labia

Debilitating self-consciousness

“8th of May, 2011

This piece is dedicated to – the beauty of my vagina. :)

The potential violence/ power/ debilitation of self-consciousness:

I didn’t start becoming self-conscious of my vagina until I had wanted to be sexually intimate with boys. Suddenly I had a whole new perspective of my vagina – the critical eye had awoken. It looked uglier and darker, and the labia minoras were larger than I had remembered. I agonised over this for weeks, not allowing my boyfriend to touch me or see my vagina as I tried to sort out what to do – the situation needed to be “fixed”, clearly not accepted.
Because I was fairly ashamed, I didn’t feel I could talk to anyone else; I was debilitated, stuck in my own despair and unease.

One desperate night I had the urge to pick up the scissors, head to the bathroom and try to chop my labia minoras back, to trim them short and neat, like my labia majoras. I sat there agonizing over the procedure, balancing the possibilities of: how easy it would be, how much it would hurt and how desperate I was.

…I spent several hours there, for several nights over the space of several months.

Each time, I would begin to cut into the skin, feeling the cold metal against my soft flesh and realising the pain I was going to inflict on myself – there had to be another way! I wasn’t aware of labial reconstruction, even if I was, I probably would have been too embarrassed to admit the supposed imperfection.

Thus, as our relationship continued, I continued to hide my vagina, not allowing him to touch or see it, even the first time we made love. This ashamedness continued on less severely through a relationship with another boy who openly and lovingly praised my vagina and its beauty, however, I had not found it in myself to love and cherish it.

However, with time, I have come to appreciate, and open to the wonders of my vagina because of the beauty, pleasure, sacredness and transcendental experiences she embodied and can offer me at any time. The external expectations and images in my mind of what a vagina should be like have faded away. I have moved away from the dis-ease and towards beginning to realise the vastness of feminine beauty.

I now look at my vagina with awe, gratitude and reverence – she is truly amazing.
However, I still have so far to go on the path of honouring, revering and listening to her. Viva la vagina!”

Anonymous

Get together and compare !

Hi Philip

Wow, I saw the Vagina Monologues in London back in 2005, so I can understand why the show inspired you. Fantastic!

The ‘101vagina’ project got me thinking – what a good relationship I have with mine. That I’ve only ever had caring and sensitive lovers (and only very kind doctors that I truly trusted), who have treated mine with great respect. Probably because I wouldn’t allow anythings less :-)

When I was in my early 20s, out having drinks with my 3 closest girlfriends (2 of which were lesbians, one of which was bisexual – so we were a bit more ‘liberal thinking’ than most girls), my best friend commented that she thought her clitoris was very long! Another friend admitted that she had ‘large inner labia lips’ (but loved them), and I commented quite candidly – that I’d only recently discovered- one of mine was much longer than the other! We all decided in the end, to get together and compare!! (The things you do after a few cocktails, LOL!)

It was a really amazing experience to see other women’s vaginas – in all their unique detail. You can’t help but notice the many little differences. I think we all felt quite awed (and privileged) to share such a naturally curious and intimate experience. Woman normally just don’t ever see other women’s privates (except in silly soft porn images, which are so unreal it’s just plain ridiculous).

It was then that I realised … our vaginas are as diverse as our faces! Small/big noses, thin/thick lips, pink/tan/brown colouring, soft/wiry hair, etc. And I suddenly appreciated that my own vagina was perfecty fine, exactly as it was :-)

I think the more art & film projects that show ‘real’ women’s bodies, and just how wonderfully different we are, the more educated and empowered women become – ie. confident girlfriends/wives, and strong mothers – and it makes the world a more supportive, concsious, loving place to be.

Kind regards
Angela

(Email published with sender’s permission)

My Vagina

“Vagina, vajayjay, punani, fanny, cunt, twat, Hairy Mary, yoni, pussy, kitty, muff, beaver, box, honey pot, coochie, muff ………………….

The list goes on.

Vaginas are like noses and hands, they all look so completely different and are 100% EXCEPTIONAL.

Like with anything: it’d be pretty boring if there were no variety. It’s like Kinder Surprise: you never know what toy you’re going to get.

They vary as much as penises and bananas which can be wide, thin, long, short, left or right leaning, up turning, down turning.

They come in all shapes and sizes. From my experience I can tell you no two look the same.  Dark pubes, light pubes, tight and curly, coarse, fine, wavy, a neat triangle, an absolute amazon, or none, or just a landing strip. The lips: like shades of red/pink/brown lipstick: a spectrum of colours. Some are big, some small, some hidden, some hanging out. Some are tangy, sweet, wide, loose. Seriously it’s a real bag of mixed lollies: clitoris allsorts!

That still doesn’t stop us feeling like ours is completely different to every other one and having feelings of insecurity. But it’s no different to any other body part, some people think they have strange looking legs, or feet or hands. There’s no such thing as ‘normal’

I had a partner who always took the piss out of my rather large labia and I didn’t sleep with anyone else for about 5 years after that.!!!! I can’t believe I did that, what a waste!

I’ve learned that it really doesn’t matter what yours looks like because whoever sees it will have seen X amount that look completely different.

Your vagina is GREAT it’s like no one else’s: it’s got character (mine looks like a turkey), it’s your friend. Despite bleeding every 3 – 5 weeks, being itchy at times and having a mind of its own (that can get you in sticky situations) it’s your best friend. Think of all the FANTASTIC times you share.

To me every vagina is amazing, individual, fun, warm, and great to look at, touch, taste and smell.

 

Thank you for giving us this opportunity to put ours on display and celebrate them for all their UNIQUENESS.

Love, embrace and share your beautiful flowers.”

Anonymous

“Circumcised ?”

“I was getting my regular pap smear test in London. I had this examination many times before and it’s always been a straight forward procedure. However, this one left me feeling like a freak! The doctor asked me when giving the examination if I had been circumcised. Of course I hadn’t and was totally scared and panicked when he asked me. I replied no and asked why he would ask. He didn’t reply and had terrible bed side manners. After the procedure, he left the room and the nurse remained. Luckily she was a lot more gentle and considerate. I was quite upset and asked her if there was something wrong. She explained to me that I was missing part of my labia. Apparently, a very small population are missing part of the labia and that in some countries they circumcise this part of a female. Wow, that was different!

I walked away really not knowing how I felt. I was annoyed that no other doctors had told me before and furious with how I found out without the doctor giving an explanation and the way he had asked me. I told the guy who I was seeing at the time and he said “I thought you looked a little different. It looks really neat and nice and I really like looking at it, so don’t worry”. I did feel much better after hearing his feedback. Since the experience, I have felt slightly proud and content with the way it looks!”

Eva

“Mother Earth and All Her Glory”

“As many women, I’m sure.. When the vagina is mentioned I go to a place of personal embarrassment and insecurity.

I feel I need to share this with you all.. not just to tell a story but to free myself from it. I hate..Capital HATE my vagina. But her and I we have an agreement….
When I was a young girl I was sexually abused on a number of occasions by a female babysitter. I do not share this to shock or upset anyone but simply to help one understand where my vaginal hatred comes from. From this sad experience I began to see my self as dirty and unclean.

Later when I started developing and my labia grew, I felt disgusted with these large shrivelled prune like flaps and how inconveniently uncomfortable they were. In my mind I associated them with being dirty. That’s all it looked like to me… An unclean mess.

Once I began my teen years, the early sexual encounters where less than encouraging.

I realize now it was mainly inexperience that caused the lewd and less than flattering remarks. But try being a teenage girl with all the other insecurities to boot and being told you taste weird.

So anyway the first brilliant encounter came from the least expected of sources and accounts for a rather intense fetish I have these days..A Complete NERD.

He played warhammer and got good grades, wrote poetry ,and hung out with a bunch of other sniggering nerds.. But my GOD… Get this boy alone in the bedroom and you’ve never met someone so keen to please, learn and worship a woman.

So from then on there was only one other insult to my downstairs and that was another instance of abuse. But the damage was already done.. It would take countless amounts of praise and tender love from quite a few broken hearts to even get the hate under control.

Now to present day and I have had another hit to my self esteem. I’m 27 yrs old and have recently under gone a double mastectomy. That’s right the one part of my body I was please with has been lopped off due to a very very early cancer scare.. I took no chances. But my self esteem is still wallowing down the bottom of the well somewhere.

So to present day…. I was just sitting in the bath tub trying to think of what I’d say. What I could tell people that would be inspiring as that’s what people want to hear right.

Well thinking this I began to think over the good, the wonderful and the down right amazing things about my vagina.

And you know what??? There’s plenty to tell you. I am a lucky owner of a vagina capable of multiple earth shaking orgasms. I am the owner of what will hopefully bring a new life into this world. I am the owner of a beautiful pink clam, a soft warm palace, a pussy, a pleasure temple. I have not been told in the past 10 years of my life anything bad about her. She is always complimented on how good she tastes and feels. I was so focused on the negative and afraid of what to tell people that I hadn’t thought of all the good I’ve been told and realized now ..that the bad was only my perception..

So this is what I wanted to share.. Only us as women have the power to make ourselves feel good or bad about our vagina. But next time you feel bad…Remember men don’t give birth to new life.. Vaginas are Mother Earth and All her glory…(as annoying as periods may be !)”

Lucita

“Genital Appreciation”

“When I first had a boy see my vagina, I was 14. After our experience together he spread a rumor around that I was too hairy! I was totally mortified! I also thought my labia minor were uneven and not very attractive or ‘neat’ like what you see in the Pornos! I’d didn’t think about it too much, but a few years ago I was at confest and a workshop caught my eye called ‘Genital Appreciation’. I felt immediately confronted by the concept and realized, with that kind of reaction, there was probably something I needed to address with my vagina! So off I went.

The workshop was a ‘show and tell’ kind of set up and was really healing, to just speak about my insecurities, experiences and hear others sharing similar feelings was really quite amazing. Having spaces to open up a dialogue around sexuality issues is powerful stuff as we so often keep our intimate, vulnerable thoughts and feelings hidden inside where they play out in other ways. Shame is very insidious..

So, since my first not so positive vagina experience, I have had other lovers who have shown great appreciation and love for my vagina! It is still a little uneven and a little bit hairy, but it’s a passionate and powerful part of me and I appreciate it for all it’s uniqueness. I’ve even taught it to do some new tricks and she’s becoming more and more confident as we grow and learn together :)

101 Vagina is an awesome idea and I am proud to be a part of it!”

Vanessa

 

“Embrace our truly sacred cunts!”

“Growing up is a strange thing, and as a women you are usually taught to keep your vagina and all its taboos to yourself. We are very much conditioned in this society to feel embarrassed to speak up about sex, our moonflow (period), pap smears etc. How ridiculous. Women need to feel support from not just other women, but from men also. We can’t have men screwing up their faces at the term ‘period’ but see their faces light up as soon as ‘sex’ is mentioned. As far as I am concerned it is all sacred, as it is a place of pleasure and creation.

When I was younger I used to want surgery on my labia minor, as I have a-symmetrical vaginal lips. I waited years and years for one to catch up with the other! I like symmetry, and thought it was the universes way of bringing me out of my comfort zone.

I soon started to really respect the fact that I was a little different, and alas, found out I really wasn’t that different at all, because many women experience this. One of my friends told me that it was cute, because it looks like my vagina is poking its tongue out! Now my friends and I laugh about it, and they sometimes call me A-Sym, and I feel complete in the fact that I am me and I am beautiful. I would rather not live up to a playboy portrait. Lets get all the REAL women out here! and EMBRACE OUR TRULY SACRED CUNTS!”

Taj x