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V SCHOOL With Ev’Yan Whitney and Dr. Kate Balestrieri

V SCHOOL With Ev’Yan Whitney and Dr. Kate Balestrieri

By TEAM STURM

23rd Jun 2022

To mark the launch of the V COLLECTION, Dr. Barbara Sturm hosted an exclusive ‘V’ SCHOOL with Sexuality Doula and Sex Educator, Ev’Yan Whitney and Sex Therapist and Psychologist, Dr. Kate Balestrieri. Ev’yan works with clients to help them step out of shame around sexuality and hosts a podcast called The Sexually Liberated Woman, where they destigmatize the conversation around sex and intimacy. Dr. Balestrieri is the founder of Modern Intimacy, a platform that connects therapists with couples and individuals to create healthier relationships around sexuality. This special V SCHOOL session encouraged an open conversation about sexual health, wellness, and intimate female skin. Read on for our top eight takeaways.

V SCHOOL WITH DR. BARBARA STURM EV'YAN WHITNEY AND DR. KATE BALESTRIERI

1. Starting Conversations Around Intimacy 

Many women lack any type of relationship with their vulvas and that can often result in fear of discussing intimacy and sexual health. This is largely due to conventions of society, the culture around sex and expectations of what the vulva should look like. Dr. Balestrieri explained, “We often experience our vulvas and vaginas as these compartmentalized parts of our bodies, where there’s the rest of our body and then there’s the genitals over here.” She encouraged us to consider whether we are “inclusive” of our genitals when we think about our bodies, and how this can open the conversation about intimacy. Dr. Sturm added that beginning the conversation with something as simple as intimate hygiene can start an openness to discussing our sexual health without feeling uncomfortable.

2. Using The Correct Language Is Crucial

“Language is very important,” Ev’Yan explained and it’s significant for women and people with vulvas and vaginas to consider how we refer to our genitals. In media, the entire intimate area is often referred to as the ‘vagina’ when in fact, the vagina is just the area that exists internally - and the vulva is everything on the outside. Using the correct language is a way of honoring our bodies. 

3. Our Intimate Skin Changes As We Age

“The most common question I get from people with vulvas and vaginas is, ‘Why is it changing?’,” shared Dr. Balestrieri. Just like the rest of our bodies, our intimate area changes as we age; hormone levels can decrease or increase and cause the skin to become drier, thinner, or less elastic, sometimes resulting in pain during sex. And changes in the pH levels can also affect the experience of touch and sensation. These factors can lead to a disconnect from our bodies and even our identity as a woman. Ev’Yan added that this feeling of disembodiment can create a vulnerability and fear around ourselves and our sexuality.

V SCHOOL WITH DR. BARBARA STURM EV'YAN WHITNEY AND DR. KATE BALESTRIERI

4. The Intimate Area Is More Than Something Purely Functional

Dr. Balestrieri explained that we tend to only see our vaginas and vulvas as something that needs to be fixed or addressed – for example, when we are getting treatment for a yeast infection, going to the doctor, or even getting a wax. “We are always trying to improve or fix it or its perfunctory…I invite everyone to think about this,” she added. “Can your vagina and your vulva be a part of you that is valid and worthwhile even if it is not being used as something that is functional in the moment?”

5. Recognizing The Vulva From The Approach Of Self-Care 

In the same way that we would be thoughtful about applying a serum or an eye cream, we can pay the same dedicated attention to our intimate area. This can be a way to invite a new relationship with your body where the vulva is being recognized from the approach of self-care. Referring to the V COLLECTION, Dr. Sturm said, “It’s really cool to have this extra step and bring attention to it in the same way you would your hair, your nails or any other part of your body.” 

V SCHOOL WITH DR. BARBARA STURM EV'YAN WHITNEY AND DR. KATE BALESTRIERI

6. Touching Our Skin Makes Us More Connected To Our Bodies

“When I think about the benefits of adding the V DROPS into your routine, I think about how much stronger mind-body connection can become when we are touching, without any intention behind it.” shared Dr. Balestrieri. When we touch our bodies in a non-sexual way and not for any function, we are naturally alerting our brains to become more aware of the areas that we are interacting with. This creates more of a sensory understanding, as the brain is making a fluid connection with that part of your body, helping you to stay connected and more aware of what it feels like on a normal basis. 

7. The “ABCs” Of Intimate Hygiene

Simplicity is best when it comes to intimate care. Soap can be too alkaline for the vagina and vulva and can disturb its natural pH creating infections, and products with fragrance can create irritation. Ev’Yan also suggested that, outside of the shower, we should consider the kind of underwear we are using as it is the first contact to our vulvas on a day-to-day basis. “I would recommend staying away from synthetic fabrics and using cotton.” They also suggested avoiding wearing clothes or underpants that are too fitted – and to consider not wearing undergarments while you are at home to allow air to flow. 

8. Embrace Your Natural Scent To Increase Intimacy

Besides fragranced washes and intimate care products affecting the natural pH of your vagina and vulva, there are many benefits in embracing the natural scent of your body. Going fragrance-free allows for more intimacy with partners because it can enforce the attraction to your natural allure - creating room to embrace what we naturally smell like. Understanding where the stigma came from and why we have been pressured into smelling a certain way can help change the way you think about why that may be an insecurity. “It’s natural, we’re animals! We’re supposed to smell a little funky.” added Ev’Yan.

WATCH FULL VIDEO: V School with Dr. Barbara Sturm

In collaboration with the launch of the V COLLECTION, Dr. Barbara Sturm hosts an exclusive V SCHOOL - a conversation around sexual health, wellness and intimate female skin. Dr. Sturm is joined by Sexuality Doula, Ev’Yan Whitney and Sex Therapist and Psychologist, Dr. Kate Balestrieri.

WATCH FULL VIDEO: V School with Dr. Barbara Sturm

In collaboration with the launch of the V COLLECTION, Dr. Barbara Sturm hosts an exclusive V SCHOOL - a conversation around sexual health, wellness and intimate female skin. Dr. Sturm is joined by Sexuality Doula, Ev’Yan Whitney and Sex Therapist and Psychologist, Dr. Kate Balestrieri.


SIGNATURE:

Team Sturm

DATE:

20 October 2021


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