Vag What? Vag Who? Let’s start the conversation; the conversation about the Vag!
Yes, ladies the vagina – a topic often only spoken about behind closed doors or on the phone with our closet girlfriends. Not for Vanessa Geffrard, she welcomes the questions, excitement and confusion that comes along with learning about the vag. Founder and Educator, Vanessa created VagEsteem to teach women how to have good and healthy sex and to not be afraid to have a conversation about it. You’ve lost your way! You can’t reach the big O! In a nutshell, she is teaching women about sex education and boy is there lots to learn. VagEsteem is your Ob-Gyn appointment filled with a fun conversation of laughs, sisterhood bonding and an unforgettable experience.
So, let’s dive right in….
What is VagEsteem and how was it created? VagEsteem is a lot of things lol! It’s a noun, it’s a workshop series, and a podcast!
So first things first, VagEsteem is workshop series and podcast that encourages good and healthy sex through courageous conversations. I started the workshop series in my home with friends and friends of friends in 2014 and then the workshops outgrew my home. When I first started, I just had a generic name, like “Sex Talks at Vanessa’s House”, but I created a series and I needed to name to name my goal, which was to help women build their “vaginal” self- esteem and voila, VagEsteem was born! In 2016, I started the VagEsteem podcast to help reach more people. All in all, VagEsteem is the concept by which one builds their confidence of/in their vulva and vagina. I believe that this confidence leads to a healthy and satisfying sex life.
I have to say how bad Ass this is and how much of a #Girlboss you are, I love it. In what ways, can women schedule a VagEsteem workshop or consult with you?
This is such a huge compliment! Thank you so much. If folks want to host a VagEsteem workshop, they can just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 443-692-7802. VagEsteem will come to your home, your campus, your book club, your conference, where ever!
What is the number one question you get asked the most from women about the vag; and what is your response? The number one question I get asked is “what is the vagina supposed to smell like?”.
It’s an awesome question and people of all ages ask me this question. So my response is, t he vagina is supposed to smell like vagina lol! So this is what I mean- everyone has their own amazing, wonderful, and distinct aroma. Just like our body has its own, natural aroma (like armpits even after a shower)- the same applies for the vagina. It’s not supposed to smell like fish, strawberry breeze or clean linen. Most of the products on the market feed off of our insecurities and actually can create the scents that we’re trying to get away from. The chemicals in the products can actually cause some imbalance, depending on our sensitivity to them and certain soaps and body washes. ALSO- no douching. Period. It’s unnecessary. The vagina is a self cleaning organ, just like the eye. We don’t stick soap in the eye to clean it and we don’t need to stick anything into the vagina to “clean it out” either. Our bodies are amazing and they know what they’re doing!
Mythbuster: Do women have a separate hole outside of their sacred kingdom that they urinate from?
These question are amazing! Lol! If by sacred kingdom, you mean vagina… then yes LOL! So the best way to describe this is when you look at the vulva, which are basically all the parts that you can see on the outside of the female anatomy. An easy way to think about the vulva is like the face. Your face has many parts (the eyes, the nose, the mouth) but when they come together- they’re one- the face. The Vulva is made up of the vagina, the clitoris, the labia, and the urethra. Long answer short, the urethra is the opening from which pee or urine leaves the body.
What are your thoughts on Yoni eggs? Yay or Nay!
Yay! For many of the women I know that have used them in tandem with meditation and diet, they have yielded awesome results. I’ve had many women also discuss the things that have manifested for themselves through using the healing energy of the crystals that yoni eggs are made of and if anything, they have with toning and kegal exercise. Why not!?
Reaching “the Big O” – why is this such a challenge for women?
There’s a whole host of reasons- but mostly being not focusing on the clitoris- the clit, the love buttons, the push buttons start lol! The only function of the clitoris is PLEASURE!!!! And oftentimes we miss it because we’re only focusing on the penetration. We’re also not breathing and getting our minds into the act. The brain is one of our sex organs as well and when you’re not into it, your body is not going to be into it. And when your brain is thinking about the dishes, and laundry, AND school AND whatever- you’re not allowing yourself to receive the pleasure you deserve. Breathing also helps too! Oftentimes when we’re about to “O” we bear down and stop breathing (pay attention next time!) and it’s best to just breathe through the orgasm and let it come over you.
In what ways can women calm themselves down in order for them to relax during intercourse and enjoy the moment?
Treat yourself. What I mean by that is do things that make you look and feel good. If you like nice smelling candles, get them. If sexy underwear makes you feel your best- get them! If you’re like me and like nice sheets lol!, put them on the bed. Create the experience you like and want. Also, remember to breathe! Breathing is your friend!
How do you empower women to build their confidence level and embrace sexuality?
I think it’s important for women love themselves. When I say love themselves, I mean that you need to know, act, and feel like you are the shit! Even if you have to fake it until you make it- women need to know that there is no one like them. No one else is as beautiful as they are. No one is as strong and brilliant as they are and I want women to carry that with them. We are amazing, wonderful, complicated, and multifaceted beings who deserve to be heard and deserve to feel good. I honestly believe that when women feel good about themselves- they take care of themselves, their bodies, their health and put their best interests first, and their sexual interests first. Things that I do include affirmations, looking at myself in the mirror while speaking positively to myself and speaking positively about my body. Our words become our thoughts and actions. I also advise changing the script. For instance my stretch marks aren’t negative- I just call them the highway to all my sexy lol! We should not love anyone more than we love ourselves, we deserve it.
Download your free VagEsteem Goals Guide for Better Love, Sex, and Body Confidence
Mythbuster: Does eating pineapples really make a difference; the same with yogurt – does it really help with yeast infection prevention?
So when it comes to pineapples specifically, there isn’t any scientific evidence proving that this makes a person “taste” better. Women’s taste and aroma can change based on the time of the month, changes in diet, medications and many other things. Now, eating a balanced diets high in fruits and vegetables and lower in meat can definitely help with these things as well.
When it comes to yeast infections, that can happen for a few reasons, including hormones, antibiotics, and use of vaginal douches and sprays. Yeast infections usually occur when the yeast in the yeast overgrows and some people choose to remedy them through eating yogurt, directly applying yogurt into the vagina, and of course I would recommend going to your doctor to ensure you actually have a yeast infection and getting treatment as well!
For my ladies out there that are practicing celibacy; what are some things they can do to keep it right down below?
Not just for folks practicing celibacy, but for all folks- kegels are cool with maintaining muscle tone, but also has a ton of other benefits like bladder control and stronger orgasms. My biggest tip is to remember to RELAX the muscles as you squeeze and res the muscles. Just like tensing your muscles anywhere else in your body without release can actually weaken the muscle, the same applies here too.
Outside of VagEsteem you’re a sexed teacher (how cool you must be to your students LOL) – how different is the maturity level with kids when it comes to sex based on when we were that age and does social media have a big impact on their sexuality views?
I absolutely love my work- it’s the best! When it comes to having conversations about sex, depending on how often and comfortable we are with them, everyone’s reactions from young to seasoned is the same- awe, curiosity, and giggles! The only difference between when we were growing up vs. our kids now is how quickly we can access and share things. We’ve always had the same things, just not at the speed… Remember instant messenger (remember that?!), that was basically our texting where we could scan our pictures (even the scandalous ones!) and we’ve always had access to porn, but we had to access it through dial up internet- whereas now, it’s accessed through smart phones, snapchat, and instagram. I don’t think there’s a difference us and “kids these days”, we just had this stuff in a different way and it’s important for us to keep the conversations going to ensure that kids understand the images they’re seeing and the feelings they’re experiencing.
What’s next for VagEsteem?
Hmmm… Skies the limit! Building the listenership for the podcast (you can find it on iTunes, Soundcloud, and Stitcher- remember to rate and comment and tell me what you think!). I want to take VagEsteem on college tours so we can start having courageous conversations about sex while many of us are coming in our own! (call me!)
When you’re not talking about vag or the Big O, what do you do in your spare time and how do you balance personal, work and Vag life?
I absolutely love traveling! Traveling is my self care and that is where I find balance. I love spending time with my family, photography, sleeping, eating, and trying new things and experiences. To keep myself balanced, I have a great partner and friends who tell me when I’m doing the absolute most and need to slow down.
How do you handle the negative/backlash of what you do? (if there is any)
These questions have been EXCELLENT! For the most part, people have really embraced VagEsteem and its mission and pretty much understand what I’m trying to do. The complaints I’ve received have mostly been from articles I’ve written, especially on topics of consent, but I focus on the people who need to hear my message, focus on the positivity and read the complaints for filth- especially since they all have to do with dehumanizing women.
What advice do you have for not only young girls maturing into women, but adult women about improving their body-esteem? (see number 8).
Website Links: www.vagesteem.com
Check out the VagEsteem podcast here
the Virgo Girl 5 Things to Ask
What would you tell your 21-year-old self?
I start my day with . . .
A grunt because I’m not a morning person lol! I’m working on it though. Ideally and when I’ve had a great night’s sleep- I pray and think about my day and set my mind to having a positive outlook.
If you could invite any woman to dinner, who would it be?
I think off the top of my head, I’d say Oprah because she just has just a wealth of knowledge, warmth, and I bet stories for days! I think she’d give some great advice on propelling ourselves forward and reaching our greatness.
Best advice you have received?
Do not dim your light in order to make others feel better. Keep shining
Life motto you live by?
Say Yes. I’ve said yes to many things in my life and it hasn’t steered me wrong. Saying yes allows me to put aside the fear, the doubt, and just do it.