#StartAConversation, Menstruation, Contraception, and Gynaecology

I Asked A Bunch Of People How They Felt About Their Vulvas

“Moving from phonetics to etymology, ‘vagina’ originates from a word meaning sheath for a sword. Ain’t got no vagina.” ~ Inga Muscio

So, a late night conversation on Twitter last week led me to conduct some more polling.

Completely non-scientific, non-generalisable polling of course.

I like to think of it as finding out what a room full of your friends, or at the very least people who don’t hate you, would tell you if asked them and they were willing to answer.

Well, anyway, it started with @katiesoze explaining to @star_curl and I that there are teenage girls who are becoming very insecure about their vaginas due to porn; and then continued with @ang_fran telling us about all the wonderful differences between different vaginas and vulvas.

Now, it had never occurred to me to think of either my vagina or my vulva as something to be insecure about.

The way I see it they are what they are, pretty much like your feet. And there’s no point deciding to go down the dead-end path of disliking, or even hating, something you can’t change about yourself.

I mean, it’s not like your face, which you can change with makeup, or your waistline that you can alter through diet and/or exercise. You can’t dress it up, and you’re not going to dye it.

It’s just there. So you might as well enjoy it for what it is.

But, having learned that a not insignificant number of people felt differently, as Katie and Star pointed out, it was time to do some polls.

I’ve previously polled people on Twitter about how they feel about their periods, and how they manage them.

As this is evidently something else that we need to talk about.

So, here’s what we found out:

Asking how everyone felt about their vaginas and vulvas seemed the most natural place to start:

The majority of people are actually comfortable with them, but the 29% who weren’t are still a pretty sizeable minority.

So, then:

So there are potentially more people comparing themselves to people acting in porn than there are who are unhappy with their body parts.

And in case you were wondering how your labia compare to those of the respondents:

This one gets a reasonable amount of coverage in women’s magazines, but still, no vulval survey would be complete without it:

Personally I let it grow until it’s annoying me, then I shave it all off and start again. I’m lazy like that. All this fancy other stuff seems like too much hard work.

I’d be interested to find out what the seven people who chose ‘Other’ as their grooming method are doing with it.

Then, since labiaplasty had come up in the conversation:

So, most people wouldn’t but there’s a few would at the very least consider it.

My Mirena insertion was painful enough, there’s no way I’m letting anybody down there with a scalpel.

At this point I decided to check how many other people thought this was a subject worth looking into further.

So expect to see more gynaecologically related discussion here in the future, basically.

And then moved on to asking people about their breasts.

I was a little surprised by these results given everything we’re told about this in the media, but it’s great that most people feel at least content with them.

I think mine are fabulous by the way.

This was closer to what I had expected.

As was this:

It was also requested that I ask about breast shape.

This next one may have had a little to do with the late hour and the fact that at least one of us (me) had beer.

We were talking about the pencil test, but I could find any, nor any pens. So I decded chopsticks would do.

Edit: At least one man who doesn’t have breasts told me that he voted 0 in this poll before he realised the context, which we need to consider when interpreting this particular result.

I asked this one because I do, and it’s the worst, and wanted to know whether it was normal.

The responses to my request for solutions to this problem were: mega thorough drying after showering, sudocreme, and wet green teabags.

As for how the breasts themselves feel…

As for nipples…

Yeah, I think mine are pretty much fine too.

Then Katie pointed out that I had, unconscionably, forgotten about the clitoris.

It’s good see that people seem generally happier with this part of their body given how awesome it is.


So, what do you make of that?

And as these polls are becoming a serious, is there anything else that you’d really like to ask people but think you’re not supposed to say in person?

Because if now I’ve asked people whether they’ve ever considered labiaplasty I think we’ve established I’ll pretty much ask them anything.

There are some advantages to having BPD. Maybe.

Share your own thoughts in the comments or join the conversation on Twitter or Facebook.



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