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Whose Vagina Is It

“Who this belong to?” is a frequently asked or unspoken question that most people entertain during and after they have been intimate with their partners.

Like cats and dogs in an unending fight for supremacy, these men beat their chests with pride. To them, their sexual encounter is sweeter than honey, and their performance is so good they need to clarify who really owns their partner’s vagina.

This attitude is intoxicating. I agree that the vagina brings unspeakable pleasure via orgasmic moments of “Cum ba ya,” and “Help me Jesus.” Soul-riveting passions are accented when intimacy is poured out in the context of a committed, loving relationship.

Sexual fire burns to the core when loving couples are eager to connect spiritually, emotionally, psychologically, and physically through bouts of sexual fulfillment. Nothing is wrong with this picture. It is perfectly ethical when intimate relationships are based on mutual respect for couples who desire sexual exclusivity to their loving haven.

But too many men and women objectify the vagina. Yes, I know that the vagina is wired with sweet ligaments and grabbing muscles, and that it can open up a world of responsible good or tragic disaster. What concerns me is the compulsive need to label the vagina as “mines". This usually represents a dangerous possessive inclination that none of us should ignore.


Like positive lust and healthy jealousy, being possessive can communicate how much your partner delights in your care. It may also signal how much passion and concern you feel for your spouse, while at the same time, expressing your desire both to maintain work-life balance and help cement the direction of the relationship.

However, observational evidence indicates that some men ask whose vagina it is to calm their own insecurity and quiet torturous fears. For them, the vagina is not a sacred altar to honour their spouses. Instead, it is a thing to conquer and possess. This mentality makes them boast to their friends that they alone own their partner's  vagina, as if to announce to the whole world that no other man can out-perform them in the bedroom. There is something unhealthy about this picture.

But don’t mistake possessive behaviour for love. At first, it may be flattering to feel someone can’t live without you, but when that person starts to remote-control your every move, you end up feeling so guilty that you feel like you can’t do anything without seeking that person’s approval. Possessive men devise many little ways to punish you. They create countless opportunities to manipulate how you spend your time and with whom. They pretend to care about you, but they are in reality seeking to stifle you. Don’t fall for any romantic behaviour where your boyfriend or spouse is trying to make you feel guilty if your entire life is not all about his needs and wants.

I though about the problem of possessive manipulation while reading some of the articles on Caribarena.com about how the AIDS Secretariat and the Women’s Desk in the Ministries of Health and Social Transformation and Education have been encouraging people to come out and get tested for HIV/AIDS.  More so, they were calling on the leading men to set an example and come forward and get tested.

While I view this collaborated effort as a good start, I felt that it did not go far enough to reach those in our society who would not normally attend events like this. Hence, I believe that collaboration should have been based on a series of re-education that dissects what healthy manhood constitutes. It should also have included the churches across Antigua & Barbuda, the Diabetes Foundation, the Nurses' Association, the Pensioners' Association, the United Progressive Party, the Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party, the Lion’s Club, the Rotary Club, and the cricket, football, and basketball associations, since these are great spaces for informal learning that address destructive behaviours.  


I am well aware of the role these organisations and groups play in society and the power of religion in the life of many Antiguans and Barbudans.

As a matter of fact, the Center for Disease Control states that the reason for the continue spread of HIV/AIDS among Blacks has to do with our culture, and I dare say our self-defeating values.

One aspect of our culture is that men are expected to have multiple sexual partners. In Antigua & Barbuda and I am sure that it is also true for the rest of the Caribbean, a man who sleeps around is often known as the “village ram” and he normally fathers a number of children and is lifted up as a local hero. I have been told that a woman would actually boast to another woman that her husband or boyfriend is having sex with another woman, but he has to come home to her.

Most men are socialized to feel that they must possess women's bodies, that women must accommodate their needs, and that manhood is based on mastering “sexcitment” with multiple partners. They are not taught to treat women as sacred beings and life-long partners. This mindset has implications for the spread of HIV/AIDS.

Besides this negative socialization, the CDC also states that religion is one of the root causes of the spread of HIV/AIDS among the Latino community. Most are members of the Catholic Church and view condoms as interfering with the act of procreation. Another concern is the fact that many are bi-sexual, having sexual intercourse with persons of the same sex and the opposite sex. While in a same-sex situation, the one who is giving (top) does not consider himself gay, since his is not the taker (bottom) and will return to his wife or girlfriend as a straight man (since he is not considered the anti-man).

When I take into consideration that in 2010, most of the new HIV cases were women 15-34 years old, I wonder whether the attitude of  “whose vagina is it: yours or mines" is a contributing culprit that we too-readily ignore. Three things are at play that contribute to the spread of HIV/AIDS in Antigua & Barbuda, and most of the Caribbean. Firstly, most women are afraid to ask their husbands or boyfriends to put on a condom during sexual intercourse.

Unfortunately, there is a psychological effect taking place that if I ask my husband/boyfriend to wear a condom, he may think that I am unhealthy or that I am sleeping with someone else. Another issue is the fear that she may not be getting the real thing because it is covered by a condom. Likewise, many men engage in the same practice and will even go as far as to assure the woman that she is the only one he is sleeping with him, hence, no reason for him to wear condoms during their sexual encounters. Some men have told me that they would even go home after having sex outside; they would pretend that they want to have intercourse in convincing their wives/girlfriends that they were just out with the boys. This deceptive, unprotected behaviour is life-threatening.


Secondly, culture plays a major role in our behaviour, as beliefs and values are passed down from generation to generation, and the laws of the country are more likely to change faster that our way of life. And thirdly, the spread of HIV/AIDS is likely to continue when one adds economic power to the equation. Some years ago, I was working in a youth agency in Harlem, NY. As programme co-ordinator/director of Counseling and Life Skills Development, this was the where Youthbuild started, funded to the tune of US$120.2 M in the Federal budget in 2010, the programme provide GED and construction training for youths 16-24 years old and pay a weekly stipends of $7.25 per hour. In addition to Federal dollars, the agency received programme monies from the State of NY Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse to operate an outpatient drug abuse clinic. 

We had a young man who was very negative about everything and seemed somewhat angry all the time. After a case conference with his assigned counselor and others who had a need to know, I met with him to explore what his challenges were. During our session, he told me how angry he was at his mother for sleeping (having sex) with a man that he hates. I tried to find out if this was his stepfather. His father had already passed away some years ago. He claimed that this was a man who had an intense interest in his mom, and she did not want to get involved with him, so she had kept him at bay for many years.

I asked how he knew his mom had slept with this man. He told me that he found out because he had gotten into trouble with the law and been arrested. His bail was set at US$10,000, and the same man offered to pay his bail under one condition - that his mother go to bed with him.


That’s how he was able to get out of jail. We had to do forgiveness therapy, which facilitated a process of him coming to terms with what his mother did, the economic circumstances under which she made that decision, and her need to see her son free again. Apparently, this man offered his mother an indecent proposal because he might have believed that her vagina was supposed to be his. There was no indication that he had practiced safe sex with her.

Anyone who sleeps around, if you ask them, can give moral justification for his or her actions, and it is usually someone else or something to blame for these actions. Now, regardless of whose vagina it is, if you are a player or going to play, why not do it safely? April is STD month, and I hope that all of us in Antigua & Barbuda and the rest of Caribbean would use this month to educate ourselves about STDs, of which HIV/AIDS is one. Let us also remember that research shows that the Caribbean and Latin American have the highest rate of HIV/AIDS in the world.

Men, if the vagina really belongs to you, then try and take special care of it. Practice honesty in your relationships. Love your spouse with passion. Take care of each other’s health, and you will probably move from wanting to know whose vagina it is, to feeling utterly secure that you are your spouse's soul-mate for life.  

Dr Oswald Thomas holds a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Psychology, a Master’s in Public Administration, and a Bachelor’s of Professional Studies in Human Services.  Dr. Thomas currently workers as a Clinical Behavioral Consultant and formally with Beacon Therapy Services as a counseling therapist serving consumers with Mental Health issues and Mental Retardations.  Dr. Thomas has also a Professor at Metropolitan College of New York, Audrey Cohen School for Human Services and Education and the Graduate School of Management and The College of New Rochelle.

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13 Comments In This Article   

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RE: Whose Vagina Is It

#13 Hard Truth » 2017-04-21 01:49

On another note. Why is it that Christians give this false impression that Christian couples are having the best sex - great, glorious sex- when we all know otherwise? Christian women have to put on a "I'm saintly, pure and innocent'" show for their husbands. As a result, christian men are afraid to explore their kinky, wild, illicit side with their "saintly/innocent" wives. This inevitably leads to mundane boring sex, between two people who actually desire the very opposite, which in turn leads to infidelity. So what we have, are many sexually repressed Christian couples, smiling pretentiously while declaring how great sex is in the context of marriage.

I can't imagine the Christian husband who dares to ask his Christian wife "whose vagina is it?" Because he knows that the inevitable saintly and virginal answer would be an INSTANT ERECTION KILLER. He may even suffer an eternal dysfunction, and not even the blue pharmaceutical "thingy" could help his manhood to recover.

For those non-Christians curious about the 'Christian wives' answer, here it is:
"This vagina belongs to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you Jesus. Hallelujah. Praise the Lord. Amen"
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Hard Truth

RE: Whose Vagina Is It

#12 Hard Truth » 2017-04-21 01:43

Profound and well written piece. Young boys are very often affected by their
mothers having sex with men other than their fathers. Imagine how much worst it is if the boy feels guilty that he is responsible for his mother's sexual escapade.

By committed do you mean married? Because from what I hear marriage turns "Cum ba ya" into "Nuh cum back ya", and "Help me Jesus" into "Jesus help me tolerate sex with this wife/husband" And very often the "soul-riveting passions" felt during marriage is the desire to strangle your spouse in their sleep.

But what do I know? I have never been married. But I do hear things!
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Hard Truth

RE: Whose Vagina Is It

#11 hh » 2011-05-11 15:55

It alls comes down to respect
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hh

ah wah dat

#10 George LB Bird » 2011-05-04 01:30

Ah wah dat? Sounds like allot of male bashing from another male! In his last paragraph he says "Men, if the vagina really belongs to you, then try and take special care of it. Practice honesty in your relationships" ... Well what about the ladies who wanna know "who's cocky or penis is it"??? females are just as dangerous ... so please ... don't try that!!!
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George LB Bird

Stop Cheaping

#9 Enroy Williamson » 2011-05-03 04:58

I love this article all the way. It speaks to our cultural deficits, our moral disasters,and our unwillingness to face ourselves and our history, honestly. Dr. Thomas, our bodies are sacred and must be treated as such or negative consequences will continue to follow us. Thanks for sharing. I am going home tonight to claim my vagina and enjoy my wife. After reading your article I am making a commitment to stop cheaping.
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Enroy Williamson

@ The Devil Left Hand

#8 Country Woman » 2011-05-02 19:36

I undestand your point but sex is not just a physical act, it has moral consequences as well. You can't ignore that just because a woman or man can choose to engage in reckless sexual behaviors. Dr. Thomas seems to be saying enjoy sex in its proper context and be safe and healthy too. To suggest that your secular position is value-neutral is to be guilty of the same assumptions that you are accusing Christian Writers of. Dr. Thomas' article is very responsible in all respect. Selling the Vagina is a very abusive trade.
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Country Woman

Moral challenge

#7 Th Devils Left Hand » 2011-05-02 13:17

I have mixed feelings about this article, I particularly dislike how Christian writers use a technique of subtle conversion of assumptions into conclusions of fact. They think it is ok because they are trying to teach and encourage their notion of responsible behavior.

For example, I do not believe that a committed loving relationship is necessarily a prerequsite for “Cum ba ya,” and “Help me Jesus.” Soul-riveting passion" ... sex professionals have a way of going places where good christian wives fear to thread.

Despite the misconceptions of insecure men, the vagina belongs to the woman god blessed with it and she has the right to give, trade or sell it to whomever she wants.

More of our beautiful but poor young girls should be looking into the excellent opportunity out there for them to sell their virginity via internet brokers ... the bidding sometimes goes into the tens of thousands of US dollars.
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Th Devils Left Hand

well said

#6 tenman » 2011-05-02 12:39

Dr. Thomas well said, we truly need to work on changing our attitude. Love is not just about saying its all about actions and what many people are showing is that they are simply being selfish. If we cannot get this basic union of men and women to work as a family, how do we then work as a society?

..
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RE: Whose Vagina Is It

#5 RAWLSTON POMPEY » 2011-05-02 11:14

DR. THOMAS,
Great social commentary- speaks to culture, morality and socially accepted intimate behaviours; pleasures of " ...Cum ba ya and sexcitement;" ..recklessness and dangers of sexually transmitted diseases.
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RAWLSTON POMPEY

Written Just for Me!

#4 Winston Johnson » 2011-05-02 08:30

This is serious life coaching. Dr. Thomas I needed this article badly. I feel that I am a addict to sex and I have used it to both conquer women and to be conquered by them. But I don't like using condoms for the reasons you stated. What you are saying cuts across socio-economics and religious backgrounds. I am a well educated Christian but struggle all the time with whose Vagina it is. Moving beyond being obssessed with the Vagina to Being Committed to Soul-Mate Intimacy is a serious challenge but a God-ordained calling. Thanks Doc
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Winston Johnson

RE: Whose Vagina Is It

#3 j » 2011-05-02 08:08

very long but nice article.
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j

wow

#2 my way of helping » 2011-05-02 07:53

Nice article, I like the core of what you are teaching. SEX should be a sacred bond and connection used by Married couples.

Sex it is lovely but we have to be careful we do not idolize it, make it control us, turn us into the sex zombie.

This is a serious topic but will be waiting on some funny comments, especially by skyewill ha ha ha.

Nice bold and beautiful topic Mr. Thomas. I have one final question, did someone find out whose vagina it is?
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my way of helping

RE: Whose Vagina Is It

#1 Andrea » 2011-05-02 06:05

this article really talk the truth.
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Andrea

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Dr. Oswald R. Thomas

Dr. Oswald R. Thomas Dr. Oswald R. Thomas is a Certified and Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist / Psychotherapist with the American Board of Hypnotherapy, the International Association of Counselors and Therapists, and the International Board of Medical and Dental Association. He is founder of the Thomas Center Human Development, Inc. and serves on Bronx Mental Health Committee, served on Community Board #5 in the Bronx, and the Bronx Neighborhood Planning Committee as Chair of the Youth Committee. With a Ph.D. in Psychology, a Master’s in Public Administration, and a Bachelor’s of Professional Studies in Human Services, Dr. Thomas is a counseling therapist/Behaviorist, and Professor at Metropolitan College of New York.

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