Nicolle Hodges:

It’s time to get high and talk to your pussy

A joint dangles from the corner of my mouth, the tip glowing red when I suck in, and then—lifting one hand away from my vulva to grab it from between my lips—I exhale smoke slowly. If someone walked into the room, and I kind of wish they had, the scene would be a woman in 2019 sitting naked on the floor, smoking legal cannabis, with a small mirror tilted toward the messy masterpiece between her legs.

I have learned when a woman is in control of her sexual energy through an intimate connection with her vulva and vagina, she has accessed one of the most powerful, intuitive energy sources in the world. It isn’t hard to see why that power has been oppressed, shamed, violently ripped away, diluted, muted, marketed—or any other number of ways sexual expression has been targeted. Revealing yourself to yourself is an act of defiance.

The word “vagina” refers to the passage that leads from the outside world to the internal world. It’s the portal through which you catapulted and declared yourself an earthling.

It might seem like no big deal when we use the word “vagina” when we mean “vulva," but what we’re doing is disregarding the outer part of ourselves that often makes sex so good and isn’t directly associated with reproduction. Does it matter? At a subconscious level, I really think it does. Language is important because that which is named exists, and as Harry Potter and Voldemort taught us, we’d rather not speak of what we deem bad. A shocking survey by gynecological cancer charity, The Eve Appeal, asked British women to label the different parts of the reproductive system on a diagram. Nearly half (44 per cent) of women couldn’t correctly point to the vagina, while 60 per cent couldn’t label the vulva. Since we’re running out of fruit to jam our fingers into, let’s take a real tour between the legs and name the things you might see should you look in the mirror.

The word “vagina” refers to the passage that leads from the outside world to the internal world. It’s the portal through which you catapulted and declared yourself an earthling. The vulva is all the external parts, including the inner and outer lips, and clit, with so many firing pathways of pleasure it makes the German autobahn look like a pedestrian promenade.

Gazing upon my pussy with love and curiosity on that fateful day, I opened a deep, primal line of communication. I listened, I wept, I laughed—then began the process of changing my entire life—and haven’t really stopped laughing since.

The first time I really looked at my pussy was in 2017 while reading the essential, transformative book by Dr. Emily Nagoski, Come As You Are. In it, she discusses that every woman has her own unique sexuality, like a fingerprint, and that women vary more than men in our anatomy, our sexual response mechanisms, and the way our bodies respond to the sexual world. What really struck me was when, a few pages in, the author told me to go look at my clit in the mirror. Wait, what? I froze. As tempted as I was to ignore her request (in part because it felt like she was watching me), I would know I hadn’t done it. In a much more docile scene than the one above, I snuck to my room, sat on the floor, and parted my legs as if something might jump out. The angle, oh my! The fleshy labyrinth! The centre of the god damn universe staring me right in the face. And that’s when I heard a sassy voice say: “where. the fuck. have you been?” Not only was my pussy talking but she was pissed. Ignoring her for years had drained my creativity. In shunning her, I was numb to my intuition. By convincing myself that I didn’t like sex, and therefore had no reason to explore my own body, I was hiding from the truth: I was unhappy with my life, in general. The world was grey and I was turning to stone. Gazing upon my pussy with love and curiosity on that fateful day, I opened a deep, primal line of communication. I listened, I wept, I laughed—then began the process of changing my entire life—and haven’t really stopped laughing since.

Why has this tie with ourselves been severed for so long, for so many of us; what is unleashed when a woman opens herself; and what role can cannabis play in facilitating a more pleasurable life? These are the questions I set out to answer.

A little hop through history shows that religion has held powerful sway over sexual mores, and Western medicine fed into the assumption that women were inferior versions of men (even before Christianity, Aristotle had termed the female "a mutilated male"). In the Victorian era, the sex-selective disorder “female hysteria” (hystera is Greek for ‘uterus’) was associated with the idea of women having nervous disorders brought on by the stresses of modern life. (Dr. Clelia Duel Mosher proved women breathe from the diaphragm, just like men, and that it was the corset and a lack of exercise that was to blame for many women's health issues.) Before then, nearly any problem could fit into a diagnosis of hysteria—anxiety, insomnia, depression, irritability, fainting—with the treatment being a massage to climax by a physician on a weekly basis. It sounds sexy until you consider that orgasm came in the form of a detached, clinical service by a stranger to momentarily escape the chokehold of a corset and stifling societal pressure to perform the imposed role of a woman. Moving on! In 19th-century Britain, there were practices of cutting off the clitoris. In the U.S., J.H. Kellogg (yes, the cornflake king) advocated pouring "pure carbolic acid to the clitoris"—something to think about the next time you’re perusing the cereal aisle. This is just a sample of the dire, historical landscape that has chopped, commodified, and debated a woman’s body, and corralled, repressed, and shamed her sexuality. These aren’t just words, they are reflective of historical, as well as recent events, laws, tweets, mindsets, and bans. But it isn’t all bad!

The eruption of #MeToo—a movement against sexual harassment and sexual assault—instigated a turning of the tides by way of undeniable, abhorrent proof of mistreatment and abuse of power; and the rise of women’s voices in solidarity and men’s voices as allies in demanding change, alongside the widespread legalization of cannabis, is no coincidence.

All this to say, we’re at this perfect intersection of being really fucking fed up with the patriarchy, and also super horny, and toggling with ideas of gender roles with access to a plant that makes us more mindful.

This is my column so my theory-in-the-making I will share!

Female plants are basically what everyone wants when growing cannabis since they make buds, which is the part of the plant that contains the most THC. Someone once told me: “we don’t use the plant, the plant uses us.” It has made itself so valuable that we will do whatever it takes to protect it. And guess what? It’s that sweet, female plant consciousness that we’re inhaling. Then you have male botanists and budtenders talking about giving the best water, the best soil, the best lighting “to the ladies.” And recreational and medicinal users and growers speaking in tender tones about the plant, and tending to her with a loving touch, and protecting her above all else. Her-this; her-that. All I can picture are little bubbles coming out of their mouths and filling the atmosphere as they establish a positive association with the feminine. Airborne messaging is the same way plants communicate with one another, after all.

All this to say, we’re at this perfect intersection of being really fucking fed up with the patriarchy, and also super horny, and toggling with ideas of gender roles with access to a plant that makes us more mindful. We might have a chance if we keep communicating with one another—and mostly ourselves, which is what this piece is about. If we want to get anywhere, we have to go back to where it all began: the pussy; the gateway of creation!

Open communication with your pussy and the power that connection can bring into this world is available to all women. It begins with deep, inner work. I believe that as we continue to advocate for sexual freedom and equality, it’s the responsibility of each and every one of us to heal, nurture and worship the vulva and vagina not only because it holds the secrets of our "yoni"— a Sanskrit word meaning source of origin—but it is through seeing that we give ourselves permission to be seen.

How would you feel about de-pantsing and grabbing a mirror?

  • Point your awareness toward your vagina and witness her. Do all of this from a place of love and curiosity.
  • Like meditation, let your mind go where it would like. Be the awareness of your feelings and welcome it all.
  • Ask her how she’s doing. Is there anything she needs? Is there a disconnect between how you’re living and what needs to be done? How might you heal?
  • Pay attention. Not just in this moment but every moment after it. A connected, orgasmic lifestyle changes the way the world interacts with you.

From an unsure girl sitting on her floor in 2017 getting reprimanded by her sassy pussy to whoever I am today, I’ve come a long way—and keep on coming.

“Hey,” I say, sitting on the floor, smoking and exposing my clit from under its hood—“how are we doing today?” It’s now been two years since I started this practice. Cannabis makes me feel sexy, and I feel energy travel up my spine, swelling my heart, tickling my head. I release into the feeling of exposure and listen for the ever-so-faint response from within. There is nothing to learn, only remember, when you are bowing at the throne of your higher self.