the pussy queen

yanique bell

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Why Saying “Pussy” Matters

December 2, 2019

This Thanksgiving, I was keenly aware that I couldn’t bring up my work. At this point, my friends and siblings know what I do. As we all sat for a drink and everyone discussed their work and careers, no one dared asked me what I was up to. At first, I felt shame and guilt – as though I had burdened them by doing work that they couldn’t publicly, and, for some, privately discuss. Saying “pussy” is a reclamation, but in moments like these my throat clogs up and I feel myself giving my power away…

I remembered the words of someone I spoke to recently, who was making an argument in defense of her church’s viewpoints. She stated something along the line of “well, of course, people will look at you strangely if you go around saying ‘pussy’ anywhere, not just in the church.”

At times, I’ve taken these silencing remarks and unspoken exchanges personally. In fact, my fears around public condemnation almost led me to skip a dinner on Friday, out of fear of being judged and rejected. I decided to go into a meditation instead, where I met with my inner child…

What my inner child wants to tell you about Pussy…

She was huddled in the middle of my chest, shaking in terror. I told her it was ok if we didn’t go to this dinner. If it was too terrifying, we simply didn’t have to go. I would sit with her all night long, as long as she needed. She eventually let me see the fears and stories that were playing out inside my brain…

… Images of women being raped and left to die on the side of the road, women being burned and abused, women crying and wailing, bodies naked and alone in the streets… She was certain that this would be my fate and she raged at me for putting us at risk.

Every time she screamed, her face distorted into the face of a dark, twisted demon. I listened and I saw things from her perspective. I let her rage until she settled and curled into my lap. We sat quietly for a time. Eventually, I had a funny thought. I asked her to show me the demon face again. She contorted her face into the demon and I laughed. I asked her to show me how to do it too. We put our demon faces on and stuck out our tongues and then rolled over with laughter. We nestled in closer…

Moments passed and I began to show her another reality, another possibility. I showed her our transformation. I took her through the years of sadness, depression, and unworthiness. I showed her how beautiful and powerful we had become in our Pussy reclamation process. I showed her how it was actually safer to reclaim Pussy. I let her see how our Pussy would actually make us safer…

She wanted to see for herself. She leaped up and hopped out of my heart and ran into my pussy. I found her sitting inside my vagina, in a cave of pink hues. She was in awe. I sat with her and watched as her face relaxed and a playfulness came upon her. She got out some paint and streamers and music came on. We began to dance and decorate my vagina, smearing love all along the walls.

When we sat down again, she told me I had to go to the dinner. “Your work is very cool,” she said, nodding with eager approval. I wanted to laugh. “Very cool,” indeed. She told me, I had to keep going, I had to keep sharing, and creating and teaching… somehow, my inner child had become my biggest cheerleader. Here she was, giving me comfort, rather than the other way around. I can still see her now, dancing and playing in a bright pink room in my vagina…

Saying “Pussy” is A Part of the Reclamation Process

“Pussy” = A Reclamation

Language is powerful. And not many of us were empowered with words we can use to refer to our pussies, with genuine endearment, pride, and love. We have scientific words that correspond with specific areas, like “vulva” and “vagina.” We even have a new word, making its rounds, called “yoni,” which many of us don’t even understand or know the meaning of. “Pussy” is unlike any other word we have to express the full scope of our pleasure centers. Pussy is all-inclusive and doesn’t mistake a part for the whole, the way “vagina” and “vulva” do. While I use “yoni” in places like social media where it makes my work easy to find, “yoni” feels like another form of silencing. A way of speaking without saying what we really mean. Yoni feels like a placeholder for the real thing…

Saying “Pussy” matters. Saying “Pussy” is a part of the reclamation process.

When we reclaim the word “pussy” we also reclaim our power. We take back a word society has used to degrade and devalue women and we transform it into a word of power and endearment.

There is Power in the Name “Pussy”

Something very magical happens when a woman says “Pussy”…

At first, she says it timidly. Maybe she whispers it or says it quietly behind closed doors. Soon after, a smile comes to her lips and a feeling of delight spreads through her body. Am I allowed to say that? she wonders… Is this ok? Then, she says it again and something ignites within her…

I remember when I first said “Pussy” with genuine curiousity. It was while reading Mama Gena’s book, Pussy: A Reclamation, which I had gotten from my public library. Earlier that day, despite being determined to look the older male librarian in the eye, without shame and with a femininst gusto, as I checked out Mama Gena’s book, I still felt anxious and uneasy as I held this sparkling glittery book in my hands.

I didn’t know it then, but my life would never be the same again.

After my first utterance of “Pussy,” a word I hadn’t spoken my entire life, unless it was followed by “cat,” spoken in bed and under covers, a mischievous grin spread across my face and throughout my entire body. It was thrilling. A few pages later, I was inspecting my previously-named, “vagina,” and cooing at her, saying things like “I love you pussy,” and “Pussy, you’re so beautiful…”

Saying “Pussy” matters.

Saying Pussy Matters

I didn’t think that it would at first. My first utterance was in the spirit of experimentation and feminist pride. I wanted to be the kind of woman that could say “pussy” and be confident about it… and then only use it sparingly. Instead, saying “pussy” has become more than just a desire to be daring and rebellious.

Saying “pussy” has become my sacred promise to my Pussy to stand with her and a divine ululation to all the women around the world, who, like me, are hungry for true liberation and a life of passion and vitality.

Sometimes, my voice still shakes and cracks as I say “pussy.” Sometimes, I still get nervous when I type the word “pussy” on social media. Still, I choose to speak up and let “pussy” rest on nervous and fearful ears.

I long for the day when I will join dinner conversations and proudly share my love of pussy with family, friends, and strangers alike, and be met with kindness, love, and wonder. My Pussy rejoices for the day she will walk hand-in-hand with sister goddesses who’ve joined in voice and spirit to reclaim all that has been lost… And my heart… My heart aches for the day when my brothers too will say “pussy,” softly and curiously, without animosity or fear, testing it out for themselves.

For all the sleeping women, for all the silenced, misnamed, and unheard Pussies… I will continue to say “Pussy,” till she is heard loudly and clearly, in churches and coffee shops around the world.

Your turn

So, try it now. Say “Pussy.” Out loud. In private. With friends. Among men.

Say “Pussy”

The solution for the epidemic of powerlessness among women, which neither great success nor higher education is able to solve, is simple: reconnecting a woman to her pussy.

Regena Thomashauer, Pussy: A Reclamation

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