by Dan Savage
I would love your advice on how to deal with some news I got recently. At my most recent gyno visit, I found out I have two vaginas. I’d had a number of routine pelvic exams with my old doctor, but she never discovered it. During my first visit with my new doctor, however, she discovered my “atypical anatomy” right away. The anatomical specifics are sort of irrelevant to my question—everything is fully functioning, sex isn’t painful, and everything externally looks completely normal.
I’m a straight girl in my early 20s and I’ve only had one sex partner before. Sex was great, and only occasionally did I have to take the guy’s dick and redirect him to the “better” vagina. We were both each other’s firsts—at the time I figured the occasional readjustment was par for the course. I didn’t find out about my two vaginas (sounds like a sitcom) until after the relationship ended, and I haven’t had sex since.
So here’s my question—is this little tidbit something I need to reveal to new sex partners before sex? After? Ever?
Very Abnormal Girl
The anatomical specifics may not be relevant to your question, VAG, but I’m going to cover them briefly for the sake of readers whose heads are exploding: VAG has what’s called a “didelphic uterus.” A female’s reproductive bits develop in utero when two tubes, the Müllerian ducts, fuse together to form a unitary uterus. If those ducts fail to fuse during fetal development, a woman can wind up with two of everything—two vaginas, two cervices, two uteruses. A didelphic uterus isn’t life threatening, but it can complicate pregnancy for all sorts of obvious reasons.
Okay, VAG, on to your question: Are you obligated to disclose? Seeing as your condition went undetected by your first gynecologist (Dr. Magoo, I presume?), unnoticed by your first boyfriend, and places your future sex partners at no risk of physical or emotional trauma, you’re under no obligation to disclose.
However, just because you’re under no obligation to disclose, VAG, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. This isn’t something a guy wants to hear when he’s down on one knee with a ring in his hand. (“Yes, honey, yes! And about my vagina….”) Disclose too soon—before your first sexual encounter—and you risk scaring a guy off; disclose too late—after you’ve been having sex for a while—and you risk humiliating a guy, e.g., most men like to think they would notice that the woman they’re sleeping with has two vaginas. Even if, of course, most guys wouldn’t.
What you need is a rule of thumb: If I had two vaginas, I would disclose at month three. But I don’t have two vaginas, VAG, you do, and you’ll have to pick the time that feels right for you.
I’m fucking this random guy on the beach when I look down to find that my dick is covered with shit! Never in my life have I been so grateful to have sanitary wipes in my knapsack! I didn’t say anything to him. What would I say? “Sorry, gotta run, you’re making me sick?” I wiped some of the shit off on his towel and fled. Any tips on keeping this from happening in the future? I don’t know if I can face this possibility again.
Shitty Asshole Gross Out
If you don’t want shit on your dick ever, SAGO, then you need to use condoms during anal sex always—and that goes double, triple, quadruple, etc., if you’re gonna fuck random strangers. Anonymous fucks aren’t famously considerate sex partners, SAGO, and your beach party is a perfect example: The guy you were fucking didn’t care enough about himself to insist that you use a condom; he didn’t care enough about you to refrain from shitting all over your dick. You didn’t care enough about him to (1) use a condom, (2) refrain from wiping your dick on his towel even though you had wipes in your bag, and (3) say something before you left. What happened on that beach was a meeting of shitty assholes in both the literal and metaphorical senses.
A guy with whom you have some sort of relationship—a boyfriend, a fuckbuddy, a barista—is going to think twice about letting you fuck him if he’s not sure he’s clean and empty. Some skank on a beach, on the other hand, may decide to go for it even if he’s not sure about his cleanliness because, hey, you’re just some random stranger. And since your condom-free dick demonstrated that you were willing to shit all over him metaphorically, SAGO, why shouldn’t he shit on you literally?
I was extremely disgusted by I Loves Me Some Sleepin’ Ladies, the “somnophiliac” who sought your advice about having sex with his sleeping wife. If someone cannot give consent in the moment, because, in this case, he or she is drunk or passed out, any further sexual actions constitute rape. It is irrelevant that she gave consent while she was awake. I am further offended that you did not hold him accountable. Although short, your response (“Ambien. Next!”) supported his criminal behavior.
I hope in the future you will hold perpetrators accountable and put a name to their actions: RAPE.
Disappointed Reader And Rape Survivor
I’m extremely sorry that you were raped, DRARS, although your baseless accusations of rape make me doubt you when you claim to be a survivor of rape. The feminist bloggers are going to accuse me of thought crimes: If a woman says she was raped then, by God, she was raped. (Tell it to the lacrosse team.) But if my reaction to your letter is a thought crime, I can only plead entrapment: I wouldn’t have had these illegal thoughts if you hadn’t sent me such a stupid letter in the first place.
We’ve covered this before, but apparently it’s a gong that needs to be struck every few years: A state of implied consent exists in healthy, functional, established, long-term sexual relationships. I can, for example, initiate sex with my boyfriend of 12 years in the middle of the night without grabbing him by the shoulders and shaking him until he’s wide awake and then obtaining his verbal consent. If I crawl on top of him at 3:00 a.m., he can say “nope,” push me off, and roll over, which obligates me to go back to sleep or go to another room and beat off.
In ILMSSL’s case, he received his wife’s advance consent to have intercourse with her while she sleeps. The problem, ILMSSL wrote, “[is] when I try to touch her in her sleep, she whimpers, turns away, and otherwise makes herself inaccessible,” which has left ILMSSL unable to “take the liberties that she has okayed.” In other words, DRARS, ILMSSL hasn’t been able to have sex with his sleeping wife—with her consent—because she unconsciously pulls away from him, and he stops. And this man is a rapist?
As for my one word of advice, Ambien, I stand by it. The only times ILMSSL and his wife have been able to fulfill his fantasy is when she’s drunk and passed out. I’d be willing to pop a sleeping pill now and then to keep my boyfriend happy, so why not Ambien?
Finally, DRARS, I hereby withdraw my consent for you to read Savage Love. If you continue to read my column against my will, well, we all know what word to apply to your actions.
Readers respond to surprise herpes infections and offer their own advice for getting that poo smell off your finger. Go to www.thestranger.com/savage/herpes.
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