My vagina has always been an afterthought. It’s there. A given. Despite the cursory gyno visits, which are far too infrequent, I’ve never spent much time considering her. I’ve been a hot-and-cold partner, praising her when it suited me and ignoring her when I wasn’t in the mood (or didn’t have to pee). So, at the ripe old age of 41 (AKA “you should know better”), I decided to put her front and center… above a rice cooker full of herbs you might find in a Sleepytime tea blend.
I yoni steamed.
Yoni, a Sanskrit word, more or less means “womb” and has become slang for the vagina and its environs in holistic healing circles, where steaming has gained popularity. It’s exactly like it sounds: You sit over a pot of hot water and herbs like wormwood and mugwort and allow steam to float up into your vagina. It’s said to have many benefits, including preparing the uterus for pregnancy and removing DNA from past partners or abuse.
To wet my downstairs whistle, I went to Steam Sistahs, an office park vagina spa just off the 15 on the eastern side of Kearny Mesa. It’s owned by an ethereal woman and healer, Shavona Holmes, who found steaming during her infertility journey and wanted to share the good vibes with other vulva-havers, too.
It’s like a facial for your labia—and, after all this time spent performing the perfunctory genital duties, she was due for a little relaxation. How does it feel? It’s hot. They don’t call it a steam for nothing. I donned a sleeveless fuschia gown that made me feel equal parts drag queen and Grecian goddess and sat above a bespoke stool with a rather large center hole. The hole that would deliver deliverance to my oft-ignored apex of femininity.
I’m not gonna lie—it felt good. Warm things in squishy places. I also got a whiff of refreshment, likely from the herbs, which I didn’t expect, considering all the swampiness. For the first time, it also had me focused on her: my vagina. It was impossible to think about anything else, and if that’s all that comes from it, that’s good enough. After all she’s done for me, the least I owe her is a little meditation.