either way, it sounds like he’s having some serious masculinity issues that should be worked out BEFORE you take that official plunge of walking down the aisle. But remember, if you do decide to take that walk and things still do not improve, there is NO SHAME in walking away after you are married. No matter what anyone might say to you, a healthy sexual relationship IS IMPORTANT to a good marriage! GOOD LUCK!

  2. Ask your boyfriend why his penis is so much smaller on certain days. Tell him to stop wanking it and get started on that enlarger pump.

    But seriously, everything above is just right. It sounds like your body is perfectly normal. Your boyfriend’s expectations are ill-informed. (He really thinks you’re ruining yourself for his gratification with an illicit dildo? Is he in 7th grade?) They’re also childish: nagging women about why their bodies don’t match his stereotypes, and whining about some kind of fantasy sexual utopia of “tight pussy”, is the mark of a man who doesn’t understand sex or women. Worst of all, it’s disrespectful: he has expectations about your body and behavior that are centered around his sexual gratification, even to the extent that he wants to deny you yours so that he’ll get what he wants from you.

    You deserve better. And you deserve to be confident in your own body and sexuality; his problems are his problems.

    • See above, please? Thanks!

      I think it’s also important to recognize that we have no idea if this guy earnestly thinks what he’s expressing to this woman is real or true. It’s entirely possible that he is saying what he is because he knows the impact it will have on her, am impact it obviously did have and has had (and hopefully will stop having).

      People who aim to control intimate partners always try and hit them where it hurts, literally or symbolically. My sense is all of this is much more about the bigger picture of control than it is about anyone’s body parts. I’m also willing to bet this is just one example of this guy’s controlling behavior. :(

      • bookgrrrrl says:

        it is totally about control and hitting where it hurts. my ex was a porn addict. during 8 months of unemployment, when he was supposed to be both looking for a job and starting a small business, it turned out he’d been spending most of his time online… when i confronted him about it, he told me it was my fault that he had to look at porn because he couldn’t get perky tits and a hot body at home. i was 40 when he said this, and i am usually mistaken for being closer to 30. but he knew exactly how to turn his problem around and make it about me, make me question even my very basic attractiveness and whether or not i deserved a sexual partner at all. luckily that’s 3 years and a bunch of therapy behind me, but it really messed me up. i hope the lw gets the hell out of this asap and moves on. imho, that is the ONLY answer with guys who say such horrible things.

  3. PolkaDotty says:

    first of all, it doesn’t even matter if she IS using toys. second of all, this guy is the definition of emotionally abusive. and counseling might not make it better as he will be giving his therapist HIS side of the story, not necessarily reality. This woman needs a copy of “why does he do that” by Lundy Bancroft, STAT!

  4. This was a great read. I was accused of cheating by an ex because my vagina was ‘too loose’ I never forgot this and kindly said to him after he said this ‘that’s sort of what happens when you’re constantly having sex with someone’ I was really offended and never really forgave him for saying that but in any case what he said to you is showing he’s not mature and needs to learn about you in order to completely appreciate who you are as a woman.

  5. whoa Heather. You’re awesome! :)

  6. A confident, not-controlling person would be *happy* to know that you were enjoying your body (and maybe thinking about him!) during the day. Those people are out there, I promise. You deserve to find one.

  7. @karen i LAUGHED MY ASS off! why didnt i think of that?!

  8. This guy does sound emotionally abusive. If I were you, I would get out of this relationship while you still can. I know you are engaged, but you are not yet married, so you don’t exactly have the complications of divorce yet. Try to get out of this. Counseling won’t help him. Abusers, 99% of the time, don’t change.

  9. just a really small addition to all the wonderful comments above, with which I agree. but you know, when you are aroused, it does get bigger in there…. so maybe that’s the difference he’s noticing? just a thought. not really the point, I know, but good to know these things about our bodies, I think.

  10. First of all, partners who show jealously towards sex toys in an otherwise healthy sexual relationship really tick me off. The same men who will staunchly defend their right to have a Playboy or Hustler subscription will also ask “should I let my wife/gf get a vibrator?” Yes, I’ve been asked that.

    I feel like we can all weigh in with the best solution which is to leave him, because this IS a form of emotional abuse and it likely won’t change, but that it won’t do a whole lot of good. As Heather pointed out…this is her fiance and she is therefore quite vested in the relationship and her question was formed in the “There must be something wrong with me, tell me how to fix it so that he stops abusing me” which says to me that she won’t consider leaving him until it gets even worse. Which will be terrible because she’ll live in daily fear that there IS something wrong with her and someone else will do the same.

    I’d suggest first attempting the “counseling light” on him through some education. Reasons why her vagina will feel more or less tight based on time of the month or whatever, and reasons why his penis might be more or less engorged at any given encounter. Try bringing him and the sex toys into the same bedroom to show that they’re not a replacement. MAYBE counseling would help get to the actual root of his insecurities, because that’s what this truly is. He is insecure about something, and I suspect it’s a similar insecurity that some women feel when they know their guy has been viewing porn (they take it as an insult, that they’re not attractive enough, etc)

    • I really appreciate all of your addition to this, Lilly. I agree: if this person had asked me, outright, if she should stay or go, I’d absolutely say to get the heck out of there. The thing is that people often don’t tend to be very receptive to that right at the gate, especially when they are in a long-term relationship. And of course, the dynamics of abuse/control always create even more challenges to the idea of leaving.

  11. Dump the chump! As so many others have said he sounds like a control freak and it will get worse not better! If I were you I’d make a date with my toys everyday and enjoy yourself! Better partners to be found but you’ve got to lose him first!

  12. Kathleen McG says:

    Since this is domestic violence awareness month, I would also suggest looking over this site. It is a random one I picked. This one is from the Illinois department of health. Domestic violence is not just battering. Jealous behavior questioning faithfulness is one as well. I went ahead and married my ex-husband because he had not hit me. Once we were married, that changed. Hindsight is 20/20. Please be careful. http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/womenshealth/factsheets/dv.htm

  13. When I read her question I didn’t even think the guy sounded jealous or upset that she was using the toys, just that he “can tell” that she has been using them. My first thought was maybe he was turned on by the thought of her using the toys while he was not around. Maybe he is trying to get a dirty conversation going to spark some fantasy about masturbation and talking about it or getting “caught” but is just a really crappy communicator. Of course the part that is alarming is that he thinks she is lying and doesn’t believe her. Soooo, I think she is going to have to figure out if he is upset/jealous by her using the toys or maybe turned on, and then to go from there. But if he really thinks she is lying and he doesn’t believe her when she tell him the truth, no matter WHAT the topic is, that is a BIG red flag. That shows a major trust issue as well as a manipulative and abusive behavior on his part and not someone you will be happy being married to, I can promise you that.

  14. Pavlov's Cat says:

    We’re all diagnosing from a distance based on incomplete information, but in an echo of some other comments here, this sounds suspiciously like abuse to me. Partner 1 invents some sort of ‘crime’ that they can accuse partner 2 of whenever they feel like it, that’s difficult to disprove, and then partner 1 can ‘punish’ partner 2 according to their whim. I have the gravest doubts this has anything to do with any real suspicions or misread evidence. Maybe I’m seeing something that isn’t there based on just how many occasions I have known this sort of thing to be going on. I hope either way that this unhealthy relationship doesn’t continue in the same vein.

  15. It is your vagina, and not your boyfriends. Tell him to fuck himself and move on. Play with your vagina all you want.

  16. I think that partners who use such ludicrous accusations are insecure about themselves, and that, like many other comments above, they do become abusive. My ex husband said stupid things like this when we were dating, once we were married, he did more than use cruel words. If he continues in this behavior after she asks him to seek counseling, then she should leave. When someone truly cares for you, they don’t constantly accuse you of lieing. They trust you. And a real man (or woman) will show respect and support for their partner. How would he feel if she ridiculed him for not being able to “get it up?” He would be embarassed, hurt and angry. How can he not expect her to feel the same?

  17. Barbara Mor says:

    This sounds symptomatic of the guy who is having sex with someone new or different & comes back to his longterm ‘committed’ partner with the need to put HER on the defensive, put her off balance, as a distractive move away from his own cheating anxieties. Typical, & not healthy.

  18. Mary Putana says:

    I suggest you gain lots of weight. When I was fat, my pussy was tighter.

  19. Jennifer Dav says:

    Maybe the days you feel looser are the days he might be smaller. Guys don’t always get the same size every time. Sometimes my hubby feels smaller, bigger, thicker, longer. Thank God it isn’t the same every time or I would get bored.

  20. Maybe its guilt on his part, he could be cheating and trying to reflect it on you, to make you feel bad. Either way he’s an insecure asshole with no understanding of women and I wouldn’t put up with that if I were you.

  21. easy easy fix, tell him that there is no way you would be masterbaiting in the kitchen that doing so is very unsanitary. obviously if you are home all day while he is at work you are in the kitchen so this reasoning will make a lot of sense to him and the issue will be squashed..

  22. *sighs* Sadly I too am dealing with the same issues. We’ve been married 1½yrs but been together & sexually active for almost 5. So I’m just surfing sites for evidence of my truth, & to burst his accusation bubble as soon as he gets home from work!! I do think these sites will help my case with my hubby & get his brain ticking like it’s meant to, instead of it being set on constant” dumbass/asshole” mode lol!! Good luck to you love, & to anyone else stuck in this horrible defence mode as well!! BTW….love all the comments, gave me some much needed & well over due true LMAO’s. ^_^

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