It starts with warmth, the subtlest warmth, radiating from my opening.

The warmth grows and spreads, becoming a roaring, pounding heat between my labia…pulsing like a second heart, a drumbeat only I can hear: boom. boom. boom.

My outer lips swell and spread apart, growing full and firm, hot and hard and acheing with lust.

My cunt opens, but not like a flower…no gentle blossoming this. Taut and engorged with blood, actively reaching, yearning, seeking something to swallow up. Powerful muscles twitching in anticipation of sating their hunger. More like a carnivorous plant between my legs.

I am consumed by a blazing inner fire that takes away my breath and speech…consumed by only one thought: fuck me. fuck me. fuck me.

I’ve long wanted to write about my unique sensual experience of arousal.

The English language has a plethora of words for describing what arousal feels and looks like if you have a penis. The same cannot be said of vulvas. There’s basically just “getting wet” and that’s it.

I don’t identify with “getting wet”. It happens, but it’s not something I feel happening. I usually don’t realise how wet I am unless I go to the bathroom. Getting wet is not what arousal feels like. It’s not part of my subjective experience of being turned on.

I wrote this piece because when we don’t have a word for an experience, we can’t talk about it with others; we can’t gauge whether our experience is shared or not. Then we begin to doubt our experience. Is what we are feeling real? Is it valid? Is it normal?

And as someone with a vulva, I often feel that my arousal is invisible to my partner. There is no simple way, no single word or phrase, to communicate how turned on I’m feeling, at a visceral, physical level, in the heat of the moment. By not giving us the language to talk about our pleasure, the patriarchy has denied people with vulvas the joy of describing their arousal.