“I was in a Moroccan baths with my Australian girlfriends. We were very excited to take part in this experience, but also a little hesitant. It would mean we would see each other fully naked! Australian girls are really not that comfortable in changing in front of each other and will do all that it takes to make sure we donâ€™t expose our body parts to one another, let alone hang out with no clothes on! Generally I am ok with my body. This comes down to spending a lot of time in Scandinavia and being very familiar with the Finnish saunas. It is considered very strange to wear anything in a Finnish sauna so of course when I go to Finland; I take a sauna the Finnish way and go fully naked. So being around my Scandinavian friends naked is no problem, but my Australian girlfriends? Well thatâ€™s another story.
Anyway, to take part in the Moroccan bathing experience, we wanted to be culturally respectful and of course take our clothes off as this is what is expected. We all awkwardly removed our clothes and walked in a very stiff manner, avoiding eye contact and giggling quite nervously. After some time, we all relaxed and went back to our comfortable selves. At the end of the experience when we were lying around having a drink, the conversation came up on how we felt about the experience. We all agreed that Australian females are uncomfortable around one another naked and the whole idea is really quite ridiculous as obviously we werenâ€™t going to perv at one another. My friend even went to the extreme of commenting on my vagina! She told me she liked the look of my vagina and that she thought it was â€˜cuteâ€™. Wow, that was breaking all walls! It felt great that we had broken down the barriers; however it was only for that experience. Afterwards we all went back to avoiding exposing ourselves if we had to change in front of one another!”
“I was getting my regular pap smear test in London. I had this examination many times before and itâ€™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 hadnâ€™t and was totally scared and panicked when he asked me. I replied no and asked why he would ask. He didnâ€™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 â€œI thought you looked a little different. It looks really neat and nice and I really like looking at it, so donâ€™t worryâ€. I did feel much better after hearing his feedback. Since the experience, I have felt slightly proud and content with the way it looks!”
The little progress status counter has gone past 40, so I figure it’s time for another little update.
Things are progressing steadily, ten more photos, a bit more graffitti, and another few vagina stories on the blog here.
You can also keep an eye on the FB event page, I tend to post stories there as they come in, besides other people posting interesting related material.
I’m still looking for some more age/colour/race diversity, so feel free to pass the info on to whomever you think might like to get involved.
Interesting isn’t it. This is not something that most people feel comfortable talking about to their parents or grandparents. Though I have my mothers blessings for the project she is conveniently located in Sydney so I have not had to face that one directly myself. I think there is a part of me which assumes that older women might be less inclined to want to participate. Why would I think that ?
Well, I have faith that the diversity will come, 60% of the photographic work is still to be done, so there is still plenty of time.
“As many women, Iâ€™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 agreementâ€¦.
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. Thatâ€™s all it looked like to meâ€¦ 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 GODâ€¦ Get this boy alone in the bedroom and youâ€™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. Iâ€™m 27 yrs old and have recently under gone a double mastectomy. Thatâ€™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 dayâ€¦. I was just sitting in the bath tub trying to think of what Iâ€™d say. What I could tell people that would be inspiring as thatâ€™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??? Thereâ€™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 hadnâ€™t thought of all the good Iâ€™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 badâ€¦Remember men donâ€™t give birth to new life.. Vaginas are Mother Earth and All her gloryâ€¦(as annoying as periods may be !)”
So, I have come up against an interesting issue regarding the Vagina Stories section of this blog.Â It’s the issue of opinion vs experience.
I would like the blog to be a sharing of experiences, rather than opinions, for the following reasons.
When you hear an opinion your mind automatically ask itself “Do I agree or disagree?”, whereas when you hear of an experience you mind asks “Can I relate or do I understand?”. The former engages the critical thinking part of our minds, whereas the latter engages the imaginative and empathetic parts.
Also, it is much more difficult to feel judged by someone else’s experience whereas people may easily feel judged by other people’s opinions.
While I am a great advocate of rigorous discussion and debate I would like to keep this particular blog in the realm of empathy and imagination for the reader and a safe, receptive space for the writer. I would like the blog to be an open forum for sharing, where everyone can have their voice heard and no one will feel judged :)
More 101 Vagina Graffiti :)
Location: On the Toilet Paper Dispenser, Stall 1, The 2nd Floor Ladies Toilet in the Student Union, Melbourne University Parkville.
This is rad, except for the fact that the URL is incorrect ! It should be 101vagina.com, not vagina101.com.
Aha, the error has been corrected :)
“The summer moved
in their girl bodies,
crackling as safely
as the gum leaves in
the bushland behind
their twin houses.
Alone in the
they sang nonsense
words to the wattle.
It caught in
their hair as they
crawled into a
patch of sunshine.
In their girl bodies,
the sky was just a
bright, blue tunnel.
They giggled to
each other, skinny
in the curious
and sweet lifting
of printed cotton.
I donâ€™t like
She dropped her skirt
and slapped away a
sticky black mosquito.
Inside our girl bodies,
the summer fell away.”