[WARNING: Some graphic descriptions of women’s health concerns!! If you’re judgy – please don’t read]
I turned 40 in 2016. I’m Asian and so blessed with the good fortune of a slower aging process. The oily skin I hated so much in my youth, has attributed to a lack of fine lines and wrinkles on my face. My hair is still dark brown and I’ve not yet begun to see the gray hairs that plague many of my non-Asian counterparts. Plus, I’m petite, so while I hated looking so childlike in high school, you can bet your ass I’m thankful for it now!
But there are other things that I am noticing. Things that COULD go UNnoticed if I weren’t paying attention. My whole family knows me as eagle eyes (that’s not true) but I have always had excellent vision. I could read the tiniest letters from far away. I could read upside down and backwards, if necessary. My eyes-to-brain synapses fired fast paced messages to one another like electrical currents! It was my super power. Until recently.
I casually tried to read over someone’s shoulder the other day – and imagine my shock when 1) I physically felt the lenses in my eyes attempt to adjust and focus, and 2) when my eyes settled on an acceptable “adjustment” I still saw not words, but a grainy blur! Like someone had placed a distortion cloud or expletive bubble over the area that I was trying to secretly read! I cannot even explain to you how it felt to need time for my eyes to adjust. The first few times, I shook it off. There had to be some kind of reasonable explanation for that! But then it began to happen more frequently. I couldn’t pick up a document without having to move it backwards and forwards in front of my face trying to get the words to focus! So there you go. Bummer #1 – I have to wear glasses.
That’s not so bad, I guess. Definitely nowhere NEAR Bummer #2.
Bummer #2 talks about gravity and how it affects everything living on earth. Everything. If there are men or women who are not OK talking about private things still reading this blog – I’m warning you now – things may get weird between us. But this is important stuff. People don’t talk about it and all these women in the world wake up at 40 and say, “What the f*ck just happened.” Not me. I won’t do that to you guys.
So, you remember in our 20’s when we were fueled almost solely by our sexual urges? When we regularly prowled the jungles and the safaris (clubs and bars) selecting and stalking our next prey? When we pruned and paraded about showing off our wares like wild peacock wearing Gucci and Hermes? Our libido was bountiful and limitless. Remember those days?
Well, turns out, as you get older, sex is not any less important. In fact, it may be MORE important! Typically, but not always, we are in more meaningful relationships at this stage of our lives. We have partners that we trust and have built lives with. Unfortunately, unlike the youthful versions of ourselves, we just don’t have the luxury of going to sleep at 3am and waking up in the afternoon. We don’t lounge about like lions in heat (maybe cougars – hahaha!). We have careers, children, those thingies that adults deal with….Oh yeah, RESPONSIBLITIES. So while we are fighting to find TIME to have sex – we are also fighting gravity. Most of us, except for those fit-bodied aliens who pass themselves off as human, look a little different now than we did back then. And, more to the point, we feel a little different too. Our skin might be a little looser, things hang lower, and some places are not as tight… like on the inside (cough).
Ladies, back me up here. I’m not gonna say it’s like throwing a hotdog down a hallway, but, especially if you have created human beings in your body and allowed them to exit through your vaginal canal, things feel a little different. AMIRIGHT? Hahah [Insert sweating emoji]. Personally, I had c-sections for medical reasons, meaning my kids FIGURATIVELY came out of the garage, so my front door should still be locked tight! Yet, as soon as I hit 40 – I still felt a very real difference in my downtheres. #MakeFriendswithKegel There are things you can do to help tighten up the muscles – sadly, it involves more exercising. Another option is surgery. A little nip and tuck for the undercarriage.
And there is MORE to this particular Aging DRAG. Imagine a 22-year-old, taking a private, naked walk in the woods (because who DOESN’T do that?!) Now imagine a gentle breeze and her hair blowing in the wind. Fast forward to 40 and, believe me, there is more than just hair flapping around. I’ll come right out and say it. The downtheres that used to be referred to as a pretty kitty – well, now it’s a freaking basset hound. Droopy, flappy, sad. Hahahahaha… I exaggerate, but it’s pretty accurate. I could jump up and down and hear clapping sounds!! Like, what even is that!!! There’s your Bummer #2, people! Gravity takes your body to a point where you are just starting to like yourself, and then it says, “FOOLED YOU SUCKER!!!”
And lastly, because good little stories have 3 solid statements, Bummer #3. As an Asian American, I THANKFULLY do not have to gripe about having giant boobs that migrated over time toward my belt buckle. When I was younger I used to wish for bigger breasts, but ladies of the larger cupped variety, I think we all know who the winner is during our annual Woman’s Run. I’m not the one getting bludgeoned in the face during a slow jog. Or the ones who lay on their backs and their bubbies slide into their armpits. No, boob size does not make my list of aging drags.
I don’t even know how to start this one. I kinda tricked you into an easy paper with the part about my eye sight. Then I quasi-ambushed you with the visions of a basset hound running – and I won’t apologize. It’s important stuff. BUT now comes the big stinker.
In private talks with some of my lady friends past the age of 35…. We have all, at some point in our relationship with one another, brought up Bummer #3. Each one of those conversations started with, “Heyyyy buddy…. have you ever… smelled weird… down there?” And OH MY GOD did we all breathe a big stinky sigh of relief. Smells down there HAPPEN! To the best and most fastidious of us! It DOES happen, but that is not to say that they are normal. If you ever notice a strong odor from the downtheres, the pekpek region, the nani area – please see a doctor as it could be an indication of an infection or imbalance. But don’t NOT talk about it because it’s embarrassing!!! Is it difficult to bring up to your doctor? Yes. Is it uncomfortable laying on a table with your legs akimbo and your privates flopped over? Yes. Is it weird to continue talking to a person who is peering in and placing instruments in your wahoo??? OF COURSE IT IS!!!! But, while it might be embarrassing, it may just save your life. [I may have just saved a life!] And if I didn’t save your life – at the very least, I saved your love life and your panty laundry. You’re welcome.
***Ladies, may we all have close friends and sisters that we can talk about this stuff with. We can age gracefully, or we can strap on helmets and take this shit show for a wild ride! But it will help to do it together. Instead of tearing one another down – let’s always try to build each other up!
We are all empowerful.