Queef Queens

queefingincirq.jpg

Picture it- A "made up" scenario that may sound familiar to some...

It's a regular day and you're at your favourite studio training. You may even have an instructor guiding you thru a move, standing ever so close to you while you semi struggle to figure out how in the hell you place your body in the correct position. You then swing a leg over your head and- in an attempt to get up and over your own fucking body- your VAGINA decides to yell at you and not only inform you that you're struggling but ALSO THE ENTIRE FUCKING CLASS. 

BECAUSE YOU JUST QUEEFED

HARD.

You begin to rapidly think various thoughts all at once. "Did that just really happen? Did anyone else hear it? Do they think I farted? I mean I didn't really fart- I pussy farted. OH GOD!" 

You are faced with two options- laugh at yourself and how silly the moment is or pretend everyone has broken ears and just go on with life as it nothing ever happened.

For me- I like to think that one day I'll be an actual adult and chose the latter. But NOOOO. I'm the bitch that's the former. And sometimes that's fine. But sometimes you have a male coach who is also embarrassed and wants you and your vagina to focus on the sequence and for BOTH lips to just quiet down, mmhkay? 

And I don't know about you, but sometimes I have a series of moves that- no matter what- I always queef on. For me- when I practice catchers on my opposite leg, with my left leg hooked- I always queef. Always. And that makes for interesting conversations during class when your male rope coach, or very type A no shenanigans female rope coach wants you to learn this sequence on your left but then EVERYTIME you do it, your body embarrasses you just as loudly. And in that moment I think "WHY IS THE HELL IS THIS HAPPENING. WHY DO I QUEEF?"

So I phoned a friend. 

Well actually, I phoned a friend who gave the number of a friend of theirs who specializes more in that particular anatomy and then I emailed them. "Them" being the amazing Seattle based Physical Therapist Dr. Emily Scherb. Here's what she said:  

To understand “queefing”, you have to get familiar with your vagina. The vagina, when not aroused is a collapsed tube with muscular and ligamentous support. The primary muscle surrounding the vagina is the pubococyggeus, which is a hammock like muscle spanning from the pubic bone in the front, running along either side of the vagina and anus, and attaching to the coccyx in the back. At the opening of the vagina is the bulbospongiosus which originates on the pubic bone and surrounds the clitoris, urethra, and vagina. When these muscles of the pelvic floor contract, they close the vagina and stop the flow of urine.

It is totally normal for air to move in and out of the vagina. As the muscles surrounding the opening of the vagina relax, air can move into the vaginal opening. These muscles open with activities like stretching or extreme ranges of motion (hello circus!). When you move out of that position the vaginal muscles can close, trapping the air inside

Then with coughing, or a bearing down contraction of the abdominals, that air can be forced down and out of the vagina announced with an embarrassing fart like noise.

Sometimes “queefing” is unavoidable, but there are some things you can do and some signs to look out for. If you are properly engaging your core, including your pelvic floor, “queefing” is less likely to occur. Instead of a forceful release, the air will slowly move out of the body during normal movement. Make sure you are breathing when you invert and use your abs and that can also help reduce the pressure

If you find that you are “queefing” and tend to leak urine with jumping or during aerial, you might want to go talk to a pelvic floor specialist. The good news is you can learn to stop that from happening.
— Dr. Emily Scherb- Doctor of Physical Therapy

I mean- SCIENCE. I looked for this photo to help my brain understand what "vagina hammock" looked like. Here is an image of all the muscles surrounding the vagina opening. 

 Image via Study.com

Image via Study.com

Do you see how the muscles can close air in your "woo ha"? Crazy.

 Do you have any questions for your own body and how it relates to cirque? Because there are Physical Therapist who specialize in circus arts! Emily is one of them and she is located in Seattle WA. She specializes in treating the bodies of people (with or without vaginas) who spend their time doing aerial ... and other silliness. Click below to read her blog "The Circus Doc".

Thanks again for reading and a HUGE thanks to Dr. Emily Scherb for her abundance of knowledge. She was awesome to work with during this project <3 and thanks to Jenn Crane (Cirque Physio) for the recommendation!

Have you ever queefed during aerial? Were you embarrassed? Let us know in the comment section below, or just DM me! (No shame in this game). Sometimes folks know little “hacks” to stop queefing, what’s worked for you? Comment below.

-Dana