My Vagina Went To Rehab

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vagina rehab
Love, Sex

Here’s the thing about Patty (my vagina’s given name): she has terrible taste in men.

By Natalia Provatas

It was a rainy Los Angeles evening and I was downtown attending a story telling event. I was dressed in my I’m intimidating but approachable best: tight black jeans, green army jacket, and black combat boots. I was trying this new thing with my hair, one part Ramona Flowers, two parts dried succulent.

As I sipped cheap red wine and hoarded delicately sliced cured meats into my cheek like an overgrown, carnivorous hamster, a handsome boyish gent named Miles approached me. We chatted. I did what I always do when I meet someone new: 1. Hope I don’t smell like soup 2. Go through the “potential future husband” checklist in my head. He’s smart: check. He’s cute: check. He wasn’t appalled by the Smart Car sized amounts of prosciutto I shoved into my face in the few minutes we exchanged words: check.

All signs pointed to relationship-ville; except he would have to pass the most arduous gauntlet known to the few men who have dated me: my vagina.

Here’s the thing about Patty (my vagina’s given name): she has terrible taste in men.

It’s like that Kanye West lyric “I can have me a good girl, and still be addicted to the hoodrats.” Put Patty in a room filled with funny, kind, forward thinking people and she’ll gravitate towards the person in the room that is so non-verbal, they might as well be an inanimate object. Once, she made me give my number to pile of Persian cucumbers on sale at Trader Joes.

Miles and I exchanged numbers despite Patty’s eye rolling. What followed was a series of wonderful dates filled with gluten-free pie, pour-over coffees, witty banter and hot and heavy make-out sessions that could have easily fit into any rom-com montage. But because of Patty’s hesitation, Miles and I never got past the hump of the first few dates to the actual humping part.

Miles was everything I, and my properly working lady brain, could have wanted. He was a funny writer with feminist leanings, handsome but not in a way that made me insecure, he was kind without having to be nagged. It was disgusting how perfect he was.

But Patty refused to get it up for anything more than a dolt that resembled a well-priced piece of produce.

Knowing Patty’s refusal to get on the bump n’ grind wagon would jeopardize a great relationship, I decided I had to train her to like Miles, maybe even love him.

Short of making my vagina run stairs and do kegels in a meat locker, I was dedicated to Patty’s rehabilitation. I purchased the book The Elusive Orgasm: A Woman’s Guide to Why She Can’t and How She Can Orgasm. It had a straightforward title, decent reviews and free 2-day shipping with Amazon Prime.

The book walked me through what it referred to as the “Personal Change Program,” a 7-step process designed to help reprogram your vagina to enjoy pleasure in new and fun ways.

First, I was to set the scene. It strongly recommended playing music we (my vagina and I) found appealing. I wanted Fiona Apple, Patty was in the mood for Lil Wayne, so we settled on Drake. I turned to the next set of instructions: Tickle your thighs and think super positive thoughts to summon the genie of pleasure from your “magic lamp.”

As I read through step 7, entitled “Orgasm with Vaginal Penetration (Optional),” Patty put in her retainer, rolled over and went to sleep. She was over it, and so was I.

The book’s flawed premise was that a woman’s orgasm, or lack thereof, was tied to negative emotions from childhood that could be easily rewired.

The solution was the same for more serious cases like sexual abuse, or in my case, falling hard and fast for the brooding artist-type long before Patty had a bad perm and surfed the red wave of womanhood. My taste in men started in elementary, and continued well into adulthood. I’d rather invest in someone with a low rate of return, than get my heart broken. It was my fears of intimacy that guided me towards questionable partners, not faulty biological wiring.

Unfortunately, this was an issue that could not be solved with well-intentioned thigh tickling set to the Take Care album. I broke things off with Miles to focus on Patty’s recovery.

Although we’ve yet to master the “Personal Change Program,” Patty and I are dedicated to a future filled with happy, well-rounded sexual relationships. At the very least, we hope to have the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to walk past the T-mobile kiosk at the mall and not get all hot and bothered by the Cholo in the button down offering us a decent data plan.

This article was originally published at The Gloss. Reprinted with permission from the author.