Saturday, November 01, 2008

"Ugly vagina"? Who came up with this?

Oh dear. I'm seldom surprised by any attitude about sexuality or body image, but today I'm shocked. I knew that some plastic surgeons did labiaplasty, trimming of the inner labia, for aesthetic reasons, but I thought this was a fringe element and didn't have to be taken seriously.

Now I learn that many women are indeed self-conscious about what they consider an "ugly vagina" because their labia are bigger or flappier or asymmetrical or in some other way not as neat and trim as those of porn stars. There's a fascinating post about this on the Daily Bedpost, a sex-advice blog by Em & Lo--Emma Taylor and Lorelei Sharkey--the self-proclaimed "Emily Posts of the modern bedroom."

I never saw a reason to compare myself to a porn star, but if I were to find reasons, they would be more along the lines of breasts and buttocks, not labia! As much as my labia are wildly imperfect, as evidenced by the "before and after" photos of labiaplasty, it wouldn't have occurred to me to fret about this, much less consider reconstructing them. Personally, I shuddered at the "after" pictures because of the unnatural uniformity.

Who determined that our labia should look alike? Men's penises certainly don't look alike, and that's one of the joys of discovery, so to speak.

I think this must be a young woman's issue, because I never heard older women mention it, but I beg you to correct me if I'm wrong. If you're a woman, have you spent a moment worrying that your partner might find your labia ugly? If you're a lover of women, have you ever been turned off by labia? Please say it isn't so!

No comments:

Post a Comment

My readers and I appreciate your thoughtful comments. Please share your views! Comments are moderated, so yours won't appear until I've seen it. Thank you in advance for commenting!

Some people have reported problems commenting. If this happens to you, please email your comment (with the name under which you want it posted) to, and I'll post it for you.

Retailers please note: I delete comments that attempt to hijack my readers to a commercial site. If you'd like to advertise, contact me at and I'll be happy to send you information.

Authors, therapists and sex educators who have helpful information for readers are welcome to post links to their sites.

-- Joan