Dear Vaginas :)
Over 30% of the photographic work is now done !
I have noticed that all the women who have participated so far have been white, white, white and mainly in their 20′s to 30′s. I would love it if some colour, culture and age variation were represented.
So, if you have some lovely darker skin, come from a non-anglo/european culture or have a few more years under your belt, or if you know someone who does who you think might be interested in getting involved then please get in touch or pass it on.
But don’t be put off if you are young and white, I’m not closing the door to anyone, just putting a call for diversity out there.
Also, even if you have not been or do not want to be photographed, you are very welcome to share a vagina story on the blog: https://www.101vagina.com/category/vagina-stories/
In other news I have now heard of two examples of “101vagina.com” appearing as graffiti in women’s toilets :) I’m loving the “life of it’s own” this project is getting.
Here it is in the womens toilet at the Espy :)
“If I was to actually describe why I am interested in this project it stemmed from a discussion I had with friends over New Years. The boys were talking about who was circumcised and who wasn’t, and then the conversation turned to vaginas. I’m not very well versed in vaginas. I have one, but I don’t really look at it. It’s a part of me, but unknown to me. I know how things feel. I know folds and crests and ridges, and points of pleasure. But I do not define my vagina. It simply is.
Anyway, the conversation turned to ‘innies’ and ‘outies’. The interesting thing was, we knew nothing about them. None of us. I had to turn to one of my male friends and ask him what I ‘was’. The boys had very clear ideas of what makes a ‘good’ vagina, but I couldn’t even begin to describe a framework. I think vaginas resist words, resist definitions, cannot be constrained or presented in language. And that’s why I’ve suddenly become interested in looking at my vagina, quite literally. I suppose I am trying to see another part of myself.”
Well, that was a quick skip from 10% to 20% completion of the photographic work!
The project is chugging along at a great pace and I’m loving everything about it.
I’m also excited to see another two Vagina Stories posted on the blog since sending out the last message, thank you so much to the contributors.
So, if you would like to have your vagina photographed for inclusion in the project or you just want to share a vagina story please get in touch :)
“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!”
“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!”
“I’ve always liked my vagina and its ability to bring me pleasure, but I haven’t always embraced it. In my first years of sexual activity, I was embarrassed by its smell and would lather it in perfumed moisturiser before getting into bed with my boyfriend. Eventually, he asked me why I did this. When I explained my self-consciousness, he in turn explained that he liked the smell; it turned him on, big time. This was a revelation to me. Lesson: my vagina smells good.
Another revelation came on the big screen, thanks to an on camera tour by a gynaecologist. He was performing a colposcopy (removal of abnormal cells from the cervix) and offered to “give me a tour.” I agreed. He used the colposcope (a camera), to magnify my vagina and project it like a strange pink flower onto the television screen overhead. He did close-ups on the hood of my clitoris, my clitoris, my labia majora and minor, the vulva and the vagina itself. I was mortified – my vagina, blown up on TV! – but the two female nurses just looked bored. Lesson: my vagina is no big deal.”
“It was synchronistic that Philip should invite me to be a part of his project a week after being inspired myself to start creating large mobile “Blooming Vulva Birds”, after a friend told me a story about her friend who had to have labioplasty surgery performed due to extraordinarily long labia lips which got caught in her underwear elastic and caused great discomfort.
I had the idea to create these flying vaginas, with the labia lips as wings, and wanted to promote the beauty of the vagina as it is in response to the disturbing number of young girls choosing to have labioplasty surgery done to them due to distorted perceptions about their own vaginal lips. I find this horrifying and strange that girls with normal looking vaginas are thinking like anorexics do about their labia.
So, it was certainly good timing that Philip called on me to participate in this project, and I am happy to contribute my own vagina as it is, if it will help to promote healthy perceptions of this part of womens self-image.”