From head to toe, through the breasts, stomach, buttocks, sex or thighs… the entire female anatomy is scrutinized. On a daily basis, the woman must face the inquisitive gaze of a society that violates and represses her body. To have feminine forms but above all without excess, to be a devoted mother but always impeccably shaved and made up… “Since ancient times, women have been treated differently. Back then, male bodies were defined as warm, dry and healthy. While female bodies were described as cold and damp, sickly bodies “, explains Manon Letourneau, osteopath specializing in women’s health.
The chimerical pursuit of physical perfection creates discomfort and feeds received ideas that Manon Letourneau tries to deconstruct. In his work A freer body!, she gives concrete explanations on the female body based on scientific knowledge. “I thought of this book as a health guide for all women who want to know their bodies better and know themselves better.”
Understanding the anatomy of the breasts to take better care of them, analyzing the menstrual cycle to detect possible disorders, breaking the taboos linked to female orgasm to rediscover pleasure… Manon Letourneau deciphers female health without taboos. Here are four misconceptions discussed in his book. What decomplex many women.
1. Breasts can fit without a bra
Created by a woman for a woman, at the beginning of the 16th century, the corset was then a real revolution. It was a Frenchwoman, Herminie Cadolle, who filed the patent for the very first bra in 1898. But does this feminine underwear really slow down the fall of the breasts? In fact, women’s breasts already have their own natural support system. If the bra is poorly fitted or very tight, it inhibits the breast’s natural system, namely the Cooper’s ligaments. “ These are small strings stretched between the collarbone and the mammary gland. They are also called the suspensory ligaments of the breasts”, explains Manon Letourneau. HASOver time, if Cooper’s ligaments are immobilized, this natural system can become less active and even soften. Hence this feeling of having “washcloth” breasts when taking off the underwear. This daily compression, created by the bra, is also not without effect on health. In effect, “it impacts the nervous and lymphatic circulations. However, they both have the role of draining, cleaning the body and eliminating toxins”, emphasizes the osteopath. The good news is that our bodies are constantly adapting, and that tone can come back. The ideal is to release the compression caused by the underwear as soon as possible. Or even give up the push-up.
2. The perfect vulva does not exist
Our breasts, our lips, our buttocks… and now our vulvas! No part of the female body escapes societal injunctions. In recent years, nymphoplasty, an intimate surgery to shrink the size of the labia minora, has been increasingly performed for supposedly aesthetic reasons. Certainly, “it happens that women with very long inner lips are disabled on a daily basis to play sports, in particular, cycling or horse riding. In this type of case, nymphoplasty is a real liberation”, explains Manon Letourneau in her book. But “To want to reduce the size of your vulva just to meet the surreal expectations of our society is very worrying!” On the perfect vulva market, there are even glitter sprays or dyes to have a dewy vulva! Like all parts of our body, the labia of the female sex are useful. “ They cover our orifices to protect them from external aggressions (dust, bacteria, etc.). Also remember that a depilated vulva is more exposed to maceration phenomena, creating conditions more conducive to fungal infections.
3. A flat stomach, all the time, is impossible
Our society requires us to have a flat stomach, all the time and at any age. As a result, women tend to tuck it in to look slimmer. At the risk of causing cramped breathing.
And to experience daily difficulties in inflating their belly to take deep breaths. “ When the vital movement is restricted, everything is disturbed: the transit is slowed down by lack of stimulation of the diaphragm, digestive disorders appear, as well as difficulty in managing stress, disorders of the tone of the diaphragm and the perineum can appear… ” Emotions, pregnancy, menstrual cycle… many events in a woman’s life influence the appearance of our belly. Wanting it to be flat at all costs does not reflect reality.
4. Vaginal orgasm is a myth!
This is probably the biggest myth around female sexuality: no, vaginal orgasm does not exist! For years, women have been diagnosed with sexual problems based on something… imaginary. And the reason is anatomical: the vagina is much less innervated and therefore much less sensitive. “ Whatever happens, the orgasm always comes from the clitoris. However, the clitoral zone (the glans, the bulbs) and the way of stimulating it (external, internal stimulation, vibration, pressure, cold or hot contact) can vary. Some women will prefer the stimulation of the bulbs while others will feel arousal during the stimulation of the glans”, specifies Manon Letourneau. The distinction between vaginal and clitoral pleasure comes from Sigmund Freud. According to the father of psychoanalysis, an immature woman reaches orgasm by stimulation of the clitoris, while sexually mature women must have a vaginal orgasm.
A freer body!, the uninhibited speech of an osteopath who wants to abolish taboos. By Manon Letourneau, published by Hachette Pratique. Price: 26 euro.
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