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Viva Vagina

By Lou Lou

What exactly do you like about your vagina? How do you feel about it? Do you like how you feel? Awhile ago Sydney University’s newspaper, Honi Soit, was removed from stands because its cover was deemed more extreme than porn and bordering on the criminal. Its cover portrayed 18 vulvas. 18 vulvas censored with large black bars. The Guardian newspaper featured a very good article at the time by the makers of the paper and their response to it being pulled.

They said:

We are tired of having to attach anxiety to our vaginas. We are tired of vaginas being either artificially sexualised (porn) or stigmatised (censorship and airbrushing). We are tired of being pressured to be sexual, and then being shamed for being sexual.


Vagina shame

I thought when I came out the likelihood of seeing a man’s meat and two veg was going to be nicely eliminated however I have seen probably ten times the amount of penises than I have had female sexual partners. And no I don’t have a bad habit of walking into the men’s toilets, at least not on purpose. I observe men talk about their penises at what would seem to be every given opportunity, often they’re even whipped out in public; hands down trousers, as a ‘joke’, to urinate in a nice open setting, etc. Quite simply it is ok; it is acceptable; it is even encouraged for men to have penis pride. And what about women? Vagina anxiety. Pressure. Shyness, shame, insecurity. Vag-insecurity if you will.

It was pornography that started the remove-it-all trend as previously something was only considered porn if pubic hair was on show. Solution? Remove it! I don’t want to do what porn tells me but before I even knew what porn was I believed hair down there was wrong. Now it is not just porn saying that women should conform to a certain ‘ideal vagina’ it is everywhere. Shave it! Wax it! Vajazzle it! Do exercises! Have surgery! Not just women but little girls are taught from a young age – hair on your nono is a no-no. Your vagina is dirty, it’s ugly, it’s unfeminine, it is not sexy. Girls are growing up believing that they have to have the ‘perfect’, smooth neat and tidy lady garden or there is something wrong with them.

Hairy subject

Body hair has been a long running debate in feminism. Arguments about sexualising a childlike figure, conforming to what the porn industry defines as sexy or not, etc. I’m firmly of the belief that women should have the freedom to do whatever they so please with their bodies. Fluff on your muff or bare skinned, as long as you decide, it’s all good.

Whatever you're into

Even though I’m fortunate that I don’t have too many body hang-ups, I too get vag-insecurity from time to time. You see it’s not my girl parts that I have an issue with, I quite like my girl parts, my vagina serves me very well thank you. Unfortunately, because of the way society attaches so much stigma, and so many rules and regulations, to our vaginas that if one is to break away from the norm then add another person into the equation they may not be that receptive.

In the past I have had people tell me, in the time before we have sex, that they like girls to be shaved and smooth, that they find pubic hair really off putting and disgusting. I know many people who have had similar experiences. I felt immense pressure then to shave; the knowledge that the person who I want to find me sexy is likely to be extremely turned off by one of the most private parts of my body is not conducive to fantastic sex! In my own experience I would say that people sometimes equate being feminine and gay, with hairless and the whole pornified sex package.


Vagina anxiety can have a detrimental effect on a person’s ability to enjoy sex, and overall confidence. Personal preference is one thing, but nobody should dictate how a woman’s vagina should look. While The Guardian article quite rightly wants to empower women and normalise vaginas – which is almost laughable that a completely normal body part which over half of the population have needs to be normalised – the vagina spends the majority of its time covered beneath layers of clothes and underwear which means it can also be quite private and a mark of intimacy when shared with somebody else. There shouldn’t be any fear in that.

In so far as the rest of my appearance goes, I never normally let anybody influence how I look, and I’m more confident for it. It took me a while to apply the same principal to my girl parts, it was so ingrained to remove all the hair that it didn’t occur to me. Now I just sort of..have fun! I don’t take the hair removal thing so seriously; sometimes I leave myself grow wild and free, sometimes I shave and leave varying strips, sometimes it all goes if I realise I was a bit over ambitious with my designs.

No shave? No itch!

Not only has it been extremely liberating, but I realised shaving is both boring and time consuming! Not to mention it can be itttcchy growing back if you don’t moisturise, and because if you have a vagina it’s not all that likely you’ll have testacies too, and without balls it’s just not all that acceptable in public to shove your hand below your waistband and scratch.

Just like every woman has different fingerprints, our vaginas are all different also. They’re not supposed to be the same. Popular culture and society make women feel bad enough as it is. There is no need to be grossed out, stressed out or ashamed of any part of your body, especially a part that can bring so much pleasure! Love your vagina! Feel good about yourself! Your girl parts are beautiful and perfect.

Viva la vulva!

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