It all started when...
A night in October, 2014, a group of pelvic health professionals were sitting around in a bar in Orlando after doing a presentation of sexual health for a group of women. A couple of men approached us with the "Hey ladies, what brings you here" line and Kim spoke up to say, "We're all vagina specialists and we've been teaching women how to take the best care of their vaginas." The two men looked at us with big, innocent eyes and jaws dropped. They gathered themselves enough say, "Please! Tell us what you know!!" Instead of telling them about sexual g-spot-type tricks, we enlightened them on the purpose of vaginal discharge, the actual size of the clit, and the patriarchal bind that women find themselves in when it comes to expressing an interest in sex. All in all, a pretty productive night.
My wheels had already been turning about doing an adult sex ed in Asheville. This night in the bar convinced me that it needs to be a fun, laid back venue. It also showed me that men really need to be a part of this discussion.
Figuring out the trans-inclusivity part:
So, I'm planning this adult sex ed group for women and men. I was telling a friend about it and she asked, "What about men with vulvas? Can they come?" My eyes lit up as I replied, "Abso-fucking-lutely". And that was the last piece I needed to get this thing rolling.
I started playing around with names and Vino & Vulvas was an early front runner. I mentioned it to my friend, Noah Styles, and he said that if I actually went with that, he would gladly make my logo. I'm not one to pass up on a dare or a bargain.
So, V&V it was. And while it might sound specific to "drink wine and talk about vulvas"... it's more than that. "Vino" is the atmosphere; sit back, relax, and talk about real stuff. "Vulvas" comes from a sentiment of "say the right damn word!! it's not a vagina, it's a vulva!" Plus, getting my banker and accountant to say "vulva" repeatedly has been a great deal of fun.
Calling in my tribe:
I called up my sexual health friends in the area, DiAnna Ritola, Rebecca Chaplin, Kelley Johnson, Chelsea Wakefield, and Zeke Christopoulos and they were all game to do this thing. We started in January of 2015 and have been growing each year. Check out our PAST EVENTS to see the big spectrum of topics we have covered. We are constantly pushing out limits of comfort and inclusivity which is a fun and ongoing challenge.
What this project has turned into is an inclusive, sex-positive community that connects the public with sexual health providers in the area and creates a space for curiosity, exploration, and a chance to dive into the taboo with the help of experts in the field. Does this sound like something you might like to do in your community? If so, contact us.
Thanks for your interest. Let's keep the conversation going.
Heather Edwards, pelvic PT, Sex Counselor, and V&V Founder