The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler


It’s time for book no. 2 of the Banging Book Club! I, like a lot of people whose reviews I’ve read, read it in (almost) one sitting, because it reads like poetry.


The majority of my reading was actually in public; on the tram and in a coffee shop, which was very interesting because of my immediate thoughts of what other people might think of me reading a book with ‘that word’ in such big letters on the front; because really that’s the whole point! It’s not gross or embarrassing, it’s a body part. It’s a very important body part, and reading so many women’s stories about their relationships with it was fascinating. I hope to see a production of this play because I imagine it would be a whole different experience to reading it.

The Vagina Monologues should be required reading for men and women alike.

My Vulva and Me

So of course reading this book got me thinking about my relationship with my ‘downstairs area’. This phrase  seemed like a medical term to me for many years, because when I started seeing doctors about pain down there when I was around twelve or thirteen, that’s how doctors would describe it.

Considering I’ve been looking at it since a relatively young age, I didn’t know what all the different parts were called and their functions up until the past few years when I’ve gotten more interested in things like the Banging Book Club. Thinking about it, that’s pretty shocking.

I was eventually referred to a fantastic dermatologist who really says it like it is; and this was the first time anyone referred to my condition as what it was: ulcers on my vulva. Finally! I could look at my vulva and understand what it all meant.

That was the beginning of my healthy relationship with that ‘downstairs area’. For years I didn’t want to look at it because it was the enemy. It caused me unthinkable amounts of pain, which made me strangely superstitious where I thought if I didn’t talk about it or look at it everything would be fine and the pain wouldn’t return. Thankfully, when I’d found my brilliant doctor I was put on medication that cleared up the issue (on the vulva, I still get horrible mouth ulcers but you can’t have everything), so now it’s all happy families with me and my vagina.

I never, ever told anyone about my condition. I told one close friend when I was sixteen but never went into very many details, only to get it off my chest when I was so upset about it one day at school. All of that is because I was embarrassed. Because the vulva and vagina is still a taboo subject. We just don’t talk about it openly enough, even amongst groups of friends who all have them.






2 thoughts on “The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler

  1. Thank you for a wonderfully honest review and for sharing your personal experiences. I love this book for the very reason that it takes away the taboo of talking about one’s ‘mimi’ (the name my mum used to refer to mine when i was little, which caused many issues when I became friends with a girl called Mimi at uni…). I agree that it should be required reading. Men talk about their bits all the time; it’s about time we reclaimed some airtime!


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