by Carissa Chesanek
Ladies, if you aren’t already hailing to your V, Sarah J. Kennedy will help change that quickly. She opens up about the misconceptions of women’s sexuality in “The Vagina Odyssey,” from those unknown “funny feelings” of early puberty to adulthood, when the vagina is as big a mystery as ever. Ms. Kennedy discusses her own past confusion about what’s going on “down there.” Her mother never spoke about the female body. When Ms. Kennedy first got her period, her mother handed her a maxi pad and expected her to figure out the rest. Ms. Kennedy also sheds light on society’s view of the vagina, which is a lot like her mother’s: it’s best not to discuss it. Period.
Ms. Kennedy debunks the idea that females shouldn’t be curious about their own bodies, or be sexually liberated. Why should a woman stay silent when sex hurts? And why shouldn’t she explore her sexual appetite?
As a child, Ms. Kennedy had confusing feelings about her friend Melissa after they spent the night in a sleeping bag together. Right around that time, a nun told her that being gay would send her straight to hell, making her terrified of her own body. The fear didn’t subside in college, either. Those years brought on a different kind of fear. Girls around her were getting raped, which made her scared of being in a woman’s body: “Fuck, I don’t feel safe anymore.”
When Ms. Kennedy fell into a dark depression after a breakup, she tried to heal herself with meditation and painting. That’s when something magical happened. Sarah’s vagina began talking to her. Queen V, as portrayed by Ms. Kennedy and represented with a pouty puckered lip, states she is “dying,” that she needs touch in order to survive, and that it’s okay for a woman to want to be touched. This sends Ms. Kennedy into a curious and hilarious exploration, in which she has a wild dream of a 400‑pound naked goddess.
With a mix of humor, anger, and sadness, Ms. Kennedy’s message is powerful and meaningful. In a world that has “shamed,” “blamed,” “bought” and “raped” the vagina, “The Vagina Odyssey” empowers Queen V by removing the silence and stigma, encouraging women to become enlightened by their own bodies.
“The Vagina Odyssey”
Written and Performed by Sarah J. Kennedy
Oct. 27 at 2pm
Director: Alicia Dattner
Show image by Mitchell Aidelbaum
United Solo 2018
410 West 42nd Street
New York City
CARISSA CHESANEK is a professional writer with a Master’s in Journalism. Her journalism career has allowed her to work with publications, including BroadwayWorld.com, Show-Score.com, Zagat, Food Network, and Forbes Travel Guide. Currently, she is getting her MFA in Creative Writing at The New School. Her creative writing has been seen in Writing Raw and nominated for the Freddie Award for Writing Excellence with the Mystery Writers of America.