Anatomy/Physiology / Body Image / Pornography / Sex in the news

Just in case a vulva beauty pageant breaks out…

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Question to the Sexpert:

“Ever since I was in high school, I’ve been extremely self conscious about the appearance of my vulva [note from Timaree: the vulva is the outside part of the female genitals]. The inner lips stick out really far, further than the outside lips. Even though none of the people I’ve ever hooked up with have said anything about it, it makes me really uncomfortable and I don’t want partners to go down on me and see it up close. I know I’d feel a lot better if the inner lips were smaller. Is surgery a good option?”

Thanks to the modern advances of surgical technology, you too can have your external sexual organs modified to the point of becoming so completely ‘normal’ that they will be guaranteed to be un-offensive to even the most judgmental of critics… except that anybody who deserves to encounter your hoo-ha wouldn’t be the kind of wankstain who wishes for Barbie crotch over real vaginas anyway.

There are a number of reasons that labiaplasties (surgeries on the vaginal lips, different from a vaginaplasty, another booming trend) are performed and have become increasingly popular in recent years. Some women have vaginal labia that extend so far outward that exercise, sex or even sitting can be painful. Others are embarrassed that their vulvas are visible in swimsuits or leotards. But most of the massive proliferation in requests for surgery recently is because women feel pressure to make their vulvas look ‘prettier.’

Sometimes it’s a partner who makes comments, sometimes it’s comparison to other women in a locker-room, but by and large, we can thank porn for this little gem of a trend…that and the general tendency of society to mandate that every facet of a woman’s appearance be ceaselessly pleasant. We’ve all heard the jokes about beef curtains, tuna fish and dried fruit. In any event, vulvas have joined the ranks of boobs, noses and hair as body parts that need ‘fixing’ to be acceptable.

By now you’ve probably gathered my vantage on the operation. It’s easy to sit here and judge a cosmetic procedure if one doesn’t feel that particular insecurity. I can mock comb-overs, Botox and calf implants all day long but that doesn’t stop me from owning a lifetime supply of outrageous drag queen style faux eyelashes. Which is why, ultimately, I side with the school of feminists who object to the medicalization of female sexuality but still fervently believe it’s every woman’s right to choose what happens to her body.

Like most, I can empathize with seeing a physical trait and knowing that I’d legitimately feel better if it were different. I can understand wanting to turn to a quick solution (ok, a few thousand dollars, and a couple weeks of recovery later) to fix a confidence problem. That’s why I advocate that you make whatever decision you like, considering only you can know if this is the sort of pre-occupation that will really make a difference in your self esteem. Maybe this is a nonsense fear, but it’s your fear and you can do with it what you please.

Questions? Comments? Violent Reactions? Email

2 thoughts on “Just in case a vulva beauty pageant breaks out…

  1. One of my exes has a vulva like the one described here. It did not freak me out or make me uncomfortable. On the contrary, I liked it quite a lot. I liked being down there. Then again, I haven’t disliked being down there with any woman I have been with – all of whom have had completely different vulvas. I understand though. I have felt insecure about my own in the past….. but then I realized all of us are different. And like Timaree said, someone who is going to be a jerk about it doesn’t deserve the privilege of being there at all! Plus, sex will be much better when you aren’t worrying about what your partner thinks about your labia. If they are worthy of having sex with you, they will be thinking, “damn, she’s hot… and so is this sex.” So… yeah. 🙂

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