What to Know About the Vocal-Vaginal Correlation - Baby Chick
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What to Know About the Vocal-Vaginal Correlation

A sexpert is diving into the vocal-vaginal correlation. Your vocal cords and pelvic floor have more in common than you think! Learn more.

Published September 11, 2017

by Stacey Ramsower

Somatic Sex Educator & Doula
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Did you know that your vagina and your voice are intimately connected? The relationship between a woman’s vagina and her voice is at once subtle and obvious. Beginning with the fact that “cervix” comes from the Latin word for the neck. Additionally, the vagina and the throat are remarkably similar structures. They are both functionally supported by a hammock-like set of diaphragmatic muscles that move in tandem with respiration.

A few other similarities include that the vagina and the throat are pathways into the body from the outside world and instruments of self-expression in relationships.

Rapid and rhythmic muscular pulses power the creative acts of singing, orgasming, and childbirth. The vagina and the voice are inextricably linked, and to be disconnected from one is to shut down the other. The separation of these regions of experience may cause increased emotional stress, physical discomfort, and dissociation. Through simple techniques for sensory perception and vocal exercises, you can enhance sexual pleasure, build stronger personal boundaries, and even facilitate easier labor.

Based on the study of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system structures, we know that the body responds hormonally to external AND internal stimuli at all times. Most of the time, we are unconscious of the processes taking place internally. However, more concerning is that many of those internal processes are influenced not so much by our external environment but by our perception of said environment. This affects our physical body. Nervousness, uncertainty, or anxiety are almost always embodied through tight, lifted shoulders and shallow breathing. Have you ever had a knot in your stomach? A lump in your throat? Tight diaphragm and shallow breath lead to a collapse in the glottis (the throat’s diaphragm) and, more than likely, the pelvic floor.

The physical thread between the vagina and the throat is the vagus nerve. This is the largest nerve in the body that connects the brainstem to the sacral nerve plexus. 80-90% of the vagus nerve is sensory, which means it responds like skin to movement and pressure-based stimulation, not just electrical signals. “Vagus” means wanderer – the nerve wanders through the body. Previously, it wasn’t thought to go as far as the pelvic region. But our research and that of other laboratories show that it does go to the cervix and uterus and probably the vagina. It carries the impulses from those regions, travels through the abdomen, through the diaphragm, through the thorax (chest cavity), up the neck outside the spinal cord, and into the brain.” 1

The respiratory diaphragm massages the vagus nerve with every breath. The quality of the breath determines the quality of those strokes. Breath powers your voice, and the combination of the diaphragmatic stroke and the vibration of your voice stimulates the vagus nerve in such a way as to send a big sigh of relief throughout the nervous system. Steady, sustained breath-powered vocalization, such as singing, can soothe and balance the nervous system. This resets patterns of chronic tension and emotional anxiety or dissociation that often keep us from not only enjoying sex but also being able to ask for what we want with confidence.

The physical response to the unease is to pull in and up in a kind of knot propped up on legs. This excess tension in the respiratory diaphragm and pelvic floor will restrict oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output, creating a sort of “starvation” response in the muscles and fatigue throughout the body. Sensitivity of the peripheral nervous system is diminished, the vagus nerve receives no massage, and the body, as a living sensory resource, dies down. We become “disembodied.” As a result, the voice becomes disconnected–high, shrill, whiny, and either too low or loud.

It’s not always easy to tell if we have a tight pelvic floor. However, noticing a shy, shrill, or off-pitch voice can be a starting point to bridging the gap between the physical body experience- our reality- and vocalization of our experience. Beginning to notice how often you say “yes” when you meant “no” or “I’d be happy to” when you meant “I really don’t have the time” is another way to measure the degree of dissociation. Identifying this disconnect from self is a crucial first step to self-care, healthy relationships, and maintaining confidence in difficult physical, emotional, or mental situations.

The pelvis and sexual organs are the real seat of “appetite” in the body. We need food to survive, and we need sex to thrive. We need choice in sex, and the voice is the messenger of our choices, desires, needs, and boundaries. We cannot meet our needs if we cannot honestly vocalize our own experience—either because of fear of another’s reaction or our lack of sensitivity to said experience.

So use your voice! Tell the truth, let yourself be heard, and sing! Sing your heart out as a daily practice. Singing your favorite song not only has the immediate psycho-emotional benefit of reminding you of pleasure, but the rhythmic stroke of the diaphragm engendered by more active vocalization stimulates the entire sensory body. Practice humming, especially when you’re enjoying something. What’s your favorite taste? Savor it and hum the goodness throughout your whole body. Laugh OUT LOUD. Make some noise in the bedroom–at least on your own until you’re comfortable enough to share. And when you’re comfortable enough to vocalize your pleasure, your pleasure may just increase tenfold.

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Stacey Ramsower Somatic Sex Educator & Doula
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Stacey Ramsower is a Somatic Sex Educator and a full-spectrum doula. She has been using yoga, Ayurveda, and somatic practices to support people in their intimate healing journeys for over… Read more

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