Ok. Maybe not “completely”, but there’s still a lot to learn! Sometimes it takes unplugging yourself from your regular scheduled programming to get a glimpse of how narrow your scope of what you think you know is. For me, it required chaperoning my kid’s camping trip to unveil how little I know about my own anatomy.
I enjoy camping but I don’t “camp”, if you catch my meaning. I have been on many camping trips with my daughters for Girl Scouts and the odd church retreat. These events have allowed us to enjoy the fun of being in the outdoors without the inconvenience.
We’re accustomed to being housed in modest cabins with adjacent toilet facilities, built in kitchen/dining room and a mess hall where the ‘campers’ would meet for communal dinners or group activities. The trip I took seven days ago offered no such luxuries…and make no mistake: I now recognize them as luxuries.
In his stand up routine, Trevor Noah described “white people camping” as the poverty he and many other people spend their entire life trying to flee. No running water, no insulation, little protection from the elements are only novel when they are not your norm. I thought he was exaggerating in his assessment, because after all, I was a seasoned camper and I too am African. He was just being funny.
And then I had to pee. My husband and I shared a tent on this occasion while the kids paired off. Every morning, at 4 am – just as we both do at home- he would wake up, take a few steps over to the bush and take a whiz. Meanwhile I was compelled to hold myself until the sun came up and make a dash to the public toilet too many meters away from where we were camped. On the final morning of our stay, I couldn’t hold it for that long. My dear, helpful hubby handed me an empty water bottle and encouraged me to relieve myself into it.
And piss went flying everywhere.
“Put it next to your urethra!” he screamed frantically.
I placed it above my clitoris. Like a tawny geyser, more piss gushed all over the tent.
“I don’t know where it is,” I hissed, conscious that the mingling sounds of my exploding bladder and his panic-stricken directions would soon rouse the curiosity of the other campers. What if they came to investigate? I hurriedly inched the small opening of the water bottle towards my anus.
This did not help. Hot liquid dribbled down my fingers. Hubby was horrified, though he tried not to show it. I was baffled.
Good God, why was this so hard? Eventually, I managed to place the bottle in the general area of what I think is my urethra. The laws of probability allowed some portion of my fluid to enter into the bottle, but the consequences of my ignorance rendered our tent floor a marshy mess. I gave up and just peed away, not caring any more. When I was done and looking at the carnage, I fully became aware of the magnitude of the situation.
At 41, I did not comprehend – not really – how my own vagina worked. I believe we’ve talked about this here on Adventures before, but in the scope of pleasure. I know what makes me feel good ‘down there’ and what doesn’t. However, I cannot pee with accuracy, and that’s a problem. Because the function of my vagina isn’t just for sexual pleasure…I need her in order to live a full, balanced healthy life, period. Part of that means not walking about smelling like the linen room at a daycare center at the end of the day.
It is unlikely that I’ll be making the attempt to pee into anymore empty water bottles and far more likely that I’ll be purchasing those nifty silicone urinal devices that let women piss in the great outdoors with dignity. While I am not overly thrilled that I had to spend an hour disinfecting our tent, I am grateful to have had my ignorance exposed. It was a powerful lesson in proving one is never too old to surprise oneself.
What about you? Do you know everything there is to know about your own girly bits? Have you recently been amazed by some new discovery? Tell us in the comments below!