Have you ever touched a vulva?

Think about it. How many vulvas have most women seen? let alone touched? This thought came to me during a discussion with my partner a couple years ago, realising that he had seen and touched more vulvae than I had. So I wondered how this affected our view of our own bodies? He has a way of speaking about the beauty of vulva that I’ve never heard shared by a woman. Even the most ‘evolved’, educated, and experienced of us. Even those working in the woman industry, like me. And he isn’t alone, he shares this view with loads of men and women out there. A view that is rarely shared. Would it make a difference to how we would feel about them if we saw them more frequently?

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Most women don’t look at their own vulva. Some have never truly really looked at themselves. Even speaking the few words we are given to speak about it, vagina, muff, vajayjay, snatch, ladybits, among them. Either evoke a feeling of shame or are concealing in themselves. Or for some words like pussy, make you feel a little badass, as if you’ve said something naughty.

It also brought me back to experiences I’ve had with my Trinidadian family, where someone might check if she had started her period right in front of you, by putting her (clean) hand down her pants, checking and then washing her hands again. Not that it happened all the time, but it could. With a comfort and ease in front of other female family members, a simple act that I realized early on, could never happen in the western world. It is also reflected in a more healthy acceptance of body within the overall culture, with a stronger sense of sisterhood.

So I’m sharing two video’s that explore different aspects of this reflection. The first showing reactions to straight women touching another woman’s vagina for the first time, their reaction, their partner’s reactions, and an interesting debrief.

And the second, an award winning  documentary, showing a cultural female practice of elongated labia in Uganda. Created by Sunny Bergman, a Dutch documentary filmmaker who tackles controversial topics such as women’s genitals. In this award winning film she went into Uganda and asked women about their sexuality and discovered that Ugandan women love their labia so much they elongate them.

 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

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© Juel McNeilly

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