Stand-up comedian and author Radhika Vaz's Unladylike, The Memoir is available now on Amazon, Flipkart, and in stores. She let BuzzFeed India publish the following excerpt from a chapter titled "My Vagina Speaks, Does Yours?"
The first time my vagina farted I was in the ninth grade.
On the day in question I had smuggled in a Sidney Sheldon novel. I had a choice between studying The Other Side of Midnight and studying for an arithmetic test. Naturally, I chose smut. I had only recently become acquainted with Mister Sheldon and his fearless, horny heroines. There was one particular 'sex-scene', as we referred to them, which I was dying to read and I needed a safe space to read it, away from the prying eyes of my housemistress, and as far as I knew there was no place more secure than aisles U to Z. They were tucked away at the very far end of the library and I had spent many happy hours there. And so that is where I went to read about how Noelle Page made a mockery out of every single guy she fucked, although I was admittedly more interested in the fucking than I was in the mockery-making.
I was right at the part where Miss Page starts to blow the greasy, overweight proprietor of the shop she had just got a job at when I discovered that women have more than one orifice from which to expel air. A library is a rather unfortunate place to emit any bodily sound because no matter where in the world you may live the one thing a library is known for is its deafening silence and so my first reaction was to be grateful I was alone in my hiding place. My second was utter and complete confusion.
What just happened? I knew I had just passed wind but it most certainly had not taken the usual route. And then, it happened again. WTF! Was there perhaps something wrong with my plumbing? Was that meant to be a fart that just exited the wrong way? Was this biologically possible? Was this biologically necessary? Was this normal? Or —horror up on all horrors—was it just me? So many questions driven by so little air.
Until then I had no prior knowledge relating to such an event. No one had ever told me about this, not my mum, not my teachers, not my friends, not even Sidney Sheldon—and he had told me about so much else. As far as I was concerned, in that moment, I was the only person with a talking vagina and I can assure you this was a heavy load to bear. I was mortified. My friends had already made it very clear to me that farting the normal way was a terribly unfeminine thing to do, only boys did it and if we did we absolutely had to keep it to ourselves. There was absolutely no way they would understand this. If farting was a masculine activity then was I now twice the man I wasn't supposed to be?
Naturally, I was on high alert for the next few days. A queef, unlike a regular fart, is hard to regulate. It is stealthy in build up and swift upon exit, thus making it very hard to control. But when the phenomenon did not repeat itself, I just forgot all about it and carried on with my life. Over the next few years my punani did speak up from time to time, and while the shock had indeed worn off, the shame remained. I kept the entire business shrouded in secrecy in the belief that if no one else knew that meant it had not actually happened.
As I got older I realized that concealment was virtually impossible. For one thing, my queefs are now less a girlish flutter and more a powerful vibration that feels like I have a motorboat engine tucked up my happy cavity causing a ten-fold increase in velocity at the time of release. I have also noticed that any inversion, headstands for example, are a definite instigator. These at least only take place during the practice of yoga which I now prefer to practice on my own. But the truly upsetting discovery came in my mid-twenties when, during a rather vigorous sexual encounter, I had the opportunity to learn that of all the storms that we women must weather, the timing of the pussy fart is most spectacular in its inappropriateness leaving me to explain to my paramour that 'that sound' was my intense orgasm.