Jessica Biel knows all about cervical fluids, and that makes her feel amazing

Lauren Tuck
News Editor
Jessica Biel speaks during the 2018 MAKERS Conference at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Feb. 6, 2018, in Los Angeles. (Photo: Rachel Murray/Getty Images for MAKERS)

Jessica Biel might be a popular actress, married to a pop star, and friends with celebrities like Chelsea Handler and Sophia Bush, but she’s also just a woman with questions about her vagina.

In a video for her new sex-positive online community called the Tryst Network, comedienne Handler walks in on the Sinner star using a hand mirror to check in with her vajayjay. “Is it weird?” Biel asks after being caught in the act. Handler responds with a resounding no and a question of her own: “How else are you going to know what’s going on down there?”

After the video debuted on Tuesday, Biel sat down with Saundra Pelletier, WomanCare Global (WCG), and Elaine Welteroth to talk about the newly launched initiative during The 2018 MAKERS Conference. And after hearing the audience laugh out loud, Biel was thrilled by the reception. “We put this content together, and there’s only so many times you can make a vagina joke until you’re like, ‘Is that even funny? I don’t even know.’”

While the video is certainly hilarious, Tryst’s mission is serious. The resource is aiming to break down stigmas and myths surrounding women’s reproductive health. “We created this thing because I myself didn’t know a lot of stuff, which sounds crazy,” Biel admitted. “When I was thinking about starting a family — I mean, obviously I know how to do it — but I didn’t quite know how to do it.” For example, Biel wasn’t clued in to her regulation cycle, when the best time to have sex was to get pregnant, and what different kinds of cervical fluids mean. Biel confessed that her ignorance both shocked and embarrassed her: “This is not possible that I don’t know what to do here!” 

Biel obviously figured it out. She has a son, Silas, with her husband, Justin Timberlake. But she had a lot to learn — like about vaginal discharge, a term she prefers not to use because of the stigma associated with it. “Your body has so many different types of cervical fluid as you go through the month. You can tell when you’re actually ovulating if you know what to look for, if you touch it, grab it, and do all this crazy stuff,” she explained. “Now I know my body well enough that I can tell that if I’m not ready to have more kids, I’m not going to have sex on these days because I checked myself out and I know. And that to me makes me feel amazing because I don’t have to take the pill anymore, which I took for 13 to 15 years, something crazy like that.”

Now that Biel has been schooled, she’s starting to educate the 2-and-a-half-year-old Silas. “We’re using technical terms, and we’re talking about when we shower together this is what I’ve got, this is what you’ve got, and we just talk about it. I know he’s really young, but I really believe that if you start this early, there’s no shame,” she said. “I don’t want to tell him keep your private parts private. No! It’s a beautiful thing, and you have it and mine’s different, and it’s cool, man, and we have to respect ourselves and we have to respect each other.”

Learning so much about her sexual IQ has actually helped Biel to feel more confident — and she hopes to pass that along to others as well. “Women, when we feel empowered, we feel confident, we understand ourselves, and we feel like we have control of our bodies and our lives,” she said. That feeling, she went on to say, then “permeates the community, our country, our world, and economically it changes things — that’s a fact.” 

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